Wanna go solo and be a lion? Read further…..
Let me start by saying that single travel/ solo travel/ or traveling alone is not for everyone. There are some unique characteristics that YOU need to posses (to a certain extent) to have a successful solo trip. Especially solo travel in Africa is not for just anybody.
When traveling solo it is YOU to take action and you alone. How wonderful was the time that your boyfriend or girlfriend made all the arrangements and was on Tripadvisor all the time to determine the next step on the long journey. No no….not this time. It is the independent YOU that has to make it happen. If you do not organize your next step you will remain in your dorm, tent, or if you are lucky self-contained room. But that is not what traveling is about right?
The good part is that you will learn along the way to be more independent but you need to have some of it to get started.
Apart from being independent you have to have an adventurous spirit. Adventurous can mean many things and does not mean you have to jump off a building or climb the highest mountain. Traveling to Africa is for many already an adventurous endeavor what about doing it alone? Iesh…
No worries my friend – hakuna matata – there are many who did it before you and with less experience. Back to the topic at hand, a bit of adventure has to be inside you as you will explore new grounds where you have never been. Let’s move to the next characteristic.
Being independent and adventurous is not enough. You also need to be proactive to make your quest a success. The days that others were arranging your life is gone. It is you to pack your bag, book a next train or bus ticket, make sure you have enough water for on the way, make sure you know where to find potential accommodation at your arrival, etc. Again while traveling alone you become more proactive automatically but if you are a lazy bum that always waits for others to act forget it. Solo travel is not for you (no offence).
Independent, proactive, and organized have some overlaps but are also distinct features for travel success. Here we are talking about how much attention to detail you have or how forgetful you are. When traveling solo there are no excuses for ‘sorry I forgot that’ If you forget something it is GONE and very unlikely you will find it back. Be organized, know where you put what, in which pocket etc. Part of traveling is moving from place to place and depending on your preference it means you have to move a lot, – vis-a-vis -, packing and unpacking a lot. If you are not organized you will get annoyed by your own inefficiency. Get you act together rafiki (means ‘friend’ in Swahili)
Yes you are traveling alone but correct me if I am wrong, you would probably meet new people and interact with fellow travelers right? I thought so. Although traveling as an introvert person is possible I would say and important part of traveling is meeting new people and interacting with locals to gain that extra insight which you cannot find online or in a travel magazine.
Show interest, try to meet up with people, be friendly, assist if possible. I am not a religious person but I truly believes in ‘what comes around goes around’. Especially in a positive way, if you help people where you can and be kind it will come back to you one way or the other.
This is true for all travel (at least if you want to submerge into the area, culture, people) but even more fro solo travel. If you open up your mind you will experience more and better things. Ok where you are from you always eat with knife and fork. Eating with your hands, isn’t that unhygienic? But everybody is doing it here and I don’t see anyone getting sick. Yes indeed…try it – be open to new things – you might even like it!!
Hello Solo traveler, lion……..are you still there? GOOD!
That means you posses most of the above mentioned characteristics OR believe you will soon. That’s the spirit…keep it up! Let’s zoom in on some of the advantages of traveling solo.
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