Thoughts about traveling solo. Pros, cons and some tips.

Solo Travel-TipsTraveling alone can be a scary thing. It forces you out of your comfort zone and throws a bouquet of challenges at you. I recently received a lot of feedback from people who were thinking about traveling solo, but still seemed a bit hesitant. The thought of being all by yourself, maybe even in a total unknown environment, is sure a daunting one. From an early age on I traveled by myself – sometimes by choice and sometimes because I simply couldn’t find a travel partner. But leaving aside the reasons, traveling solo can be extremely rewarding and it’s something I would always do again. In this post I want to share a few thoughts which I have learnt along the way but also talk about the cons which one shouldn’t forget about. Spiced with a few tips, it might persuade one or the other of you to make the leap and give traveling solo a try.

 

The Pros

1| Do your own thing
When traveling solo, you have the freedom to customize your itinerary. You can follow your own rhythm and your very own desires. You can choose what to see, where and when to go and all that without making compromises and having to take account of somebody else. Along the road you will meet other travelers that tell you about that hidden gem, about a mystic waterfall or that remote village with super friendly locals. Instead of sticking to a group’s agenda, you can easily turn info like that into your own experiences. When on your own, you are open for change, you will welcome it and you will be able to easily change your itinerary.

Do your own thing. Fishing somewhere along the Mekong in Laos.

Doing my own thing. Fishing somewhere along the Mekong in Laos.

2| You will meet more people
Meeting new people and making new friends is an important aspect of traveling. When you travel with a group or even your partner, you will naturally tend to stick to these people, if you want it or not. If you are by yourself, you will be more open to new acquaintances, you will socialize and you will get in touch with people that you would have never met back home. You will also naturally appear more approachable to other travelers.

You will meet amazing people along the way. Tagaytay, Philippines

You will meet amazing people along the way. Tagaytay, Philippines

3| Challenge yourself and grow
By forcing you out of your comfort zone, traveling solo will make you a more confident, independent and flexible person. You will have to deal with fears, insecurities and unexpected events but you will see that it is all not so bad after all and that you can cope with more things than you could have imagined. It can be a truly empowering experience, changing you as a person and inspiring you to even tackle other things in your life that seemed daunting.

Challenge yourself. Nacpan Beach, El Nido, Palawan.

Challenge yourself. Nacpan Beach, El Nido, Palawan.

4| Be who you want to be
At home we often tend to live up to the image that others have of us. When you are on the road by yourself, no one else knows you. You can be whoever you want to be. You can even be a different person every single day if you want to. This is a great chance to explore yourself and your personality and find out who you really want to be – your real self which might have been buried under the routines of everyday life.

Solo motorbike tour along the Mae Hong Song Loop, Northern Thailand

When you’re on the road by yourself, no one else knows you. Mae Hong Song Loop, Northern Thailand

5| Relax and disconnect
Life can be hectic these days. You might have to study hard for university, work long hours in the office or just be preoccupied with the hassles of everyday life. When traveling solo, you can take the time to disconnect from all that and truly indulge yourself. Enjoy a sunset while wandering along a deserted beach, sit in a café and just observe the people that pass by, treat yourself with a relaxing massage or try exotic local foods. It will help to detach yourself from the daily worries and responsibilities and free your mind. You will be able to re-adjust your focus and tackle things with a fresh mindset once back home.

Serenity up in Batad, Philippines.

Free your mind. Serenity up in Batad, Philippines.

6| Get in touch with the locals
During my travels I found being solo extremely helpful in terms of getting to know the local people. Most of them tend to care about visitors and find it easier to approach a foreigner who is by himself. The result can be some unique experiences or even invitations into people’s homes.

Solo Travel Tips

Invited for a cup of tea by hilltribe women in the mountains of Northern Thailand

 

The Cons

1| The moments of loneliness
If you travel for a longer period of time, these moments will eventually come. You will find yourself enjoying a beautiful sunset or discovering a hidden gem, just wishing that you had someone to share this moment with. You will feel lonely. The saying “Happiness is only real when shared” comes to one’s mind. But luckily those moments are usually confined to short episodes and you can actively work your way out of these. See the tips below for more.

Maripipi-Philippines

Moments of Loneliness. Stranded on Maripipi Island, Northern Leyte, Philippines

2| No one to share the troubles with
What a lot of people don’t know and won’t believe is that traveling, especially long term and in exotic locations, can be stressful, draining and even a bit of a burden. You have to find out about transportation, negotiate prices, you will get overcharged and you constantly have to take decisions. At times you will feel that all of this would be easier when shared with a travel partner and sometimes it actually is.

Travel mates can help bear the of traveling

Travel mates can help coping with the possible troubles of traveling

3| The money issue
In the long run, solo travel will be more expensive than traveling with a partner or a small group. With a group you can share meals or the cost of a room (if not staying in dorms). You can also share transportation costs and you will have better arguments when it come to bargaining.

 

Some Tips

1| Start out easy
If you haven’t traveled solo before, start out easy. Pick a destination that is not too far from home and schedule for a short getaway. Maybe even a weekend will do the trick. Try to get a feel for that new situation and embrace it. Pick places with a lot of other travelers and where getting around is rather easy. Then work your way up, travel to farther away and more exotic places and stay longer. There is no need to travel the world solo if you have never done it before or start you first solo trip in the remotest spot of Africa.

Solo Travel-Tips-Escapology-14

Start out easy and work your way up.

2| It is easy to avoid and tackle Loneliness
I like the saying that you are never really alone when traveling. If you fear loneliness, check into backpacker places with a lot of other travelers around. Be proactive and talk to people. If you specifically look for hostels, make sure they have a communal area. That’ll make interaction much easier. And if you really are in need of company, book a day tour or some other group activity offered by most hostels these days. Even if you have been off the beaten path all by yourself for some time, the backpacker trail is usually not too far away. A blessing and a curse at the same time.

Malapascua-Friends

You are never alone when traveling. Just keep an open mind and be sociable.

3| Stay safe
A fear that especially a lot of female travelers have. The fear that traveling alone might be more risky if done alone. While this might be true in some places, a few precautions will reduce possible risks significantly.
Try not to arrive at your accommodation in the middle of the night. Research the places you will visit beforehand and make yourself aware of the practicalities like transport and prices. Avoid appearing like a tourist wearing flashy clothes or jewelry. Don’t use big paper maps but download offline maps onto your smartphone. Try to blend in as much as possible. Respect the local customs. Exude confidence and look people in the eye; it will show that you are aware of their presence.

4| Use common sense
Always use and trust your common sense and you will avoid ending up in sketchy situations. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Trust your gut.

5| Check your prices
In terms of transportation, solo travelers often tend to get “taken for a ride”. So check the prices beforehand by asking your hotel personnel. This will help evaluating if you are being overcharged or not. Same with other services.

6| Smile
If you are aware of it or not, extruding positivity and smiling attracts people – fellow travelers and locals alike. They will be much more inclined to approach you and chat you up. No one wants to talk to this grumpy looking backpacker sitting all by himself in the hostel.

Tanah Toraja-Sulawesi

Keep smiling and everything will be alright. Tanah Toraja, Indonesia

 

Last thoughts…

Traveling solo isn’t for everyone and that is totally ok. It has its downsides but for me the positive aspects far outweigh them. I can recommend everyone to at least give it a try… who knows, maybe you will love and stick to it. I hope this post can maybe take away those last doubts you might have and convince you that solo travel is an adventure worth trying.
Are you an avid solo traveler or are you still thinking about giving it a try? Let me know what you think and feel free to share your experiences and thoughts in the comments below.

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Categories: Inspiration, Travel Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 99 Comments

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99 thoughts on “Thoughts about traveling solo. Pros, cons and some tips.

  1. very timely… I’m about to travel Palawan, again. but this time I’ll be alone. just want to relax by the beach on my own.

    • Hey Maikeruzl, good on ya. I wish you a great trip with lost of time for relaxing and enjoying beautiful Palawan. Whereabouts will you go to?

      • thinking of going back to El Nido, Nacpan and Las Cabanas. Will also try Port Barton, an isolated area with equally beautiful beaches as El Nido but less crowded.

    • Oh ok, let me know how Port Barton is. We didn’t have the time to stop there. Happy travels !

      • thanks Phil. I’ll let you know how it will go and take as many photos as I could.

      • OK…sounds like a deal! 😉

      • I saw you came back to the Philippines… that’s awesome..anyway, I lost access to this account so I was not able to let u know about my trip to Palawan. I’ve seen you’ve been to Port Barton, how was it? Good to know that you had, again, a great time in the Philippines.

      • Hi there, yeah I have been back. Just way too short …. I need to come back badly. How was your trip.. as said, I myself haven’tbeen to Port barton …. Next time hehe

      • sorry i lost access to this account. just got it back now. anyway, i saw that you’ve been in the Philippines again. I also saw that you’ve been to Port Barton this time, good job! I hope that you, again, enjoy your stay to your second home.

  2. i always travel with friends. and haven’t yet tried to travel solo. thank you for this another wonderful article phil. i’ll try it sooner if my timetable allows me. my weekends are almost fullybooked, if it’s not travel realted then its work related.

    • Hi Arnee, to be honest, I also really enjoyed the stretches of my journey where I was in good company. It was very nice for a change. But then I can also appreciate solitude again … I guess a good mix makes the difference. So yeah, maybe you can try it out one day. The Philippines would be a great place to start. But for now you have other nice trips ahead …. Take care!

  3. Sidney Anover

    By being forced out of your comfort zone and having to deal with unexpected events and unpredictable experiences, you will really learn a lot about yourself. You will come to know yourself intimately whether you want to or not. You won’t need to ask yourself what you would do in a tight spot, or what type of person you are when things happen and you have to deal with them, you will know because you will have been there and done it. :))

    • True words my friend. Probably coming from someone who already had his share of solo adventures ;). Cheers Sidney for stopping by again!

      • Sidney Anover

        Going solo gives you the freedom to just pack your backpack and go, even your best friends won’t always be as fast as you. Also, you may prefer cheap flights, sleeping on the backs of trucks, or eating cheaply to save on costs, and not everyone will want to travel the same way. In other words, you might not want to trade three affordable adventures for one expensive one….and of course, the more adventures you’ll spend, the more it’s memorable and even life-changing for you!! Cheers bro!!

  4. Angelica Pozon

    I’ve always relished travelling alone as well…. for many of the same reasons you mentioned…. but i learned early on that: as a very attractive woman, travelling solo is unadvisable.
    In rich westernized countries, fending off unwanted male attention is often a mere annoyance that can be gamely tackled with flair….
    But move outside first-world countries, to regions where women are less respected/emancipated, and you are asking for trouble by travelling alone. Ladies: it is simply too dangerous, so in these areas, best to travel with (or temporarily tag on to!) a co-ed group.

    • Hi Angelica, you are right with that. India would be a very prominent example. I would also advise female travelers to team up with a partner or even group. But there are other places, where solo travel can be a rewarding and humbling experience – without any of the annoyances. Most of Asia I would consider pretty safe and a very good example would be be the Philippines, which I have written about lately.

  5. Done it, enjoyed every moment of it. I couldn’t said it better.

  6. kaushik

    nice….i have always thought of travelling alone but never tried it.reading this i would definitely try.

    • Hi Kaushik, glad you like it and if it was of a little inspiration, even better. Let me know if you decide to embark on a solo adventure … Cheers

  7. kaiyewashere

    My first solo travel was on my birthday last year. It’s scary as hell at first, but you’ll surely enjoy once you got the hang out it.

    • Hey Kaiye, congrats for being brave and trying it. That’s just great … I think doing it on your birthday was cool idea. Happy travels!!!

      • kaiyewashere

        Thanks! And my friends thought I’m crazy traveling solo during my birthday! Haha doing it again though this year in Coron, Palawan 😀

    • Haha, not crazy at all. That Coron trip will sure be exciting…. Take care and let me know how things go 😉

  8. Elni E. Samoramos

    Nice reading this article…I’ve been traveling alone to Europe UK – Paris – Rome – Germay in 27 days ( my first Europe holiday 2012 ). Although i have friends in UK and Germany that organized my tour activities. The most challenging was in Paris and Rome, wherein I was alone and don’t have any friends there. But I met locals that were friendly to tourist like me. Indeed,It was challenging but rewarding.

    • Hey Elni, good to hear that you already on that solo adventures across Europe. Good on ya. I am glad it turned out to be a nice and rewarding experience. Any other solo trips planned already?

      • elni samoramos

        Last Christmas ( 2013 ) i had 8 days White Christmas in New York City, i travel by myself although i have friends waiting for me in New York. It was really a dream came true experienced. It was a short break but fun-filled holiday with friends. I was in The Top of The Rock during Christmas eve,,,and got photo ops with the giant Christmas tree in Rockefeller…indeed, it was the best Christmas ever! Soon, I’m planning to celebrate my Christmas 2014 in L.A. and see the Hollywood…God willing

      • Hi Elni, that sounds like a really nice experience. Christmas in NYC must be awesome. I have only been there during the month of September. Christmas in LA also sounds cool…probably way different than in NYC though. Happy travels! 😉

  9. Afreen

    My First solo travel was for 3 months and I have to say i was super scared even before i hoped on the plane, But it was just to prove to myself I can do it by myself. Love this btw.
    ~Keep smiling.

    • Hey Afreen, cheers to that. What a brave decision. Where did you go for those 3 months then?

      • Afreen

        I ended up spending it in the South Island of New Zealand, I’m from the North. So not that far from home. I ended up doing a small course at the University of Otago too and now 3 years later I came back down as a full time student.

      • That sounds cool though. Seems like you had a good time and enjoyed it. Who knows if you would be a student there now if it wasn’t for this trip. Good story ….

      • Afreen

        One of the best decisions of my life.

  10. Hey Phil! You did a really great job showcasing both aspects of solo travel. I wish I had come across something like this before I left for Thailand because no matter how much research I did before leaving, I still got scammed by my first ever cab driver in Bangkok. It sucked, but was actually a great way to learn to ask about prices before getting into the cab and to check at hostels in every new city.

    • Yep, Bangkok is the place to learn the hard way. Especially if coming from the airport. Good thing the skytrain is all set up there now. If still in need of a cab. Venture over to the departure hall and then take a cab. The people there are not as pushy as at the arrival terminal. Still best to know your prices hehe. But in the end, getting ripped off here and there just belongs to a true Asia trip …. We can’t avoid it so we better learn to accept it 😉

      • Oh absolutely. The 2nd time I flew into Bangkok I went to one of the desks at the departure hall and then opted to share a cab with 2 fellow travelers I met in line. 1/3 the normal rate and none of the hassle from my first SE Asia mistake.

    • I think the government and tourism departments start to realize that these things harm their business. They are trying to regulate it more but there is always room for rip off haha. Can’t avoid it. I had the biggest scams happening to me in VN…what a surprise …

      • I definitely think they’re working to make thing better for travelers, but it probably won’t end anytime soon. It’s so funny to me how you had the worst experiences in Vietnam and yet I didn’t encounter anything even remotely scam worthy while I was there. I’m sure it’s hit or miss for everyone anywhere in SE Asia but I’m amazed that it all seemed to happen to your there. I had problems in thailand, cambodia, and malaysia but nothing in VN where I was told it would all happen at once

      • Yeah, I guess it is a game of luck. What can you do..it will hit you, either there or there. I recently heard terrible stories about Cambodia where I for example had the best time. You never know….

  11. AJ

    Thanks Phil. Im always a solo traveller and the only issue for me is the loneliness during ’emotional situations’ but as you also said , it’s short term. I learned about other cultures faster by immersion.

    • Hi AJ, don’t worry, everyone has these feelings and so do I. But you learn to cope with these moments after a while because you know, the good times are not far away.

  12. A tale or two to tell.....

    Great article ! I am a single female traveler currently into my third month of solo travel.
    All of the points you have made are very valid. I would add one more tip to your otherwise perfectly written pointers. Stay in “home stay” type accommodation where you can – especially as a female solo traveler. Also sometimes called “guesthouses and B&B’s”.
    Not only is this generally one the cheapest options, but the houses usually take in fewer guests and you will more often than not find yourself being looked out for by the host families who are aware of your solo traveling. You will also have your own room for the same price (if not cheaper) than at a Hostel, will interact with guests and the hosts a lot more, and in most instances learn more and gain a greater insight into the culture, even being invited to special ceremonies and you will feel a lot safer. Some of my best accommodation has been in a home-stays and I can’t recommend this more as a solo traveler !
    One final note: I am without a doubt having the time of my life as a solo traveler!

    • Hi Emma, thanks a lot for stopping by and sharing your thoughts here. That tip is a really good one and I should actually ad it to my list. Staying at homestays is great for all of the good reasons you mentioned. Especially for easily getting in touch with the locals and gaining in insight into their customs and culture. Good for you Emma, that you are having a great time on your solo journey. That is great to hear. Whereabouts are you now and what’s your itinerary? Cheers, Philipp

      • A tale or two to tell.....

        I’ve just arrived in Kerobokan, South Bali to yet another amazing home-stay. I’ve paid a lot more $ for far less that this place has – I get blown away each place I arrive at. Breakfast is included in all of them, this place has aircon and a swimming pool and free scooters to get about on – all for the grand total of $25 a night.
        Unfortunately I am at the end of this little O/S sojourn which was spent in Sri Lanka and Bali, but will be continuing the adventure back on home soil in Australia making my way home to Sydney the long way round……

    • Kerobokan is super nice and laid back. I stayed for quite a while there. It was a sort of guesthouse though, but also kept by the family. They were super friendly and nice. Your trip is over but more adventures to come ….. which route will you take back to Sydney? Will it be back to work for ya. Have a safe trip home then. Philipp

      • A tale or two to tell.....

        Hey Phil !
        I just dd a recon mission through your adventures (have now added Flores to future travel plans – wow) to read about what you got up to in Bali. Sounds like you found it just as busy as I am. It has certainly changed a lot even in the last four years. I thought I was picking a quiter area in Keroboken, away from busy Seminyak, but its intensely busy here too. I haven’t seen this many scooters in one town since Saigon in Vietnam.
        This place, although a homestay is definitely more guesthouse like, or even villa/hotel like. Its amazing for the price.
        Australia – well the plan changes daily. It was all on a whim and last minute so trying to juggle a few things so I can see some of the amazing coastline and Rottnest Island. Then over to the Eastern coastline to Victoria to catch some friends for a few weeks, and slowly back up the East coast. Trying to see how I can do Oz on a budget, at last minute with an increasingly heavy backpack !

  13. Really great entry, Phil. I was pushed out of my comfort zone when I flew alone for the first time from Manila to Singapore during Super Typhoon Haiyan. My dad was there in critical condition. I wish it was a leisure trip, but going back to the point, reading this one just had me saying ‘e x a c t l y’! I was terrified, Alone, emotionally unstable, how will I go about in a country that doesn’t speak much English? But as you said you can cope beyond what you could have imagined. Hopefully I can make a solo trip soon, not an emergency haha, but a leisure one. Cheers and many thanks for writing this one!

    • Hi Bianca, sorry to hear about your father. I hope his condition is better now. I am happy that you kind of feel the same about solo travel and had, apart from being an emergency, a good stay in SGP. Hopefully, as you have said, it will be for leisure only. All the best and thanks for stopping by. Phil

  14. Hey thanks, Phil! Yes he’s back to normal and great! SGP I think is one of the safest places to be in.. commuting/walking day and night. I plan to try solo traveling to Palawan first and get my overdue birthday tattoo! 🙂

    • That’s good to hear. Nothing worse than an ill family member you have to worry about. SGP is really easy and convenient to travel. Actually perfect for trying out solo travel. So it’s gonna be Palawan next? That’s great..where to and what kind of tattoo will it be?

    • Sounds cool …. well enjoy the trip and send over a pic of the tattoo. Nevr saw ancient filipino writing …

  15. True that. I like your recommendation thank you. Yes, Puerto Princesa on a long weekend. I’m in the stage of planning and saving well so looking around here everything’s helpful. Simple tattoo of baybayin (ancient Filipino writing), nothing too fancy. Used to think that these trips should always be long, but as you said it’s about going out there and broadening horizons..

  16. Ya, indigenous so even me, I had to be really intentional in finding out more..Thanks Phil, Will take some time, but sure! 🙂

  17. Rameshwar

    Reveals the plot inside out!!!!!
    Your narration makes me seem the task achievable!
    Thank You Phil!

  18. Hi Phil, I just arrived from a solo backpacking adventure. I went to Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore for 9 days. I may not have visited all major tourist spots however, I enjoyed being with myself. All your points are absolutely valid. Now, I am trying to share my experiences through creating my own blog. Thanks for staying longer here in the Philippines and appreciating what we have to offer.

    • Hi Roger, good on ya for doing that trip. Sounds like you had a great time over there… Which place did you like best then? With 9 days, you had to really tailor itinerary I bet. Thanks for stopping by and reaching out. Hope to read of your adventure soon 😉

      • Yeah, I was able to create my itinerary well but I realized that it still needs to be enhanced. hehe I like Malaysia for its culture however, the other countries have their own beauty also.

    • Yeah, that is right. I am sure you will have a great time..no matetr what.

  19. Hey Roge, I am not sure if this is the right platform for writing about things like that…..

  20. I haven’t tried traveling alone but I want to give it try. At least I have your list for my guidance. I agree with you that there are pros and cons but the most important thing is the experience and the lesson learned. Thanks for your post I enjoyed reading it. 😀

    • Hi Glen, no problem. I hope it was able to give some inspiration. Why don’t you try it one day and do just a short trip. Maybe a weekend escape to a place not even too far away. To get a feel for it while still feeling comfortable ….. Let me know how it goes …

  21. Thanks Pipoy for this beautiful tips and article about traveling solo! U know I told u about my plan on FB and your insight is really great help for me to enjoy it.. I will remember your advise!

    • Hi Sheng, glad I could help a bit and give some inspiration. I hope you your trip will be good but I am sure it will be. Let me know how it all went …

  22. Anca

    Dear Phil, I have discovered your blog only yesterday, but now instead of being focused on my excels here at work, I am dreaming with my eyes wide open of these beautiful places that you already visited. For starters, I want to try the solo traveler experience in places not so far from home (Provence, Tuscany or Portugal) like you suggested, but I would definitely try more exotic places like you did. Even though for boys solo traveling is much safer that it is for girls, I will take my chances 🙂 I started a blog with stories that I write, but I also started to write about my travel experiences (short ones so far) and after reading your posts I got the urge to just leave and go see the world.
    You have a great blog, wonderful stories, beautiful pics and very useful tips and tricks.

    I will ESCape more often from now on and surely I will have more stories to share on my own virtual place! 😀

    • Hi Anca, thanks for reaching out and good to hear that my blog gave you a little bit of inspiration. That is great. Keep me updated on your solo traveling adventures and I am sure you will be alright. Especially around Europe. I should also ESCape more often, even for a weekend. But you know how it sometimes is …. I will have to try more as well. OK Anca, thanks for stopping by and all the best, Phil

  23. Being a female scares me to travel alone. But I wanted to try, probably next year. I will take on your advice #1 start out easy-not far from my home. Originally, I planned to explore first my own country (Phils) before exploring other countries but trip to HK with my cousins was already arranged later of this year so next year will be the start of my solo travel. (fingercrossed) 🙂 #femalesolotravelerexplorephilippines this will be my hashtag on my travel. hahaha!

    • Hi Tata, good on ya for that decision. Sounds like a great plan and I wish you all the best for it. Please let me know how things go then. Starting out easy with a destination not too far and not too long is a good choice if you are still a bit reluctant. Will be on the lookout for that hashtag hehe

  24. Sure, will let you know how’s your tips working on my own travel. 🙂 Thanks in advance!

  25. I think you’ve been to more places in the Philippines than I have — and I’m a Filipino! So far my favorite was Sagada. Glad to see you’ve been there! Haven’t tried solo travel but I would probably give it a try one day. I’m thinking Sagada. Lovely blog! 🙂

    • Hey Pepe…. Sagada was also one of my favorites. A quaint and relaxed air, good air and nice scenery. Would love to go back to the Mountain Province…. Cheers

  26. This made me remember my most recent solo travel last week in Quezon Province. True that it’s harder for females. Guys are lucky.

    • HI there, what was hard for you? Maybe you wanna share and give some tips for the readers. Thanks a lot …

  27. Cess

    Hi Phil….i have experienced hiking @ Mt.Pulag Benguet and Mt.Cinco Picos, Zambales..every holy week.

  28. Cris Gastardo

    I love traveling solo! It is for me a total escape from my whole being. I can afford to be quiet, I can write stuff, I discover things, I stay idle, and I meet many people. I totally agree to this blog of yours, Phil.

    • Hi Cris, thanks for your kind feedback. Glad to hear that you liked the article and could sort of identify with what I was saying. You summed it up nicely…it is like an escape from the everyday normal life which is always so refreshing. Just doing whatever without being taking others into consideration…nice

  29. Oscar

    Hello Phil! I am a fresh college graduate and I want to travel around the world, and meet new people, but Im quite shy when interacting with other people. And I dont know how to start and how should i prepare myself. ANd other thing, its amazing that you like it here in the Philippines, hope I could catch you up here and include me on your travel, and hope i could learn from it and start a travel on my own 🙂

    • Hi Oscar, don’t worry. Maybe you could start slowly, you know, travel some places not too far away, in the Philippines. See how it goes, get used to roaming around, meeting new people and all that. And then you can move forward, travel to farther away places. I am also a bit shy myself but let me tell you this, whereas I have hard time meeting people when at home, I find it way easier when traveling, especially when abroad. Sometimes I think traveling brings out the best in us. So just give it a try and take it from there… u will definitely like it

      • oscar

        thank you phil, glad you replied, a nice birthday gift for me.haha Hope to see you here in the Philippines when you come back! 🙂

    • Hi Oscar, hope you had a nice BDay…. Will try to be back in Pinas soon 😉

    • Hey Os, not yet man…. but soon I will do hehe

      • oscar

        please do! Ill follow you, 🙂 what’s your future trip plans?

    • I dont know yet Oscar…time will tell I guess

  30. My first attempt at traveling solo was in Beijing. I tried crossing out 2 items in my bucket list – travel to a non English speaking country alone and to see the Forbidden City. It can be intimidating, especially when there’s a language barrier and asking for directions can be a challenge.

    Then my latest solo trip was in May in El Nido, Palawan. It was perfect as El Nido is a laid back island. I was able to finish 2 books during the trip, meet other solo travelers (and I’m still in touch with them).

    There are 2 cons that I can think of when it comes to solo traveling – it can be a bit more expensive and taking a great photo of yourself is a bit difficult. Hahaha. But take those away, solo travels are one of those things that everyone should attempt to do. You’ll follow your own pace, forced to get out of your shell and at the end of it, you will have a new perspective on things. And you might even surprise yourself with what you’ve accomplished.

    Next solo trip: Sagada!!!

    • Hey Grats, thanks for stopping by and getting in touch. Really appreciate it. Beijing must be tough. A friend of mine just returned from her 3 weeks solo trip in China. She said getting by language-wise was fairly difficult. But yeah, she still managed… Good to hear that you had a good time in El Nido. I think it is a good place to relax but also mingle with other travelers. Pretty laid back and easy going. You are right, it sure is more expensive….but the picture issue is not too big of an issue as I am not too much into pictures of myself anyways. But yeah, prices for accomodation etc. are sure higher. OK, enjoy your Sagada trip… I loved it up there … Happy travels, Philipp

  31. I first experience traveling solo in Boracay, Philippines this year. It was only for a short period of time but it was life changing! Many colleagues discouraged me when I first told them that I will go on my own since they fear for my safety and that I might feel lonely. But when I was there, I never felt threatened nor lonely. The people I met and befriended at the hostel where I stayed were also solo travelers (both men and women) and listening to their stories inspired me to work hard so I can save enough money and conquer foreign lands on my own in the very near future.

    • Hi Anne, that is a perfect how great an experience and how empowering solo travel can be. Especially for a woman. It shows, that it can be done and that is all not such a big and dangerous deal. Thanks for sharing. I think Boaracay is the perfect place for a first solo trip. It has a good infrastructure and it is popular, so chances to meet fellow travelers are high. You did the right thing staying at a hostel as this is the best way to get in touch with other travelers. Even though comfort might be less than in a resort, the social factor is unbeatable and still love it I have to say. Good on ya Anne, I really like that story of yours. Keep it up and good luck for your next travels. Philipp

      • I totally agree when you said about how great and empowering it is especially for women. I’m glad that solo traveling for all genders are becoming popular in my country since you know that Filipino parents are quite protective of their daughters. I booked my trip to Boracay without even asking permission first from my parents. I did it so that they will have no choice but to let me go since I already paid my airfare, lol. My mom even talked to me the night before my trip that she won’t let me go out again on my own because she fears for my safety. Nevertheless, I convinced her that I had a great time and that I was so happy doing it that it will become my thing forever, hehehe. Of course, I will still travel with my loved ones but I will do solo travels more frequently.

        Good luck on your next adventure and keep posting more beautiful photos and helpful tips!

        Anne

    • Hehe, so you tricked your parents…. But glad it all worked out and that you had a great time. That is really good to hear. And from my experience, even when traveling alone, you are never really alone. You can often meet people and make new and interesting aquaintenances. It just opens your horizon to meet people from different countries and with different backgrounds. Traveling solo will open that door for you. Yeah, so keep me updated about your next trip. Would love to hear about it … Cheers, Philipp

      • I did, lol. It was a coward thing to do but I’m glad that they didn’t get angry. Like you said, it turned out well and my parents are now more open to the idea of me traveling solo. I am planning to go on another solo adventure before 2014 ends. I’m not yet sure where to go but I am leaning towards Ifugao to see Banaue Rice Terraces or to go to Siquijor and enjoy its clean beaches… But whatever happens, I will have fun 🙂

  32. MSP

    This made me convince to travel solo. I booked a flight to Bangkok on my birthday week. And I might go to Bali as well to spend the New Year. I’m challenging myself to be more sociable and adventurous. Looking forward to meet fellow travellers and interact with the locals. Thanks, man! This is awesome!

    ps: Excited to jump on the highest cliff in Siquijor. Will be there next month to meet my friends.

    • HI Michael, glad that you found some inspiration for your solo travel here. I really appreciate your feedback. I think you will have a great time…let me know how it goes and if you liked it at all. All the best and happy travels….

  33. carlo

    Hi phil!! Can you give me some tips specially on budgeting haha..because im planning to go solo in el nido and its my first time .. thank you 🙂 godbless

    • Hi Carlo, can sure do that…but what exactly do u wanna know? Like what to do, where to go or how to budget?

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