How to Stay Conscious While Traveling During a Pandemic

Now that more and more destinations are re-opening their doors to tourism this summer, fall, or winter, all of you travel lovers feel it coming again. That travel bug. That little voice in your head saying, no, screaming: I want to travel!
As seen in my previous interview about the future of travel, it will look a whole lot different. Unfortunately, since we’re still in a pandemic, there are many things to be considered prior to boarding on your next flight to the first re-opened touristic destination. So not click on “confirm booking” yet, not without these travel tips and hacks.

Why Travel Now?

What Is the Real Reason?

First of all, take a look at why you want to travel now. Why do you want to leave the country? Why do you want to go on a trip? We all have deeper meanings buried under our prior motivations, so feel free to ask yourself the same questions a couple of times: Why?

For many, this can be: an escape from home. Seeking a silent, calm place. Maybe you have had enough tranquility at home and you want to spread your wings and seek adventure. Or maybe, you’ve had to endure a lot during this time and you just want to cool off and blow off some steam somewhere on a tropical location sipping margarita’s under a beach umbrella, without your screaming kids running around the place. We all have our different motives, so take a moment to decide on that.

Make Your Trip Great

Intention Is Key

Setting an intention for your next trip is key to making sure you know what your want and you will get what you want. If you just book the first destination that re-opens, but it doesn’t give you what you want, you’ll end up getting disappointed and not fulfilled.

Next, you’ll want to think abut what you want to get out of your trip. Again, is it peace? Is it adventure?

When you set an intention on what you want to get out of your trip, it’ll be much easier to stay in that frame and really have a great vacation that gives you what you need.

Choose The Right Place

Jot down a couple of destinations that come to your mind first when you think about your next trip (you know, the ones you’ve been daydreaming about and seeing daily in your Instagram-feed), and think about what activities or surroundings you want to be in.

Do you feel like hiking? Or do you want to go to the beach? If you’ve read about a destination that is re-opening their doors soon and you’re eager to visit it, you can try this in reverse: will this place fulfil my needs? Greece is opening their doors mid-July. Which island would be best for you? Since there are so many, they each have their own culture and character. It’s important to not get caught up in an impulsive deal just because you’re so excited to travel again.

Think about the consequences

For Yourself

Take health and safety measurements

Make sure to carry enough face masks, gloves, hand sanitiser, etc. You never know when you might need extra ones on your trips. And normally, yes, you should have access to them everywhere in the world by now, but you never know when these items could be sold out in the nearest pharmacies or supermarkets. I’m not saying you should bulk up – please don’t -, but just make you have enough at least make it to your hotel.

Also, think about your mental health: do you feel good about soon traveling again? Are you ready for it? Do you realise the risks, and health and safety precautions you have to take? And are you willing to do this? Seeing the world so empty and abandoned, walking around with a face mask and stepping into this new reality can feel overwhelming. Take a moment to check in with yourself and decide whether or not you’re ready for this.

For Our World

Research Your Destination

Follow any mandatory requirements 

This is super important: no matter where you go, make sure to look up the local health and safety precautions. Not only of the destination itself, but of your journey towards it, too. It most airports, it’s mandatory to wear a facemask. Make sure you’re prepared for this, even though if you’re traveling to an abandoned place and won’t need a face mask.

Tink about purchasing a travel health insurance so you’re covered in all cases. First, check with your normal health or travel insurance plans and see if they are already covering this.

For Others

Take precautions and keep yourself to the rules regulate by the local government. This starts the moment you leave your home.

Don’t be scared to talk to people: you can still have interesting connections and meetings while on holiday. Keep your distance and mask on at all times to protect not only yourself, but people you come in contact with as well.

Remind yourself it’s about the physical part of social distancing, not social distancing itself. Don’t be afraid to start a conversation with someone. Just because you’re both wearing face masks and keeping distance, doesn’t mean you can’t communicate with each other. We are still human beings who needs to connect with each other, and that’s a wonderful thing we should never stop doing.

For the Environment

Now that we stopped producing, ravelling and polluting, the earth is cleaner than ever before and is healing. Be conscious of the way you travel: can you travel by a more eco-friendly way, such as a train? Some airlines offer to recompense your ecologica footprint and with a small contribution, you can help them recover the damage of pollution.

Start Planning

Stay Up-To-Date

Take a look at what destinations have re-opened or will re-open soon. This is, of course, a crucial part of your travel planning. Grab your list of destinations you wanted to visit and see if any one of them has already communicated their opening date.

Travel Deals, Travel Deals Everywhere!

Make use of the flexible cancellations policies, waived fees and low prices before they go up again. Maybe you had a cancelled trip and you received a voucher: this is your perfect shot to get back your money’s value!

Airlines

Make use of the flight deals, hotel deals and other vacation deals while they last. A lot of travel companies. Check out this link for an overview of worldwide airline deals.

Star Alliance, which has 26 airline loyalty programs to offer, has made this page to check out all the Coronavirus updates of each airline member program.

Hotels & More

Here are some hotel chains that have updated their loyalty programs or extended their cancellation policies:

IHG (Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Intercontinental,…): extended cancellation policies, a new rate and the ability to upgrade faster to a higher teer level and keep your points valid longer than usual

Miles & More: mileage bargains, in addition to alternative ways to earn and redeem your Miles

Marriott: extended cancellation policies for all guests

Hyatt: flexible cancellation an extension of their member programs for all members globally

Tip: if you’re not sure on traveling yet, but you want to start saving loyalty points, you can always check out the credit card services of these loyalty programs. Often, you earn a monthly amount of points when you spend a certain monthly amount with the credit card. That way, you can shop from home and start saving up for your next trip.

Be Gentle With Yourself & Others

Travel is a tool we use to relax, to grow, to connect, to experience, to taste, to wonder, to go outside our comfort zones. The longing for travel is in our human nature. 

As this time is unseen, it can be very difficult for some. Keep in touch with yourself by journalling through your travels: write down everything that’s on your mind, no matter how small or how big.

Count On Your Support System

Ask someone to be your support system when things get rough 

Whenever you feel uncertain, anxious, of frightened by the situation, rely on your support system. Ask for the help of your close and loved ones to support you and guide you whenever you might feel like it.

Count On A Professional

We all need someone who motivates us, who encourages us, who supports us, no matter what.

A certified life coach, or license therapist or a type of counselor can help you with that.

In these uncertain times, it’s natural and logical we are in need of some vacation. It’s important to set your intention for this new trip and to be clear with yourself on what it really is you are looking for. That way, you make the best out of your getaway. Next, it’s always crucial to follow health and safety precautions, wherever you go. Take advantage of travel deals, waived cancellation fees, and lowered prices now that it’s still ongoing. And finally, count on a support system to be there for you when things get rough. It’s normal to feel lots of different things now, and it’s even more important to deal with them on a healthy way.

Lately, solo travel is hot. Fierce, independent and courageous women and men have been all over social media sharing their solo voyages. It makes you wonder: is solo travel something I should try? We are all different interests, experiences and priorities. It might seem difficult to make that jump into solo travel. There are lots of benefits of solo travel, and you deserve those too.

Although there are many advantages about heading out there all by yourself, to clear things up, I’ve listed some easy ways to get into solo traveling. I think everyone should have the opportunity to travel around and try out solo traveling. But it’s easier said than done. In this post, you will find six small steps towards solo travel to help you become more comfortable with being out all by yourself!

1. Go to the Movies By Yourself

« The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. » – Lao Tzu

And yours is a trip to the movies. It’s a perfect way to get out there and do a solo activity in a comfortable environment (read: snacks, sofa’s and your favorite actor included), so why not give it a try?

2. Go to a Restaurant/ Bar By Yourself

This second step is a bit more challenging. When I first started solo traveling, heading out to eat in a restaurant solo was a bit weird- not for me, but for other people. Apparently, asking for a table for one isn’t something they hear everyday, but why should that stop you from doing it?

Eating out by yourself is great because you can treat yourself to a nice dinner so you’re instantly rewarding yourself for gathering all that courage! Plus, you can enjoy a dinner in peace by yourself and fully focus on the delicious food – extra advantage: you don’t have to share side dishes and that break basket? All yours!

Pick out a nice table, maybe close to others who are also out solo. Or you could go to a cool bar and sit at the bar! You can start a chat with the bar tender and everyone who passes. This is a great way to get to know people yet be remained at your own cool spot.

3. Travel in Your Own City

Now let’s go on a real trip. A lot of people don’t see their domestic cities as fun or cool or vibrant. Often, this exciting feeling of going out in your own city gets lost after living there for a while. Try to open your eyes: what are some cool places you haven’t visited yet? What attracts foreigners to your city? An exposition, a museum, a park? Try to find attractions in your city that match your interests and this time, skip asking a friend to join you and head out solo.

4. Travel in Your Own Country

Let’s move to a bigger scale! Now that you’ve been exposed to being outdoors by 2 and you might have been on a little trip (depending on how big your city is), try to think about your home country.

It’s the perfect time to wander around a place without a plan and to just get lost in a destination. I find that one of the many advantages of solo trips: you have the freedom and peace to discover things on your own and wander around on your pace.

I’m positive that all countries have their specialties and uniqueness to offer. So think about what makes your country so special or what is a cool place you haven’t been to yet. Often, the capital is full of life and cultural sights, so why not go for that one? Or, if you’re more into peaceful vibes, head out to the coast side of your country, or ( if there is none), the mountains or any other natural sight!

If you’re not sure what you’d like to do or see, make a bucket list. You can answer questions like: What do I love to do in my free time? What makes me smile? What gives me excitement when I think about it? What is my dream destination? Why?

5. Go on A Solo Trip

Now let’s take it to another level! If you’re feeling confident enough to head out solo on a trip, go for it! Choose a country that matches your bucket list and get to know your perfect destination. This is a hard one, because we all have so many. So the next best things to do is to book your trip on the right timing. Get those offers and best prices and make that jump!

It’s important to think about what destination suits you. For more tips on how to do that and make that big decision, check out my previous article with tips on how to choose your perfect destination. Further on, another thing you might struggle with is finding time to travel and actually go on a trip. Again, finding time is all about making priorities: read this on how to make time to travel.

6. Go on A Group Trip

If you’re not so confident about traveling solo yet, you can opt for a group holiday. That way, you don’t have to worry too much about arranging everything about your trip and you get to know so many new people instantly! Remember you are a part of a group, a team, and you’re all there to make unforgettable memories and to discover amazing destinations.

If you’re in between a group trip and a solo trip, check out special formulas companies like the variety of Contiki offers: you have the freedom to head out yourself yet you are a part of the group whenever you want to.

There are many ways to start travelling solo, close or far away from home. We’re all different and the fun part of solo travel is that you can do it completely on your own way. No obligations, no rules. Only pure freedom and adventure! So if you’re still doubting if solo travel is your thing: start with small steps and begin your journey of a thousand steps.

The loneliness of the expat is of an odd and complicated kind, for it is inseparable from the feeling of being free, of having escaped.

This quote captures the feeling of being an expat perfectly . You are free. You have taken distance from your life at your birth town. Yet you are alone, on a quest. A quest to a life full of adventures, discovering new cultures, traveling, meeting new people, learning, falling and getting up. It is not that different from a normal life based in the same village as your family and friends. It’s just that you have come to the realization that life will end one day, and you want to make the best out of each and every day and life your true purpose.

Phew, that was kind of heavy. Let’s discuss in a more lighter way how the life on an expat is made up. It has been since February 2018 since I last spent an official night as resident at my parents home. After that, I lived in Barcelona and Lisbon. I took a chance, started a new life. Twice. And what I have learned from this, in this relatively short time of period, is beyond what I could have imagined.

You Get To Know Yourself More

Being an expat, living on yourself in a new environment in a new country, you automatically get to know yourself more. You know what you can handle and what you can’t. You discover new interests, new hobbies, new habits, etc. I myself became more strong and spiritual while living in Lisbon. I never liked doing any kind of sports, but here I love devoting my time to yoga. Everybody’s experience is different, of course. But you get to know your habits, your addictions and your needs.

You Blossom Up & Find Your True Purpose

Because you have no outer distractions or influences or other people around you – whether it be family, friends or a lover – you can do completely what you want to do. It’s like solo traveling – you get to do what you want thus you take your chances to try out new things. While trying these new things, you meet new people, you experience what you like and what you don’t like and you can move on with that knowledge.

“Stepping out of that comfort zone is scary. Challenging. Frightening. And the best thing that can happen to you.”

You Gain Independence

Living on yourself or sharing a house with (an)other person(s) causes you to be more independent. You clean, clean up, do groceries, manage your life and household; you know how to take care of yourself and build up your own life. This is important knowledge everybody needs in their lives. To be able to take care of yourself on your own is the most important thing you can learn.

Loneliness & Homesickness Is Inevitable

Even if you build up your own life in a new country, surrounded by glorious self-love, friends, maybe a lover, an amazing job, there will always be missing that one part: family. You will be homesick and you will miss your family and friends at home. That’s natural; how can you not miss the most important people in your life? But that is what makes the visit to home that much better and fulfilling. And the moments when you cherish these people and memories, will give you a feeling of gratitude because you realize you have these amazing people to miss.

Being An Expat Opens Up Your Mind & the World

Let’s continue with the most wonderful advantage, and maybe the reason why you became or want to become an expat: discover the world. Explore new cultures. Not as a tourist, but as an expat. By living somewhere, and truly mixing in that culture, you will gain experience about how that culture truly is like. It opens up your mind: you are open to new experiences, like learning that new language, getting to know all about the local food, music, traditions, and so on. And hereby comes the realization of how big the world is (and that you should explore as much as you can).

You Are Open To New Experiences

Imagine living at your parents’ village your entire life. Would you try new things? Things that scare you? Would you eat new kinds of food that you never heard about before? Would you learn a new language, not by an online course but by really speaking and hearing it? Your answer is probably no. In your comfort zone, you are safe. You are comforted. Stepping out of that comfort zone is scary. Challenging. Frightening. And the best thing that can happen to you.

When you are living abroad, you don’t mind trying new things. And that is healthy – us humans have to be open to new things, it’s good for us. That’s how you learn things in life. I wrote a list of all the things I learned during my time as an expat, and I probably didn’t write it all, but the list is long. And it is only getting longer. Not just language or culture-wise, but also personally. If you are an expat, I suggest you to do the same. It is mind-opening to see how much you’ve learned during a period.

So don’t be afraid. Go after your dreams. Step out of your comfort zone. Whatever your dream or aspiration in life is: go for it. Because the world is big and there is a lot to discover. I hope you have a clearer image about the life of an expat and what my experiences are.

Solo traveling has become a huge trend amongst us youngsters in the last few years. After the phenomenon of backpacking, a lot of people decided to rewrite the travel rules and go on an adventure on their own. Solo travel, in others words. Whether its a luxury trip, a backpacking trip, or a citytrip: exploring new destinations on your own is inevitably a trend in tourism as we speak.
A big and important part of solo traveling is having confidence. And, in order to have confidence, you must be well prepared and comfortable with your decisions. Confidence starts within. In order to reach this point of confidence and secureness within, let’s discuss the most common questions regarding fears, worries and doubts about solo traveling.

Why should I solo travel? I am perfectly happy with going on trips with friends and family.

If you are wondering why you even should start with solo traveling in the first place, then I kindly redirect you to firstly read this post.

Welcome back. Now you know why you should make that jump, you feel more challenged, right? Are you ready to go on an adventure? Are you ready to connect with yourself more?

Solo traveling can be an eye-opener for a lot of people. Some find peace and calmth, some find adventure and challenge, some find a deeper meaning of life. It is personal and that is what makes it so special. While solo traveling, you can make your own choices. You are free. Free to do whatever you want, whenever you want. Do you want to socialize? Or live as a monk for three weeks and leave behind your social life for a while? It’s all up to you.


I feel really unsafe and insecure about solo traveling.

First of all, you wouldn’t be the first one. The concept of solo traveling is all about taking a jump into the unknown, broadening your horizons and taking a leap of faith. In other words: it’s a just-go-for-it experience. It’s about fueling your courage, empowering the adventurous you and giving no power to your fears and doubts.

Confidence start within, but it continues on the outside. For me, having the biggest part of my trip planned means that I am confident about my trip and the external factors of it. I am sure of my accomodation, flights and my travel itinerary. When you exclude the external factors that could give you any worries or stress, you immediately feel more secure about your trip and the adventure you’re going on. Or, you could also book a trip with a travel company in a group. Then, you’re also solo traveling, while being on a guided trip where everything is taken care of for you.


“I don’t know where to go, all on my own.”

The most important thing is to start with yourself. Think back. What are the places you really want to visit? The things you really want to do? Write down a bucket list of the things you want to achieve and do in your life. Are they linked to certain destinations? More tips about where to go on a solo trip you can find here.

If you are looking for a safe travel destination (especially for solo female travelers), then check out my top five of safest solo female travel destinations here.


“Is traveling alone boring?

The only one who can give you the answer to this question is you. What you get out of your vacation is whatever that you put into it. Happiness and fulfillment come from within.

To make the best out of a solo trip, you can write down the following list and answer it honestly. The answers to your questions already came from you.

  1. What makes me happy?
  2. What do I love to do in my free time?
  3. What makes me feel good?
  4. How does a perfect day look like to me?
  5. What do I want to do in my life? (Bucketlist)
  6. What do I want to see in my life? (Bucketlist)
After writing this list, check off as much as you can during your trip. Do things that make you smile, that give you fulfillment, or that scare you but that you always wanted to try.
Whatever you decided about solo traveling, I hope that you are happy with your choice and that you look forward to your (solo) trip. Because it is, after all, a vacation and you should enjoy it to the maximum.

Traveling is a wonderful treat you can give to yourself and others. Going on an adventure or discovering a new destination never gets old. In many cases, you may already know which destination to go to. We all have that “dream destination” in our minds. But maybe you don’t. And then what? How do you know which destination is perfect for you to travel to? How do you know which destination suits you best?

Let me provide you with some tips that help you choosing your perfect travel destination, so you can enjoy your holiday to the fullest. We’ll figure your perfect destination out, together, using the W-W-W-W-H method (Who-What-When-Where-How). If you specify these points, you’ll get a lot closer to pinning down that place on the map.

Who would you like to bring on this trip? (Who)

In order to find your perfect travel destination, you have to make a decision about who is traveling with you. Is it nobody? Perfect, less hassle, more independence for you. Are you traveling with friends? Sit with each other and discuss the others needs, wants and availability. Are you traveling with family? Idem.

Communication is really important in the process of planning a vacation, and it is uttermost important that you discuss important factors with your fellow travelers. Even small details, like a preferred airline or accomodation type, can change your entire getaway. If you’re having difficulties finding time to travel in a group or even with yourself, then check out my tips on how to make time to travel.

What do you want to get out of this vacation? (What)

What is your main reason for traveling? Maybe you want to discover a new culture, city or language. Or you’re more the adventurous type that likes to go into nature, pack your backpack and go hiking for a bit. Maybe you want to relax and lay at the beach all day. or maybe, you’re the type that likes to get both out of a vacation: go to an interesting place and relax. Yin and yang, as they say.

If you decided this for yourself, than you’re making your quest for the perfect travel destination a whole lot easier. Do some research about the best beaches, for example, or the best hiking trails or cultural cities. Write them all down.

Which climate do you feel most comfortable in? (Where)

After you made this list, you can specify more by selecting the proper climate. This is a really important one and it requires some research. Because no matter when you go to a certain country or city, their climate can be a whole lot different than yours.

Do you want a sunny location? If yes, what is the maximum temperature that you could handle? If you’re going hiking in the mountains, what is the minimum temperature that you’d like to find yourself in?

Always prepared about any changes that this climate can bring, such as diseases or insects that can harm you.

After deciding on which climate you would like to find yourself in – cold, tropical, moderate,etc. – remove the destinations from your list that do not meet this requirement.

Which period would be best suitable for you to travel in? (When)

This is a really important filter. The date. You should check with different parties to have the perfect period to travel in. Is anybody traveling with you? When are their days off? Or are you traveling solo, and are you looking to find time to travel? Another helpful source is my previous blog make time to travel, where you find tips and tricks to pin down that travel date.

After checking off possible date(s), see which destination would be suitable to visit during this period. For example, if you want to go hiking on a trail or go to a beach that is closed during that time, you might want to find another destination. Cross out the destinations that are not suitable for your availability.

How would you like to travel? (How)

Last but not least: transport. How do you like to travel? Catching flights is my favorite. Get comfy in an airplane, put on that airplane mode, have some me-time, get served food and drinks, and fly with your favorite airline. There’s nothing better than a nice flight to start your trip with.

But maybe you don’t like flying, or the flights are overpriced, or the people you are traveling with are afraid of flying.

Whatever the reason may be, there are so many transport options these days. Bus, train, car, boat, you name it. If you want to do some island hopping but you don’t want to fly in and out or take the ferry all the time, you can consider a cruise.

If you’re planning on doing the yin and yang vacation (beach and city), a car may be a good idea, so you can drive to places you would like to visit and you have the freedom to visit any beach in your surroundings. If you’re traveling solo and you want to do a full city trip, public transport is your go-to!

Take your list of destinations with you and investigate on how to get there. If it’s overseas and you’re afraid of flying, check out alternates like cruises or an overnight boat. There are so many ways to travel nowadays. Find your way and make the best out of it!

The most important thing is to follow your heart. If you have a dream destination in mind, go for it. If not, the world is so big, I’m sure you’ll find the perfect travel destination for you after applying the W-W-W-W-H method. Save travels, adventurer!

Traveling. Getting on that airplane. Catching flights. Breathing in a new culture and country. That fulfilling feeling of adventure and jumping into the unknown.

Many of us love to travel. Especially if you’re reading this. I see you! The difficult things about going on a holiday? Budget and time. If you’re struggling with planning a vacation within a budget, read my tips here. If you’re struggling with finding time to travel, keep on reading then!

Make Yourself A Priority

Start at the beginning. Who wants to travel? You? Or your friend(s)? Or a spouse or family member?

If it’s just you and you are waiting on somebody to make time to join you on your trip, then leave that. Just plan your trip, since you want to travel so badly. Take a look at your budget, the flight tickets and availability of your desired accommodation. Next, compare it to your vacation days. When can you take a weekend/week/month off? The same goes for when you are the plus one. If you notice your friend really wants to go to a place and you don’t have the time/money/motivation to go with them, let them know. For the sake of all travelers out there, don’t keep us waiting.

The more, the merrier

If you are planning on going on a trip with somebody or a group, but you are struggling to plan dates, here’s what to do next. Firstly, ask around when everybody can take off to go on holiday, if somebody already used all their vacation days or they have a busy job and they have a strict schedule, ask them to request days off in advance and plan your trip later. If you really want the person to come with you, first make sure you’re all on the same line and with the same availability. Next, discuss a budget, and put it all together in one account.

Side note: I recommend to use Revolut. It’s an online bank where you can create a credit card in a second and opt to use a vault. Everybody can put money the credit card and put it in the vault or on the current account. Then, when you are traveling, pay all the common expenses with this card so it’s fairly divided.

It comes in extremely handy when you are traveling because it gives you the best currency rate possible. Plus, they offer a travel insurance that was better than my original one! I used Revolut for all my trips and I am a happy customer. And no, they didn’t ask me to write this.  

If you’re more of the “we’ll see what happens”, you can opt for an app that divides everything you spent. But you will divide it later on, so somebody will have to take the big bill into account first.

Maximize Your Vacation Days

As I already mentioned, vacation days are an important factor if you are looking for time to travel. Maybe you don’t have time in the weekend to go on a trip. I get that. But play it smart then. Plan you vacation days in advance and get everything out of it.

Take a look at the upcoming bank holidays. If there’s a holiday on a Friday, plan the Thursday. Like this, you put one vacation days and you win four days. Hello, city trip!

If there’s a holiday on a Thursday, same rules applies. Get that Friday and enjoy your 4 days off. Or put the Wednesday and Friday and enjoy 5 days off while only losing two days. It’s all about being smart!

Plan Beforehand 

If you are wanting to go on a big trip of a month or two weeks and you are struggling with finding time, don’t panic. It’s all about planning. A big trip like this has to be planned in advance.

Firstly, make sure you have flights available on those dates and you have enough budget for it. If you really want to go to a certain Airbnb, hotel, hostel, etc.: also check that availability. Because since it’s for a longer period of time, it’s less evident to guarantee an availability for the whole period.

Secondly, request a holiday for that period. Since you’re planning it way in advance, it shouldn’t be a problem. Plus, you get the flight tickets at a normal rate and not at a higher rate close to the departure date.

And finally, don’t forget the important details about your trip. Vaccinations, a visa, a credit card, travel gadgets; you will thank your future self for planning in advance and being prepared. You can read all about preparations and gadgets that will help you here.

And there you go, off to your next destination. I’m so proud of you. Fly, discover, live, enjoy.

I was 19 years old when I set foot in an airplane, leaving for my first solo trip.

I was 20 years old when I went on my 6th solo trip, 6 times zones away from home.

We can conclude that the travel bug bit me – in a maybe slightly disturbing way. But that is not the subject here. Because what about you? What is stopping you?

Why should one go solo travel, you might wonder?

Let me sum up the most important reasons one needs to go solo travel at least once in a lifetime.

You gain independence

Let’s start by the beginning. You arrange everything yourself: you plan your trip, you saved up for tickets, you take leave at your job and you just go. Doing things on your own and taking care of your own requires independence. You are fully in control. You have to take care of your own. There is no family member or colleague or friend to assist you. You have to figure out things all by yourself. And that is where the fun begins. Because that is when you get to make mistakes and learn from it. That person you asked for instructions became your friend. The flight attendant whom you spoke to about your travels, gives you tips and invites you to a night out. The life begins. All because you gain confidence, courage and  independence to live your life.

You gain strength

Going through an adventure alone strengthens the mind and spirit of a person.

You miss your family, lover and friends, but that makes you realize what you really have in life. Because you are separated from your normal life and the persons in it, you start to appreciate it so much more. And you become more grateful for everything that life gives you.

Mentally, you become more reliant on yourself and stronger as a person. You learn more about yourself and you trust yourself more.

Another important factor is that you broaden your horizon. You gain more courage and the true adventurer inside you steps out to the front.

You overcome fears, because you are out of your comfort zone.

When I was in South-Africa, I was so afraid to go hiking on the huge Table Mountain. After I collected all my courage and I did the hike, I felt like I was standing on the top of a mountain. Literally and figuratively. It was an accomplishment that I was proud of. I had became more stronger and had overcome a big challenge.

And that feeling, standing on the top of the mountain, is something we all need to have at one point in our lives.

You gain knowledge

Cultures, stories, languages, food, people: they are all part of new discoveries in your travels.

The moment you set foot into another country, you can smell it’s air, observe the people, learn their ways of communicating, dancing, eating, etc.

You learn about so many wonderful places, events. Your eyes won’t believe what they see.

And again, because you are alone, you have to figure things out alone. Every time you do that, you learn something new. All the mistakes I made traveling solo, I immediately transformed into lessons and learned from them for the better.

You gain life experience

After you travel solo, you have been through a lot. You can be very proud of yourself for accomplishing this trip. You have witnessed beautiful moments, made a lots of friends from around the world, maybe learned more about a language, a culture, etc.

You can become a travel expert and knowing the world little by little.

You learn about stories of people and you will share memories with some you will never forget. And you can be proud of yourself, because this is your accomplishment, your independence, your life.

So I invite you to try solo traveling at least one time in your life. Be the best version of yourself. Experience your moment on the top of a mountain. Be bold. Go solo travel.

More moments. More world. More life.

The subtle wind brings you the smell of a salty ocean while your feet sink deeper and deeper in the soft sand. Every step brings you closer to the warm and beautiful Mediterranean ocean.

Palm trees cast a pleasant shadow over your body while you lay your feet in the burning sun. In the background, you hear relaxing music playing softly from the beach bar next to yours.

While resting your head on the soft pillow of your beach bed, your fingers slide through the warm sand while all your worries dissolve slowly.

The water surrounds your body and all the stress and worrying thoughts easily drift away from your mind. With every dive you take, the water becomes more and more pleasant.

There is a strong feeling arising, the urge of staying inside the refreshing and wavy ocean. You never want to leave again.

Thalassophile (n.) a lover of the sea, someone who loves the sea/ocean.

To me, traveling is not about getting to new countries as much or soon as possible.

It’s about the entire journey. Traveling is about the smell of that sweet coffee of the place around the corner you never planned on going to, but is now your favourite place to have breakfast and plan your day.

It’s about that bar two blocks from your residence, where you see all the people you’ve met so far on the trip gathered together, all on one spot, and you are the glue connecting them all together.

It’s about long waiting periods at the airport, but enjoying them and making the best out of it. In the end, you did want to meet new people and be in an international surrounding, so why should an airport be less than your destination?

It’s about that boat ride you took because you wanted to visit another island. That ride that you secretly regret, because all you have been is nauseous. But it doesn’t matter, because you are on a boat. You have the entire ocean ahead of you. Feel the freedom. Watch the boat hitting the waves and creating that endless, bright white foam. Watch out for some sea creatured you might see passing by. Look at the sparkling water and the shining sun and just take it all in.

That’s what traveling is about for me. The small moments, as we call them. The moments you didn’t plan on having or seeing as “big” moments. That fraction of time where you have absolutely no worry in the entire world. That moment where you enjoy. Your journey. That sweet coffee. The vibrant atmosphere in the bar. The waiting at the airport. The boat ride. Enjoy it, every second of it.