So, there has to be a first time for everything, right?
This was a first for me back in 2008. My first solo trip overseas and it was to my dream childhood destination, Egypt.
I had travelled a lot as a child and then on and off with friends and my boyfriend, but never totally alone.
I was going through a very bad patch in my relationship and thought I need some time away to sort my head out. I went to look at booking a holiday and came out of my travel agents with something I hadn’t even gone in there for. A G Adventures brochure to Egypt.
I was and still am a little adverse to group tours. But after a little research, I found that the tour I was looking at was a SMALL group tour of no more than 12 people, with plenty of free time. I thought this was a great opportunity to fulfil my childhood dream and ease myself into solo travel while trying to get my shit together regarding my relationship. I had two days to make my mind up and tell my partner, but my mind was already made up!
Off I went on my first SOLO TRAVEL ADVENTURE.
I had managed to get myself from Auckland, New Zealand to Cairo, Egypt in one piece, tick!
Including myself my tour was a small group of 12 people, and we met up on my second night in Cairo. All of us hit it off from the start, on our first excursion in an overnight train. After way too many drinks in a very confined space we were already friends.
Our guide was amazing, he was both entertaining and knowledgeable. He took us to some great off-the-beaten-track places and showed us all an awesome time.
I spent the next 15 days traveling around with these people, and enjoyed every day.
I won’t go into details of the trip itself, other to say it was bloody amazing! But I really want to emphasise the importance of just taking that first step.
The first step.
Some people can go off on their first solo adventure to the far reaches of South America, others just might need a little easing into it. So if that sounds like you, this might be a way to go.
Personally, I like to keep to the small group tours like G Adventures or Intrepid Travel, both of which I have used. They are a little bit more personal and can be more flexible than the large group tours. Remember you must get on with these people or at least try to for a week or more depending on your trip, it will make the journey so much better if you all click. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen and that is one risk you do take, but I think over all you will tend to get on with just about everybody. Their itinerary allow for different price levels, comfort zones and fitness, so there should be something that works for everyone. By refining this you tend to end up in a group with like-minded interests.
It is a perfect way to “Test your wings” so to speak and catch the wanderlust bug. Whether it’s for a week or a month it will set you up to take that next solo flight.
After I came back I had a renewed confidence and a passion to continue traveling
Getting out of your comfort zone in whatever form teaches you things about yourself, your coping mechanisms, stress levels and how to deal with stressful situations, building relationships with strangers and so many other personal growth experiences.
We so often in our daily lives we work within the “known”, a safe zone. But there are so many wonderful opportunities out there if we just have the faith in ourselves.
Don’t get me wrong. There is totally nothing wrong with travelling with friends or loved ones, but sometimes it ends up a reason why we don’t end up going anywhere. Trying to organise a time when someone else is free, where they want to go, the sort of journey they want to take can sometimes eclipse your own wishes. If you are waiting for someone to go with stop waiting!
I have been lucky enough to have met some of my best friends traveling alone. You will never know the wonderful connections you will make till you try.
So, come on ladies, go test your wings!