Breaking the stereotypes of travelling solo
During the past few weeks, I have been exploring parts of Australia by myself. I have visited Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Cairns – and if I may say so, it has been incredible! The thought of this initially scared me a little, but also made me extremely excited, I have always wanted to travel by myself and this is has been the perfect opportunity!
If this is something that you are considering but still feel hesitant about, hopefully, this post will calm those nerves and encourage you to do the same.
It can be very lonely.
My experience was the total opposite. From day one I found myself meeting people and exploring the cities together. One of the first people I met also ended up being somebody that I visited the Gold Coast with!
This was during my first night travelling solo – I met some people where I was staying and we all went for a nice dinner together.
You can’t really do any activities when you are by yourself.
This is far from the truth. I did so much by myself, my favourite being a snorkelling tour in the Great Barrier Reef – what a beauty it was! If anything, being by yourself gives you the opportunity to really do what you want as you aren’t restricted to other peoples interests or schedules. No compromise is needed, just sign up for what you think you will like!
A lot of the time when travelling in big groups you may also come across problems with everybody having different priorities and budgets in mind: side note, if you do travel with others, make sure you have this discussion first.
Group bookings are cheaper.
Honestly, I didn’t really notice this. There are some discounts for really expensive activities like skydiving (which I recommend) but regular day tours tend to have fixed prices. If anything, being by yourself gives you a bit more flexibility to choose dates and times you want because there typically is always room for one. This was the case for me on my way back from Kuranda, there was a sky rail journey down and I was able to skip most the queue so that they could fill up the spaces.
As a woman, it can be very unsafe.
I can’t speak for other countries or cities, but honestly, I personally have never felt unsafe. Yes, I am always cautious of my belongings and my surroundings, but I am also at peace that the likelihood of something bad happening isn’t as high as it may seem.
Do your research on where you are staying, read reviews online to try to gauge the type of place it is. If you are staying in a hostel there are generally two types: party hostels and quiet ones. Consider which one you would prefer and check if they have female-only dorms (most do).
If you really have no idea on where to begin with researching hostels to stay in, particularly because of their location (it can be difficult to know what the transport is like or where exactly the hostel is in relation to everything else), I recommend YHA hostels. They are based in most major cities around the world, and especially throughout Australia. They are typically always based in the city and in my opinion, have a good balance between party and quiet, their quality is consistently good and the staff are extremely friendly. You can’t go wrong with a YHA hostel!
Didn’t know what photo to include here so I thought I would use the opportunity to post a photo of me holding an adorable koala <3
TL;DR: Even if it is only for a few days, try to fit in some time to do some solo travelling. I thought this was going to be the start of my homesickness kicking in, but I have had so much fun that even though it is nearly over, I still haven’t had time to be homesick!
Shanita 🙂 xo