Solo travel is probably one concept that we often hear a lot about. From Instagram influencers, to travel show hosts, everyone seems to be raving the idea of traveling to at least one destination alone.
To be honest, the idea does sound adventurous but also quite intimidating.
Thus, we reached out to two of our favourite solo travelers to have a chat about their experiences so far, and what led them to the solo travel journey. Here’s what we found out!
Masuma Somji masuma_somji
Having traveled 13 countries and 59 cities in a span of just one year, Masuma is one of our favourite solo travelers from Tanzania.
Her Instagram feed with candid pictures, and beautiful backgrounds from across the world, gives us serious travel inspirations. We had a short chat with Masuma to learn more about her incredible journey and here’s what we learnt.
Tell us a little about yourself, and what inspired you to become a solo traveler?
We always learn about ourselves in relation with our environment. To learn more about ourselves, we need to explore our environment a lot more!
The best way to do that, is to travel! Meet people, see new things, experience cultures, and break your comfort zone!
And, this what I decided to do. A journey to find myself, got me traveling solo on a very tight budget. Working with an amazing interior furnishing company in Dar-es-Salaam, loving my job and yet not feeling fulfilled; I decided to go venture out in this unknown world and see where it takes me and how long I survive.
It has now been almost a year, and while I have faced hardships, cried, felt lonely, and confused. I have also experienced the most amazing things! I have laughed more openly, faced fears, made lifelong friends, learnt important lessons and most of all learnt about myself.
After a year of travel, if someone asks me about my plans, I say… “I am as confused as I was, But i have better stories to tell!”
That sounds like a very liberating journey! Do you have any tips to share with our readers who wish to travel solo or explore similar paths?
Definitely, traveling solo can either be the most liberating experience or most difficult journey! Some tips that I always recommend are:
– Hostels are your way to go. Not just economical, but I’ve met amazing people and made lifelong friends in hostels.
– Be open to experiences – not everyone in this world is out to hurt you.
– Trust your gut. If you feel something is off, move away!
– Spend time with yourself as well as with others. Both are important.
– The off-beat path makes the best stories. Don’t be afraid to explore things that other people haven’t done.
– Use local transport. It’s the best way to get into a local culture, understand their ways, find amazing people, and most of all it’s the cheapest!
Sati Ghadvi satis_planet
Having traveled to 9 countries as a solo traveler and 20 cities, Sati started her solo travel journey after her twins started their college. Today, she aims to travel further and explore places she never had before. Here’s what we learnt about her journey.
What inspired you to begin your solo travel journey?
My solo travel journey started when I realized my twin daughters are going to go off to college soon and I’m going to be left with an empty nest.
How does one cope after 18 years of being a mom to the realization that they are gone and now I have to find my identity?
Thus, one day, I packed my bags and decided to travel, meet people, see places and share experiences. The one ‘Aha moment’ that changed my perspective was when I decided I wanted my life to be about experiences and not things – that’s how solo travel became my soul travel.
Solo traveling can be really intimidating for some people. Any tips that could help make the journey easy for aspiring travelers?
The only thing you need when travelling is the will to adapt to different situations and a bit of money of course. But it doesn’t have to be a lot of money.
There are many low-cost options for accommodation nowadays, be it Airbnb, hostels or even couch surfing.
The best way to experience a city is by using public transport. Take the train or bus, try walking where you can, and enjoy each and every experience to the fullest.
Try out the non-touristy places to eat. Find the local markets and experience the culture of a country. That way not only will you be spending less, but will also learn about the world more organically.
Take a cooking class or a language crash course in a foreign country. Stay in a local family’s home or have a meal with them, it gives you a completely different perspective about the world.