Can You Travel Alone?

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Travelling solo is not as difficult as you think. 🙂

Whenever I share with people on my travel adventures, they always thought I had a special photographer to take photos for me! LOL… in fact, I traveled alone most of the time (except to neighbouring resort beach places), my photographers were actually the passerby or the new friends I met when I traveled. Often, I received the many questions and queries about my solo travels:

  • Why do you love traveling yourself so much?
  • Don’t u feel bored and lonely?
  • Weren’t you worried and scare?

I think it is a good opportunity for me to share this post with people who are inspired to do solo travel… do it at least ONCE in your lifetime… try it out yourself, if you do, these words should resonate with you : “Inspiring”, “Fulfilling”, “Triumphant”, “Adventurous” & “Satisfying”, perhaps you may even crave for more! 🙂

So in this post, I am going to share with you

  1. My top 5 reasons for traveling solo
  2. 5 Things you need to do when you wish to travel solo +
  3. Additional bonus – 3 types of people who cannot do solo travel!

Read on to find out. 🙂

Here Are My Top Reasons for Traveling Solo

1) Flexibility

Traveling along means you have the entire time, choice, and experience by yourself! You could stay in one place as looooong as you wish and nobody is going to rush you through a busy day in the museum or attractions!

For instance, I stayed 6 hours in Bergen, Norway on top of the Floyen Mountain just to wait for the 11pm sunset and captured this photo! It was freezing cold and I sort of challenged myself to wait! The tram operator urged me to leave because she was certain that I was going to miss the sunset. Perhaps my persistent and determination touched the sky and presented to me this gorgeous mid-night sun 🙂

Waiting Alone For Sunset

Waiting Alone For Sunset

Bergen Sunset

Bergen Sunset

Same goes with Table Mountain at Cape Town, South Africa! I stayed on top for 4 hours waiting for the mist of clouds to clear and waited for this beautiful sunset! I didn’t plan for the sunset originally, hence I did not carry any jacket with me! It was only 10 degree celsius (during sunset) plus strong breeze from the ocean… so you can see how “well” prepared I was! haha Afterall… it was totally worth it! 🙂

Couple @ Table Top Mountain

Couple @ Table Top Mountain

Sitting on top of Table Top Mountain for Sunset

Sitting on top of Table Top Mountain for Sunset

2) Sleeping In

You are in a complete new environment, a country you have been wanting to see and explore! I’m sure there are so much to do with the limited time you have! So, when you travel alone, you will have FULL control of the time, whether you sleeping in late, or any time you wish to wake up. (of course this require some self discipline haha) No one is going to give you a morning call (except for room service at times… damn) and rush you through the day!

Laze Around & Chillax

Laze Around & Chillax

3) Meet New People

Personally, I think it’s so much better to meet people outside of your comfort zone. Meeting new people can be exciting and rewarding. Initially you may be a bit unsure and uncertain of yourself. Whether you can fit it? Whether can people understand you or not? Whether you can trust your new friend? My suggestion for you, don’t be afraid to meet new people! Often, new friends are more open and receptive, (because we all know everyone is coming from different backgrounds) you will find yourself gaining more confidence as you interact with more people!

Oldest Backpacker - Austrian Professor

Oldest Backpacker – Austrian Professor

A rule of thumb, if you are not fussy, I strongly recommend a stay in the hostel. Hostel doesn’t mean run down or dirty, I am usually picky about the place I sleep, so the hostels that I choose will always be those “5 star” hostel” type. This is also my secret how I managed to know so many friends around the world. 🙂

The old Austrian professor featured above, was one of the oldest traveler I ever met! We were sharing the 4 bedder hostel room in Copenhagen, Denmark. He blows me off with all his astonishing travel stories, one of the most amazing thing I ever heard – he traveled Italy by foot!!! Literally from Venice to Rome, just by walking! AMAZING! So if you cooped up in a nice luxurious hotel, you won’t subscribe to such unbelievable stories and meet these amazing people! 🙂

With Aussie Friends in Rome

With Aussie Friends in Rome

With New Zealander, South African, Canadian & American Friends in Russia

With New Zealander, South African, Canadian & American Friends in Russia

With Kenyan Maasai Tribe

Staying with my Brazilian Friend's Family in Brazil

Staying with my Brazilian Friend’s Family in Brazil

With Greek Dancers @ Crete, Greece

Cheering for Poland in Euro 2012

Cheering for Poland in Euro 2012

4) Diet & Shopping

If you are on special diet i.e. Vegetarian (like me YAY), traveling yourself will allow you freedom and time to search for a decent meals! I have to say, due to the fact I traveled alone, I managed to FIND GREAT,AWESOME, DELICIOUS, taste like a heaven, vegetarian cafes and restaurants! Usually package tour will bring you to some non-vegetarian restaurant and they will figure something out when you arrived.

Vegetarian Restaurant in Edinburgh

Awesome Food in Dublin, Ireland

Awesome Food in Dublin, Ireland

Same goes with shopping, imagine how unfortunate you would be if you cannot spend half a day at Champs-Élysées, Paris, France! The largest Louis Vuitton store in the world, Gucci for men and many more…

Shopping In Paris, France

Shopping In Paris, France

Disclaimer: I don’t really like shopping, but I always have to do shopping (complete my shopping tasks for family and friends) This is also quite unfortunate as well… haha 🙁

5) Satisfaction

Let me give you an example:

Tour package itinerary by Tour Agencies for a Day tour in Cape Town, South Africa:

– See Diamond (neah boring to me)

– Eat seafood restaurant (neah, well I’m a vegetarian)

– Go Shopping at V&A Waterfront (neah, I don’t really shop)

– Botanical Garden (neah, erm… not a fan of flowers and gardens)

In this case, even you are on a tour package to the beautiful Cape Town, you won’t be satisfied!

On the other hand, if you have your own customised itinerary and travel your own, you will have the full control and plan according to what you wish to see for that day:

– Table Top Mountain (oh yeah)

Table Top Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa

– Vegetarian Restaurant (yum)

Vegetarian Food in South Africa

Vegetarian Food in South Africa

– Cape of Good Hope (OMG gorgeous view)

Cape of Good Hope

Cape of Good Hope, South Africa

– Cage Diving to see the Great White Sharks (holy crap)

Shark Cage Diving @ South Africa

Shark Cage Diving @ South Africa

Shark Cage Diving @ South Africa

Shark Cage Diving @ South Africa

– Paragliding (hell yea… ticked my bucket list)

Paragliding in South Africa

Paragliding in South Africa

See the difference now? haha 🙂

You may be thinking now.. “Alright Keith, I’m convinced to do solo travel! How do I start?”

If you are convinced to do a solo trip to somewhere… here are the 5 things to do!

Number 1: Do Lotsa Research

The formula is: the more research you do = lesser costs incurred for the trip = more knowledgeable and prepared you are.

How to go about doing your travel research? Search your place of interest on Tripadvisor or follow travelers’ blog (such as mine) you wont go wrong! 🙂

Doing my research on an overnight train in Germany

Doing my research on an overnight train in Germany

Number 2: Follow The Locals

The rule of thumb for surviving well in a totally strange new environment is to DO WHAT THE LOCALS DO! You won’t go wrong with this, they are the locals and they know the place so much better than you do!

Same goes with food, if you see restaurant or shops that are only patronised by tourists (not travelers or locals), you probably would be ripped off by the sky high prices! I love eating with locals, and most of the time interacting with them will provide you with more tips or free rides! 🙂

Eat with the locals in Tokyo, Japan

Eat with the locals in Tokyo, Japan

Number 3: Be Street Smart

If you don’t see many locals, or you are in a situation or place that gives you a bad vibe, (i.e. drug dealers or prostitution) you are probably in the wrong place! Humans are born with instinct, unless something goes wrong with ya… you should have a good grasp of your own instinct! haha 🙂

When I Was in District 6, South Africa

When I Was in District 6, South Africa

Number 4: Don’t be afraid to be LONELY

Yea, I met a lot of great people when I traveled! I have a lot more friends! Sometimes, I do travel or explore cities with my new friends that I met in hostel, HOWEVER, I do feel lonely at times! No matter how many amazing people you have meet, there will still be time when you will have to say goodbye and continue your own adventure! My personal threshold is 3 weeks! Anything more than 3 weeks, I will need a little taste of home and yea I DO miss home every time I travel! 🙂

Feeling Cold & Lonely

Feeling Cold & Lonely

Number 5: Just Do It!

Yes, it’s cliche! Honestly, once you booked your air tickets, you literally invested yourself to be away! Once you completed all the above (Number 1 to 4), number 5 is YOUR ACTION! 🙂

Just Do It in Iceland

Just Do It in Iceland

Many people have what it takes to travel solo! If you aspired to travel by yourself, don’t think too much and give it a try! Ask yourself or you can seek advice from family or close friends as well. Ultimately, they know you! haha 🙂

3 Types of People Who Cannot Travel Solo!

The last part will be interesting! Of course, if you ask me whether you can travel by yourself… I will ask you to read the below information and ask yourself later:

Type 1: Topographical Disorientation

If you follow my blog, I did recommend it can be fun to “get lost” in Tokyo, Japan! Don’t get me wrong, it is fun and absolutely fine to get lost in the city for a while! You will be surprised with things that you didn’t really plan for or expected to see! HOWEVER, it will be quite disastrous if you get lost for good! Literally GET LOST! hmmm I’m sure your family and friends will be so worried for ya! 🙂

Getting lost in the bustling city of Tokyo, Japan

Getting lost in the bustling city of Tokyo, Japan

Type 2: Poor in Geography or General Knowledge

Funny type of people! In my opinion, it’s alright if you never heard about Adolf Hitler, but you can be quite messed up if you are expecting to see Eiffel Tower in Berlin! Don’t laugh… I heard this from someone before! haha OMG

Tokyo Tower in Tokyo, Japan

Eiffel Tower’s Brother – Tokyo Tower in Tokyo, Japan

Another interesting story I heard from my Canadian mate when I was in Russia! He told me these happened a few times before, apparently a British couple and Italian couple (separate incidents) on a honeymoon trip to Sydney. They boarded a flight and it took only a couple of hours from UK/Rome to Sydney!  You must be thinking, just a couple of hours??? It must be a rocket then! haha yea.. certainly! Well… I didn’t mention that they arrived in Sydney, Australia right? They arrived in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada instead! OMG again! haha

Read up the story here: Italian Couple Arrived in Sydney N.S. Instead of Australia

Type 3: Phobias

Go through the list of phobias in wikipedia! If you strike positive with more than 10 phobias from the list, you probably should reconsider whether you can travel solo! haha

Some of the phobias are straight NO NO! For example:

Pantophobia – Fear of everything (think there is no way for you to travel)

Decidophobia – Can’t make decision (think booking a flight by yourself is impossible or choosing a country can be a challenge)

Autophobia – Fear of being alone (well, the title is “Can you travel alone?”, so I’m sorry i gotta strike YOU out!)

Keith Alone In Iceland

Keith Alone In Iceland

To summarise it all, travelling solo is a pro-active choice and you need to do the necessary research, mental preparation and just take that very first step to experience it for yourself! Remember what they say: ” ME TIME is very important for your peace of mind!” 🙂

If you seriously wish to travel alone and have more tips, please feel free to leave your comments! I hope you enjoy and please travel safe! 🙂

“If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness, and fears.”- Glenn Clark

By | 2016-11-30T11:50:09+00:00 September 2nd, 2014|Travel Tips|12 Comments

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  1. Koon September 3 at 6:47 am

    Hi bro, nice photographs and great adventure you got there! 🙂

  2. santhi September 3 at 7:08 am

    Very well written n very knowledgeable info for travellers

  3. Kexplorer September 3 at 11:51 am

    Thanks Koon & Santhi for your encouragement! 🙂 You guys are awesome readers! 🙂

  4. Ling September 15 at 9:17 am

    wow.. you make it sound so easy!

    • Kexplorer September 15 at 2:26 pm

      Haha its really as easy as 1, 2 & 3! But an extra precaution for ladies.. for some countries especially. I also met a lot of great solp female travelers too! 🙂

  5. karen October 14 at 7:48 am

    wonderful blog, great pictures and I love how you travel solo! I’m doing the same.
    karen recently posted…October 13th, 2014My Profile

    • Kexplorer October 14 at 9:06 am

      Hi Karen,

      Thanks for checking Travel Inspiration 360. I glance through your travel blog and I love your stories and adventure. You have an awesome traveling experience. Continue to write and follow through your passion! Will read through your blog thoroughly after I off work haha 🙂

      Keith Yuen

  6. JS October 15 at 11:16 pm

    Great blog! I enjoyed reading this article and a couple of others! I will be heading off to Seoul for my first solo trip. Any advice on how to meet new people?

    • Kexplorer October 16 at 2:50 pm

      Hi Jingsen,

      Thanks for your comment and enjoying the articles from Travel Inspiration 360. Appreciate readers like you too! 🙂

      Anyway, congrats on booking your FIRST solo trip to Seoul! Must be exciting and feeling a bit apprehensive over the idea and fact you will be there all by yourself! Well, fret not! You will be fine. I’m pretty sure you will come back with many exciting stories and adventure of a lifetime. Remember it’s not about the destination, but how you travel.

      Meeting new people doesn’t need any experiences or skills, you just need these things:
      1) Open heart
      2) Open mind
      3) Open our mouth and talk haha

      Yea and you will meet many exciting friends, and some for a lifetime! 🙂 On the other hand, do shut off if it doesnt take 2 hands to clap! haha

      Are you staying at hostel or hotel? It’s much easier to meet people in hostel, people sharing room with ya, people you meet at the lounge, at the washing area, pantry, kitchen, even bathroom! haha

      Hotels will be slightly more difficult, and during your day trips, is look out for small group or solo travelers. People with the same interest usually shares the same frequency. Easier to hit it off! 🙂

      I hope some minor tips help you and give you more confidence. Wish ya all the best and please travel safe! 🙂

      Keith Yuen

  7. Herrshey November 25 at 7:30 pm

    Hi Keith,
    This is the first time I saw your blog & instanly I am impressed of your hardworks and dedication. I just saw your blog about travelling to Philippines and I wanna thank you in behalf of all the filipinos all over the world for doing that blog.
    I also read your blog about travelling alone, and I was wondering base on your experience what advise can you give for a first timer solo traveller like me?

    • Keith Yuen November 25 at 8:40 pm

      Hi Herrshey,

      Thanks for your compliment and support! 🙂 I guess for first time solo traveler like you is best to open your mind… the more open you are, the more shyness and ego you can drop, the more friends and goodness in your travels! 🙂 trust me, you will enjoy meeting new friends! It’s much easier to meet new people when you travel alone! 🙂

      All the best and travel safe! 🙂

      Keith Yuen

  8. Herrshey November 25 at 7:32 pm

    Hi Keith,
    This is the first time I saw your blog & instanly I am impressed of your hardworks and dedication. I just saw your blog about travelling to Philippines and I wanna thank you in behalf of all the filipinos all over the world for doing that blog.
    I also read your blog about travelling alone, and I was wondering base on your experience what advise can you give for a first timer female solo traveller like me?

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