Have you got your copy of: You, Yourself & the World yet?
My debut long term solo travel help and advice book is helping people worldwide prepare for future travels (when It’s safe to again) and become savvy solo travelers before even packing their bags.
You, Yourself & the World takes you in a journey deep into long term solo travel life. It provides you with deep insights, realistic tips, practical advice, and answers to 100+ questions, concerns and fears that could change your life.
If you haven’t got your copy yet, It’s ok. Luckily, you have landed on a sneak peak post where I provide excusive access to two questions and answers from the 1st section of the book: Solo travel questions – When It’s just a thought
Although we can’t travel freely at this current time with the pandemic, while we are stuck in our home countries there is no better time to think about and prepare for future travels.
Millions of people all over the world still fantasize and romanticize about just packing it all up, leaving behind the grind of everyday life to explore the world. Whenever that may be in the future.
For many however, as those thoughts manifest into more than just a fantasy fear strikes. All those solo travel questions breeds fear of the unknown which stops so many people from taking the leap.
I was in that same position once. All I could do was daydream about wandering and exploring the world. To begin with the practicality and reality was just unrealistic, somebody like me couldn’t just go traveling around the world. As much as I loved the idea, life stopped me, I couldn’t afford it, I didn’t have the means to do it. I made any excuse under the sun as a valid reason why I could not – It took years to convince myself to actually do it. And I did, back in 2010.
Fear of the unknown
It was only years later I realised the excuses were just fear. It was fear of the unknown because I didn’t have answers to the solo travel questions spinning around my mind. As confident as I thought I was, against the grain and free-spirited, It was the fear of the unknown that stopped me before I built the courage. Our brains are conditioned for what we know, we are creatures of habit no matter how free-spirited or against the grain we think we are.
This is not a guide book, It’s not about what to see or do, and there is no dictating on how. It’s for you to gain a deeper understanding if you are looking to solo travel long term in the future. For those looking to go for a minimum of 6 months. For those of you looking to go traveling for a year, 2 years, or with no end date in mind,.
Solo travel questions when It's just a thought
Q: HOW DO YOU SOLO TRAVEL LONG TERM?
SHORT: However you want to there is no right or wrong way. This is your journey and nobody else’s. It’s the beauty of long term solo travel; you do what you want, when you want, how you want as long as you are responsible and not reckless.
LONG: You are the architect of your own travel design with nobody to answer to but yourself and the laws of the country/region you are traveling through. As long as you are responsible and abide by the laws It’s quite literally when you want, how you want and to your own schedule. Nobody has the right to tell you otherwise.
You have the freedom to travel how you feel comfortable. There are those of you who will try and plan everything to the last detail (not a good idea) and want a rigid structure. There will be those of you who plan just the basics and those who freestyle with no plan or direction. Whichever way you decide is up to you.
In all likeliness though, It’s natural to plan, get guidance, advice and some sort of structure for something as monuments as a first long term solo travel trip. Because it’s your first trip, there is a tendency to over plan and go overboard. We’ve all been there but It’s not a good idea for long term solo travel.
It’s unadvisable because you are traveling for longer periods, you have more time to see and do things at a slower pace. When you do things slower, there is less risk of burnout, you further control your finances and your mind will change more often than not. (We cover this later on in the book)
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that you want to remain flexible and lucid because things will change once you start traveling. Over time you will start recognising and understanding things better. You will know how certain dynamics work and you will know what to plan, and what not to. From this recognition, you’ll develop your own unique style.
Ultimately how you choose to begin is down to you, your personality, your interests and what you feel comfortable with. There is a chance this will get influenced by the people you meet along the line but remember you do not have to follow anybody else’s travel blueprint.
Things you will want to keep in mind:
- Travel responsibly
- Be respectful of others, of cultures, beliefs, religions, the country/region
- Do not look down your nose at locals and think you are better or more educated than them
- Remember you have chosen to travel through their country/region
- You and only you are solely responsible for the safety of yourself and your belongings
- Be mindful of your surroundings
- Abide by local laws, rules, and regulations, just because something is ok to do in your country doesn’t mean It’s the same everywhere
- Use your common sense (Too many first time solo travelers do not possess any and end up getting into trouble)
- Trust your instincts (If something doesn’t feel right then trust it’s not)
- While you do not have to plan if you don’t want to, it’s advisable to do some research beforehand
- Learn a few basic words and numbers to help yourself and with locals
- Get a grasp of local currency beforehand if It’s different to what you’re used to
- Don’t overcomplicate your journey, keep it simple
- There is no need to put too much pressure on yourself
- Take your time, enjoy, and soak in the moments, don’t be in too much of a rush
- Do what you enjoy, follow your interests and not just what you’re told to do
- The lonely planet and TripAdvisor are there for guidance and tips they are not travel bibles and you do not have to do exactly what they say – Try finding things out for yourself
- Realise and come to terms with the fact there will be ups and downs, emotional lows as well as incredible highs and not every day will be an adventure
- Sometimes you will have to dig deep, it can be a grind
- Things will go wrong along the way; you will have to solve problems for yourself
- There is nobody there to look after you, so you’ll have to learn to look after yourself
- Long term solo travel is not as glamorous as what some influencers makes it out to be
- DO NOT BE AN IDIOT!
Q: what is long term solo travel without an end date really like?
SHORT: Gruelling, tough, mentally challenging, incredibly educational, amazing, enriching, and potentially life changing full of unimaginable highs and lows!
LONG: Far too many times things get sugar coated with long term solo travel. Advertising, the travel and tourism industry, countries and mass media want to make it appealing. They don’t want to show you the everyday life, the mechanics or grimy side which may put you off.
For that reason It’s made to be enticing, pretty and appealing to the masses. But the truth is, while anybody can attempt it, not everybody can cope, or handle it in the long run. You will need to develop a mental toughness to prolong it.
Long term solo travel is about taking the rough with the smooth, knowing and accepting there will be incredible highs and painful lows. You can have the most amazing time of your life hand in hand with the worst time of your life. There is no safety net, and responsibility rests solely on yourself. There will be times when it feels like you are not just in an alternate reality but in a different dimension. But there will also be those times when reality does not match the expectation and you’d rather be at home.
Developing a different mentality
Millions of people around the world solo travel short term, hundreds of thousands take sabbaticals or go on backpacking trips for 6 months to a year but far less people can carry it on indefinitely. It’s not just because of financial practicalities it’s more to do with mentality.
It takes having or developing a tough mentality, knowing, or at least learning how to grind it out and sometimes surviving. The question then becomes, “If it can be so difficult at times why do it?” The answer is simple because It can be so enriching, fulfilling and life changing.
As a long term solo traveler you can become a different breed of person:
- You grow thick skinned
- Acquire a mental toughness
- Have or develop Survival instincts
- Constantly developing new skills
- Grow in confidence
- Learn to think, adapt to situations and circumstances on the fly
- Develop the ability to think on your feet
- Learn to take things in your stride rather than panic
- Learn to relax, grow patience, and let things fall into place rather than stressing
- Be prepared for things not to work the way they should and be ok with that
- Become prepared not to prepared
- Become aware of things you had no idea about beforehand
- Be able to dig deep into yourself and show what you are truly capable of
- You learn to understand not every day is an adventure
- Cope and deal when it’s mentally, emotionally and physically draining
- Be fully aware there will be times you miss people, crave home comforts
- Learn to let certain emotions and feelings pass without them dragging you down too much
- Learn to let go and not to overthink things
- While it might not be a life of luxury it will be a life of accomplishment
- See, do, experience things, live a life other cannot even imagine
- Turn your dreams into reality on a daily basis
The exposure to everything you see, do, experience, the difficult times, new cultures, people you meet, can be the best education you have. You have the opportunity to grow and evolve, and it can be the most enriching and fulfilling experience you ever have. So much so, your perception of life can change and become a brand-new person. The way you see life can completely flip, your old life can become an old reality and the journey you go through can become your new reality.
As mentioned in the first question, you are the architect of your own travel design. It will not always be smooth. There will be bumps in the road, flaws in your design, or times you just don’t want to do anything. You may have long periods of time where you make a nest for yourself and do no traveling at all. You may fall in love with a place or a person and settle for a while. If that happens, It’s ok, learn to let go, and go with the flow as see where it leads.
The longer you are away the more comfort you may yearn for, so don’t be surprised to fall into a comfort zone and sink in for a while. But be wary, getting out of the comfort zone can prove to be quite difficult in itself.
Learn what you're made of
There will be situations and circumstances that pop up out of nowhere and out of your control. At first you may panic, not knowing how to deal with it as it wasn’t part of the plan. However when things go wrong or are out of your hands you learn to take it in your stride, because of experience.
Whenever anything goes wrong take it as an opportunity to learn rather than a negative.
A prime example of this is what everybody on the planet had to cope and deal with in 2020 with Covid-19. The pandemic has disrupted everybody’s lives in one way or another. As much as you plan, research and have back up plans you also need to be prepared not to be prepared. Or be prepared for shit to hit the fan at times.
Long term solo travel has the ability to reshape, remould and strengthen you as a person and show what your character is made of. Sometimes things will feel magnified and that is a great thing as it gives your greater access to the problem.
One thing is for near certain – over time you will learn so much about yourself than you ever thought possible.
just a sneak peak of the solo travel questions that are answered for you
There is a lot more where that came from the book.
If there are any specific questions you would like answering, drop me a comment below and I will be glad to answer them for you.
Before you leave though, find out what questions are answered throughout the book in my question listing page which can reach from below.
sections COVERED IN the book
- THINKING ABOUT LONG TERM SOLO TRAVEL
- SOLO TRAVEL CONCERNS
- LONG TERM SOLO TRAVEL (PERSONAL) SAFETY CONCERNS
- LONELINESS/MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH
- MENTALITY SHIFTS/ SPIRITUALITY
- MEETING PEOPLE/MAKING FRIENDS
- BUDGETING & FINANCES FOR LONG TERM SOLO TRAVEL
- MY PERSONAL LONG TERM SOLO TRAVEL ADVICE/TIPS
FIND OUT IF YOUR SOLO TRAVEL QUESTIONS, FEARS, AND CONCERNS, ARE COVERED IN THE BOOK ON THE FULL QUESTIONS AND SECTION LISTING PAGE
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