Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

What do you actually DO when your travel alone? Watch

    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Fusion)
    It's worth noting that people differ in terms of their levels of ex/introversion. For an extrovert, the need to be around people would make the idea of solo travelling quite off-putting, understandably. And lets face it, there will be many periods of loneliness, despite some great sociable hostels and stuff.
    Actually, I really think you would need to be to some extent an extrovert to be able to do it and have the best time you could. I would consider myself an extrovert - that's how I was able to put myself out there and take social risks that led to salsa dancing with a group of randoms from a hostel and Parisians by the Seine in Paris, for example, or joining up with a German and an American I'd met that morning for day trips to visit ruins in Greece, for example. But I'm an extrovert that is very comfortable with my own company as well.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Really, you just need to be happy in your own company some of the time and not completely socially inept to be able to get the most out of travelling solo. I think a large number of people meet both those criteria. I wouldn't particularly say I'm an extrovert... whilst I don't find it that difficult to converse with people and I do enjoy meeting new people, I definitely love my alone time though and would find myself getting a little frustrated if I was joined at the hip with people all the time. I like my space and find that being alone for large portions of time allows me to fully contemplate things and absorb the experiences of being in a novel environment. I think often a lot of things can pass you by when you're wandering about deep in conversation with friends...
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    Yeah easier to fully experience the place you're in and meet people if you're going on your own... plus every single decision becomes a compromise when you're hitched to a travelling companion.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Malkmus)
    I like my space and find that being alone for large portions of time allows me to fully contemplate things and absorb the experiences of being in a novel environment. I think often a lot of things can pass you by when you're wandering about deep in conversation with friends...
    Absolutely. In fact, I found that the time in which I actually was on my own while travelling alone was only just enough time to fully proccess everything that had been happening to me and all the new sensations, thoughts, experiences.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by goewyn)
    There's a tonne of fabulous stories as well

    I'd never had to face any racial issues, but as for being a comparatively vulnerable young who knows no language other than english, I was always fine.
    (Original post by Lizia)
    Why not put some effort in and learn a language? If the main thing holding you back is being scared of being in a foreign country and not speaking the language, that's a pretty easy thing to resolve, with a bit of effort! Depending on where you want to travel, there's usually one main language which will get you by alongside English, and you'd be fine. For example, if you want to travel around Europe, having French and English would mean it would be very rare for you to come across a scenario where you couldn't make yourself understood if necessary. Most countries have a good enough command of English that you can find someone who speaks it well enough to help in an emergency. Even if you won't be able to chat to locals, you would be able to find help if you needed it.

    Most countries in Europe aren't particularly racist. Or at least, they wouldn't be racist to your face, which sucks, but at least it means you won't really understand them. To be honest, even in countries which are intolerant of Arabs/Eastern Europeans/black people who come to LIVE in their country, most are perfectly respectful of foreign tourists. Italy and France are both pretty intolerant of black people and middle eastern looking people, but that's generally because they have stereotypes of poor people looking to live in the country permanently and either commit crime or undermine the 'European' way of life. If you're clearly a tourist from a rich country, they won't pay you any attention.
    Hey, nice of you guys to reply!

    Language isn't actually my biggest problem, I'm almost conversational in Spanish and could maybe get by in French or Italian at a pinch. I just threw that in there. No, I'll be honest, the truth is I don't want to travel alone because yes I'm black and yes I'm a girl. A girl on her own is normally a target. And considering that I've even experienced problems with my race just travelling in the UK on my own (outside major cities), I'm kind of expecting that other countries which have worse stereotypes will be well, worse. My friends who are in the exact same position as me have kind of confirmed this too... yeah there are loads of positives, but do they outweigh the negatives? I don't know.

    But saying all that, I'm slowly being convinced to go for it- wanna see the world man!
    Online

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by goewyn)
    Actually, I really think you would need to be to some extent an extrovert to be able to do it and have the best time you could. I would consider myself an extrovert - that's how I was able to put myself out there and take social risks that led to salsa dancing with a group of randoms from a hostel and Parisians by the Seine in Paris, for example, or joining up with a German and an American I'd met that morning for day trips to visit ruins in Greece, for example. But I'm an extrovert that is very comfortable with my own company as well.
    I still think a solo backpacker would have an above average level of introversion. That's not to say an introvert/solo traveller is anti-social, because they're mostly not, but more less dependent on other peoples company, and less inclined to participate in small talk. In fact, the nature of travelling is probably more prevalent amongst introverts.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Dijobla)
    Hey, nice of you guys to reply!

    Language isn't actually my biggest problem, I'm almost conversational in Spanish and could maybe get by in French or Italian at a pinch. I just threw that in there. No, I'll be honest, the truth is I don't want to travel alone because yes I'm black and yes I'm a girl. A girl on her own is normally a target. And considering that I've even experienced problems with my race just travelling in the UK on my own (outside major cities), I'm kind of expecting that other countries which have worse stereotypes will be well, worse. My friends who are in the exact same position as me have kind of confirmed this too... yeah there are loads of positives, but do they outweigh the negatives? I don't know.

    But saying all that, I'm slowly being convinced to go for it- wanna see the world man!
    I'd just like to say that I think it'd be a total shame if you chose not to travel alone simply due to the colour of your skin and it definitely makes me feel uneasy that this is actually a factor in your decision (so I can only imagine how it makes you feel!). I hope you just go for it and I hope that in doing so you meet loads of fantastic people that completely blow away any of the negatives you do encounter or have encountered previously. I met so many kind and generous people on my travels, and I'd like think (and I honestly do) that they would have extended the same courtesy to you. I think if you travel with an open mind and heart, you'll be amazed. And yes, you're always going to run into the few idiots or ignorant people but that is pretty standard regardless of the colour of your skin! I say go for it, I don't think you'll regret it!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    you enjoy it !!, hopefully you can meet some people at your hostel, tag along, maybe find a cheap tour/bar crawl

    travelling alone is a great experience
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Fusion)
    I still think a solo backpacker would have an above average level of introversion. That's not to say an introvert/solo traveller is anti-social, because they're mostly not, but more less dependent on other peoples company, and less inclined to participate in small talk. In fact, the nature of travelling is probably more prevalent amongst introverts.
    Okay, p'raps I'm a noisy introvert. That makes sense, actually
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by goewyn)
    I travelled for four months around Italy, Greece, the UK, France and Spain, and had the most amazing time of my life. I wandered though - had a loose idea of where I was going, and didn't book anything in advance. Ended up in sticky situations occaisonally when the weekend came round and it turned out every hostel and hotel in a town was booked out, but it was worth it for the flexibility.

    The flexibility meant that if you found a place with cool like-minded people to hang out with, you could stay there longer. Or if you found yourself in a dodgey YHA hostel where everyone was giggling groups and didn't mix properly, you could piss off the next day. I had so many wonderful experiences with companions on the road. You have a freedom to be so much more yourself without the trappings of your context and established personality weighing you down.

    I also had a number of interests I was pursuing while I was away so I never got bored or felt at a loss for what to do - writing religiously in my travel diary (as in, recording whole conversations and stories, etc), visiting ancient sites like ruins in Greece and stone circles in Ireland, visiting free art galleries and classical music performances in Paris and Venice.

    Just go for it, you'll be fine.
    You did this all by yourself? I have such admiration for you
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Dijobla)
    But saying all that, I'm slowly being convinced to go for it- wanna see the world man!
    Go with a friend the first time, get your travel legs, and then if you want to you can go solo another time when you're a veteran
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Olivia_Lightbulb)
    You did this all by yourself? I have such admiration for you
    To be honest, I sucked at it for the first couple of weeks... But after that, the exhilaration and the sense of independence and of knowing your own capabilities makes you feel like you could take on anything *reminisces*
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Dijobla)
    Hey, nice of you guys to reply!

    Language isn't actually my biggest problem, I'm almost conversational in Spanish and could maybe get by in French or Italian at a pinch. I just threw that in there. No, I'll be honest, the truth is I don't want to travel alone because yes I'm black and yes I'm a girl. A girl on her own is normally a target. And considering that I've even experienced problems with my race just travelling in the UK on my own (outside major cities), I'm kind of expecting that other countries which have worse stereotypes will be well, worse. My friends who are in the exact same position as me have kind of confirmed this too... yeah there are loads of positives, but do they outweigh the negatives? I don't know.

    But saying all that, I'm slowly being convinced to go for it- wanna see the world man!
    Well like I said, most racial prejudice comes from people worried you're trying to scrounge off their country and cause trouble. I've rarely seen tourists get any racial abuse, even if areas pretty well known for it. People in the UK might see you as a scrounger or whatever, because you are (in their eyes) 'invading' their country, as it were. I don't know if I explain this well, but 'immigrant' and 'tourist' provoke very different responses from people. Your status as 'tourist' will outweigh your status as 'Asian' or 'Black' abroad. As a non-white tourist, you might get more stares but that's more curiosity than racism. I mean, only 3.5% of the population of Italy are non-European, and in more rural areas the number is nearer zero, so you're going to attract curiosity, much as I did as a blue-eyed-blonde in China.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by goewyn)
    Is one's own company such a boring thing? That's a bit saddening. Trust yourself.
    Shame it isn't, that people feel they cannot do anything on their own without it being boring.

    To be honest I like being on my own most of the time. That's one of the things I love about travelling, just being free to do what you want without having to worry about others. I spend a lot of nights out seeing sights & taking night shots plus having dinner. By the time I get back it's usually pretty late (by late I mean 8-9pm). Then I'd usually stay up for an hour or two watching movies / listening to music. Then I'd go to sleep ready to get up early the next day (6-7am). I spend the vast majority of my time out alone just exploring & taking photos, because that's what I enjoy doing most.

    I mean there are plenty of opportunities to meet people if you want to. Breakfast, dormitories, transport, communal dinner (in some places especially in Europe), tours (especially in the Middle East) all provide opportunities to meet people.

    Whether you want to be alone, or you want to be with others, there are plenty of opportunities to do either.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by impossible!)
    Travelling alone seems to be a prospect on the cards for me for the rest of the year. I dont really care about travelling alone. Id rather have a companion but that's how it goes. The thing that I keep thinking is, so id get there, go to accomodation and then...what do you do? I want to take some photos and stuff but that occupies little time. Anyone have any 'a day in the life' sort of things of what you would do when travelling alone?

    Thanks

    EDIT: Yeah ok I did the title wrong, acknowledgement here!

    Typical day for me when I was travelling solo:

    Wake up: eat some breakfast in a common area where there might be other people to bother ... read through the guidebook, pick somewhere to go.

    After breakfast - head out... see sights/do activities

    Late afternoon - return... chill out for an hour or so

    Head downstairs have a few beers... get chatting to a few people

    Potentially go out with them/go out the following day sightseeing with them


    *Seriously don't worry about travelling alone. Travelling alone can be so amazingly random sometimes. You meet literally hundreds of people... your paths cross and then you go your separate ways or if you're lucky you end up with a travelling buddy. Mind you, having a travelling buddy is my idea of a nightmare. I ended up having this ***** of a French girl travelling me with me from central China all the way up into the North West; a journey of about 10 days. It was hell, I seriously wanted to MURDER her by the end of it; in the end I told her how I was getting fed up, so I abandoned her in Lhasa and took a flight back to Kunming. Never heard from her since

    It's really easy, there's always plenty to do and see.

    It's also flexible because sometimes travelling can get exhausting and you might wanna have a 'chill out' day where you sit around munching ice cream etc
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    Travelling solo is amarzin'. You make your own decisions, no one to hold you back. I miss it so so so much. The majority of the people I met were awesome (and you learn so much about the world from them), admittedly some of the people were complete dicks but that's life. When I was settled in one place for a few days that's when I had the best time. Formed quick friendships with people and went out drinking with them like I would with any of my friends from home. Couple of these people I then travelled with for about 2 weeks, which turned out to be unsolicited jokes

    Typical day for me:

    Get up about 9am, grab some breakfast and then shower etc.

    Between 11am and about 3pm I would find ways to kill time. See the sights, sometimes I'd simply wander around the area exploring the streets/markets/shops.

    Late afternoon/evening - Get talking to other guests at hostels and you're guaranteed company for dinner. Few beers later, ready to head out and enjoy the local night life. Literally some of the best nights were spent in random shacks (that claimed to be clubs) on the side of roads. Usually stumbling back at about 3/4am (Females aren't recommended to do that) . The Reggae Reggae Bar in Chiang Mai springs to mind if anyone has been there

    On the nights I didn't go out I sat in the communal areas of the hostel reading a book or talking to other travellers.

    Don't try and squeeze too much in, you will exhaust yourself. I got all temple'd out in Thailand in the first few days. Have days where you don't do anything except read and drink coffee. I covered so much country in the first 5 days then I looked back and I hadn't really taken any of it in because I tried doing too much. Learn to live life at a slower pace.

    The low point for me personally was the travelling between places. 12-22 hour bus rides/train rides overnight, very hot, not much sleep and even when I did sleep I still felt exhausted when I got off the other end.

    I learnt how to kill time really effectively. When you have* to spend 12 hours in a train station waiting for the connection, you learn to entertain yourself.

    *You could go and explore, but I had a rucksack with me and it wasn't a particularly good area.

    Don't plan anything, you won't follow it. Have a rough idea of when you plan on catching trains and stuff but other than that take each day as it comes. You'll get invited to go sight seeing with fellow travellers, you might even decide that you want to stick with some people you meet and move on with them.

    End of massive post.
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    I have travelled alone before. I really wanted to go to Vienna, but none of my friends wanted to go. I had a great time there. The key thing is to be organised in getting a guide book and an idea of what you want to do. In a way, it is better than being in a group because you don't have to go to the places others in your group want to! When I went to Berlin with mates, we eneded up spending ages shopping (girls :P) and I got up early one morning to do the Reichstag tour on my own.

    You need to be comfortable with eating/drinking on your own -obviously a club isn't on the cards, but in the evening if you're in a hostel or whatever, I still suggest you go into the city to soak up the ambiance. Obviously, from a safety perspective, you also have to be more aware. One tip: put a local currency note into your shoe. That way, if somebody steals your wallet, you've got enough money to get back to your accommodation without too much hassle!

    It also depends on your personality: I'm one of those people who can entertain themselves -I like to have a lie down on my bed in the hotel in front of the telly for 40 minutes or so when I've arrived, then I tend to go for a walk round to stake out the locality etc. Other people need a regimented structure or they go mad. Still more can't be bothered to do anything unless someone else is there with them.
    Where are you thinking of going?
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    I went to New York, I was only there for a weekend and on the 2nd night I'd made friends with the author of Jarhead and had a lock in in a pub until 7am. I'd also met David Blaine and done a stand-up gig. That was a strange holiday in many ways.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by impossible!)
    Travelling alone seems to be a prospect on the cards for me for the rest of the year. I dont really care about travelling alone. Id rather have a companion but that's how it goes. The thing that I keep thinking is, so id get there, go to accomodation and then...what do you do? I want to take some photos and stuff but that occupies little time. Anyone have any 'a day in the life' sort of things of what you would do when travelling alone?

    Thanks

    EDIT: Yeah ok I did the title wrong, acknowledgement here!
    I'm in exactly the same position, I guess you could try getting to know some of the locals your age but that would be pretty awkward to start off with...
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Will you be richer or poorer than your parents?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.