People often share their desire of travelling solo with me and I always get so excited for them because I know how amazing it can be. Travelling with friends and loved ones is great as you can share memories, but you may find yourself in a predicament where you want to travel and but you have no one to go with! Or even simply, you want to have different travel experience that is based solely on your interests. I found solo travel to be freeing and allowed me to meet people & experience things that I may not necessarily have had the opportunity to have if I was travelling with someone else.
My solo travel experience began whilst I was living in South Korea. During my first vacation, I travelled to Malaysia and Singapore with a friend, however when winter vacation came round, I knew I would be moving back home and Thailand was one of the places I had always wanted to visit. My friends all had different ideas for their winter vacation so I knew that this meant I had to go alone! You can read more about my trip to Thailand here. Since then, I have travelled to Japan, Busan, South Korea and Copenhagen alone.
After a superb couple of days in Krabi, I boarded a plane to Chiang Mai in the North of Thailand which was known for its markets, elephant camps, temples and general laid back vibe.
I arrived at TR Residence to find that it was everything I had imagined and more! Although I arrived earlier than they anticipated, I was still checked in. Whilst I waited for my room to be prepared, the guest house owner provided me with a map and showed me how to navigate around the city. I also booked onto a tour that consisted of a half day elephant camp experience, hike to a nearby waterfall and bamboo rafting.
After settling into my room and having a quick nap, I went exploring around the town. Walking through the streets of Chiang Mai, there was certainly had a different feel to it (apart from the cooler temperature).
So carrying on from where I left off, Krabi was my next stop. Checking out was smooth, but I met an old British man who insisted on walking me to the bus stop. As a novice solo traveller, I was still quite weary as he offered to carry my back pack. I politely declined and off we went to the bus stop as he told me about how he found himself living in the south of France with his wife. He also insisted that I visit a few places in Chiang Mi. I boarded the bus to the bus terminal where I met sisters from America that were couch surfing. Couch surfing was something I had heard about but I was surprised that people actually had the guts to do it. Females especially!
Back in January, I embarked on a trip to Thailand – alone. Solo travel is something I’ve wanted to do for a while but I never had the guts to do it until after living in South Korea for some time. I find it frustrating when I want to travel somewhere but I can’t find someone to go with, so I felt like it would be nice to be able to just up and go. So it just happened that I wanted to travel to Thailand and no one else wanted to.
I had read so many blogs of people that travelled alone and I felt inspired and excited to also experience the things they did. I wanted to explore and get lost, meet new people and to just be free to do as I pleased.
I tried to ensure that I planned as much as I could to ensure I felt prepared and organised. This meant forwarding my flight itineraries to my mother (just in case someone needed to know my whereabouts), making copies of my passport and cards, pre booking hostels and transfers if needed. I also made sure I was aware of the culture and customs of Thailand so that I didn’t end up in any trouble!
I headed to Seoul the day before as my flight the next morning was quite early. I stayed at a pretty cool guest house which was walking distance from Seoul Station. However, the room was literally an expensive shoe box but it was only for one night! I met up with some friends that were living in Seoul that evening which was nice and it took my mind off the fact that I was about to do something totally outside my comfort zone. The next morning, before boarding the first leg of my journey to Kuala Lumpur, I actually bumped into a friend who happened to be on the same flight! Although we sat separately, I took comfort in knowing that I wasn’t alone until it was time to depart to our final destinations. Then I was truly alone and that’s when the real fun began!