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Traveling Alone: Top Tips From A Solo Travel Expert

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I’m a solo travel expert, solopreneur and founder of Wanderful Company, a labour of love inspired by 15 glorious years of non-stop traveling alone. 

Equipped with nothing more than a suitcase, a one-way ticket and an incessant desire to be happy, I’ve gone from one solo travel adventure to the next for almost one third of my life to countries including Argentina, Brazil, Italy and France.
I'm Kirsteen!
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xo, kirsteen

With 15 years of traveling alone non-stop under my belt, I can genuinely say I’m just as addicted to it today as on my very first solo travel vacation more than 20 years ago. The memories of that trip, 2 weeks in Borneo to see orangutans in the wild, are still very vivid. 

When I look back, I’ve been incredibly blessed and I’ve no idea why I ever felt nervous. 

I want to point out both as a female solo travel expert and as someone who has been traveling my entire life, I can say the top reason I do it is for the combination of adventure, fun, and freedom. 

I get to do what I want when I want and go where I want. When you get used to that, it becomes a way of life. 

It’s this experience as a solo travel pro that led me to begin writing about the types of women who would most likely fall in love with it.  

Below are some commonly asked questions about traveling alone and why everyone should try it at least once.

What is a Solo Traveler

A solo traveler is someone who has chosen intentionally to travel alone rather than go with friends or family. 

Why Do Women Like Traveling Alone?

In essence, traveling alone is one of the most exciting and deeply rewarding things you can ever do and that will certainly change you as a person for the better. 

Women can choose to solo travel for all kinds of reasons eg to get over a breakup, some valuable me-time, they have a lot of vacation time, their friends don’t have time. 

The idea is to do things to please yourself rather than compromise in some way in doing things to please others. You plan, research, and create your own itinerary based on your own travel needs, desires, and budget.  

How to Avoid The Feeling of Loneliness when Traveling Alone

One of the most common questions I get asked about traveling alone as a woman who began traveling solo in my early thirties is do I ever feel lonely. The answer is an emphatical no. 

Even though I love being with people especially my loved ones, I can genuinely say that I don’t feel lonely. The key to this is to feel secure in your own skin and not ‘need’ to be with people for happiness.

I’ve learned over the years that happiness comes in many shapes and forms and also you are actually never alone. Locals and other travelers are going to cross your path frequently and form some strong bonds. Some of my best and deepest friendships are with people I’ve met on solo travel trips in the most unlikely of ways. 

Is traveling alone safe for women?

For the most absolutely yes. Don’t get me wrong, there are some countries I’d never visit. On the whole, this is one area that depends on your confidence. I am tall and a very independent and strong woman.

If you’re a shy, nervous type, solo travel isn’t going to be for you until you try out some short trips perhaps at home. I’ve always been street-wise and make sure that I dress the right way and stay in areas where I feel safe. It’s all about common sense and simply trying to blend in with the locals. 

What are the benefits of traveling alone?

My top 10 benefits of traveling alone for women in their forties and fifties, regardless of their relationship status: 

Freedom to do what you want

We are all actually hard-wired for freedom. It’s in our DNA and you simply can’t switch that off. Traveling solo gives you a schedule that you make up as you go along. 

Even though I’ve had many happy vacations with friends and would still do so, there is no freedom like pleasing yourself doing what you want without any compromise.

To be able to decide at the last minute what you want to do is a lot of fun. In addition, you are more likely to be in the right place at the right time if there’s something you normally love to do. eg get tickets to an event. 

Fun on a new level

Despite living a fairly adventurous life in Scotland before traveling solo, I’ve never had so much enjoyment and fun in such high and regular doses as when traveling alone. You experience the newness of things and seeing how other people live which is incredibly enlightening and uplifting. 

Growth and the feeling you can do anything

Personal growth is something that just happens out of living life. We are not here to grow, we are here to have fun and the growth is then inevitable. I love to say ‘Born in Scotland, Made in Travel’.

Living in the moment

With the sights and sounds in each destination new and appealing, the excitement naturally activates mindfulness and being in the moment. This is the time when all your thoughts and worries about the past or future go away and you just take it all in peace. 

Health and energy boosting

Many people think about solo travel to get away from something, even though this can be ideal at times. The famous Eat Pray Love Movie is one example of that. To get the benefit out of traveling solo, clear any issues as best you can before you go and it will enhance your trip exponentially. If you don’t, you’ll find it will raise its ugly head when you are in a moment of weakness. The ego tends to do that. 

On the other side, however, I can genuinely say that solo traveling has energized me and I look much younger today than before I went traveling. Hahaha. 

Appreciation

When you see how other people live their lives, you can’t help but feel appreciation for what you have back home or how blessed you feel to even travel. 

Millions of people will never have the opportunities that you have. Be grateful, be kind and be compassionate. This will get you far in life. 

Meeting new people and making new friends

Some of my best moments have come from making new friends and who have become very important in my life. There are also the people that you meet in a café or bar or even random acquaintances on the street that can make the biggest impression. 

One of the most memorable times I’ve had with people was when I first walked through the centre of Buenos Aires. I had my jaw almost hitting the ground at how attractive the people are. It was like being in a candy shop. Those latinos ooze sexiness and they are also everywhere. Haaaa haaaa.

Traveling alone opens the mind

We often grow up and spend a lot of time in one country and never getting out of our comfort zone. It’s only by going to new places and witnessing it that you learn. And its not just incredible things you see but you learn a lot about yourself. I can say that I’ve become far more grateful and compassionate. I’ve also become wiser and have much stronger emotional intelligence.

Me time and rejuvenation

For me, this was one of the biggest. Before I went away, I’d spent most of my life trying to please other people and giving away too much. This can become depleting especially as a people pleaser that so many of us become. When you are traveling alone, you recharge the battery and give all that precious TLC to yourself. You can also be your true self, not needing to impress anyone. 

Passion 

This one made the biggest impact on me and still does today. I’d never experienced passion like it until I went to South America. Yes, I’d been passionate about many things before but nothing can compare eg to a World Cup Football match in Buenos Aires. Or for me personally, I became addicted to polo and that passion the locals have. I just cannot explain it because it’s on a new level. Feelings just intensify as you live and experience that. 

calm woman on rocky seashore on windy day
Photo by Rachel Claire on Pexels.com

Conclusion

Do I regret anything in the last 15 years? The only thing I’d say to my younger self would be go sooner and put yourself first and foremost. Live a life to please YOU if you want to be truly happy.

Female solo travel on the increase and is here to stay. Life is going to get very interesting for many in the not-so-distant future. And I’m blessed I’ve had a 15 years head start… 

Additional information on traveling alone that you’ll find helpful. 

Q+A on Traveling Alone

Is traveling alone suitable for anyone?

Are you single, divorced, married, and feel you don’t get much time? A boss babe that never gets enough me-time? Do you postpone vacations because nobody wants to go or is free to go? Yes, you can absolutely go and at any age. I’ll be dancing around a cruise ship when am well into my 90’s. 

What is the best way to plan a travel solo trip?

If you are asking ‘how do I now start traveling alone?’ and want more on how to plan your very first solo travel adventure you deserve, please click on Solo Travel Masterclass here. I share my 15 years of experience and the mindset to thrive.

What about budgets?

I’ve dedicated a whole section in the Solo Travel Masterclass above to this very topic. It’s absolutely possible to travel alone on any budget and it’s a question of deciding the level of comfort and luxury you want to experience. A little does go a long way. You’d be amazed at my budgeting skills, lol! I’ll be blogging on this question in more detail soon.

Are there any travel agencies out there who specialize in traveling alone?

Yes, there are very good agencies you can use. I booked my very first solo travel trip with Intrepid who are excellent. Please click here to find out more on Intrepid.

How can I get in touch?

If you have any questions you would love to ask me about traveling alone, please email hello@wanderful.company and using the contact page here.

What do I do if I have a job and don’t get much vacation?

You are also going to learn a lot about this in the Solo Travel Masterclass. I cover both how to find a job and travel at the same time as well as how to negotiate to possibly keep the job you have now.

More Wanderful Links…

https://wanderful.company/solo-female-travel/

https://wanderful.company/is-solo-travel-lonely/

Coming up

How to find the perfect solo vacation for you and love it. 

How to travel solo as a woman?

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hi, i'm kirsteen


Your new BFF & Travel Coach.

I'm an ex-Corporate girl who gave up a very successful career in the UK for a dream life traveling alone. Why solo? To do what I wanted,  where I wanted, and when I wanted. That was 15 years ago when I left with nothing more than a suitcase and an incessant desire to be happy. I've never looked back...

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@WANDERFUL.COMPANY

Travel Solo Expert, Educator, Solopreneur, Magazine Creator, Happiness Coach and Travel addict.

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xo,kirsteen