I believe travelling on your own is something that everyone has to do. Cheesy as it sounds, the experience changes you completely. Of course I understand the idea of just jetting off to a foreign country with a different language and culture can be pretty daunting but there are ways to enjoy independent travel without being completely alone.
Two years ago, after college, I decided to take a gap year because I wanted to explore some of the beautiful world we live in. At first the plan was to travel with a friend but unfortunately it didn’t work out but I wasn’t ready to waste my gap year just waiting around for someone to travel with so I took matters into my own hands.
After a recommendation from my mum (also a seasoned traveller) I looked into the group tours offered by Topdeck and Contiki. I decided that for my first trip I didn’t want to go too far from home and I would feel safe travelling in a group with people of my own age. So I settled for one of the longer European tours Topdeck offered (Winter Expedition) and jumped in. And I can tell you it is probably one of the best decisions I’ve made.
Doing your first bit of ‘solo’ travel with a group really gives you confidence to travel alone as you mix with the other people on your trip (for me it was all Aussies except one Kiwi) while also having free time to explore on your own or with your new found friends.
My 28 days in Europe were amazing and once I got back I was keen to book my next trip away and since I’d meet so many Aussies on my tour I decided that was the place to go. So I booked my flights and started my 7 weeks of solo travel around the great Oz. I decided fo this trip that none of the trips offered by Topdeck or Contiki took in everything I wanted to see so I created my own itinerary which included completely solo travel and group tours allowing me to enjoy time alone as well as meet more new people. Another great thing about meeting the people I did on my first trip was that I had people in various places around Australia I could contact either for accommodation, to show me round or just for my piece of mind as a contact.
So to anyone who has ever considered solo travel but has never quite felt brave enough to take the leap, just do, you won’t regret it.