Here we go with number three of my Q&A series. This time, I am answering all the frequently asked questions about travelling alone (for the first time).
I always get so many questions from friends, strangers, other travellers or follower on Instagram, so I wanted to answer them all and help new travellers to feel more confident, safe, get inspired to travel themselves and help them plan their own journey.
- Q&A – Backpacking Australia
- Q&A – Work & Travel Australia
- Q&A – Solo Travelling
- Planning your own Work & Travel Year
- About being an AuPair
If you have further questions or topics you want me to talk about, please feel free to message me on Instagram or comment down below!
I really want to create more content that is helping, informing and inspiring my readers/followers, so if you have any ideas or interests that you are interested in – tell me!
But for now: let’s get started…
How is it like to travel alone?
I love it! It is so much fun to feel free to do exactly what I want without making compromises. It is so easy to meet people in hostels or on tours and here and there you are lucky to make some real friends for a lifetime. You never have to be alone if you don’t want to but you still always have the chance to spend time by yourself and do what you desire.
In Perth I had some days where I felt lonely and just not myself… but that’s alright.
Do you feel lonely sometimes?
Since I started I only had one week where I felt a little bit down, lonely and homesick and that was in Perth after my cousin left me and my parents were about to come and I didn’t find many nice people that I really connected to in my hostel. I also wrote a blog post about my feelings at that time called the downside of travelling alone.
And usually after I have to say goodbye to travel mates and friends that I had an awesome time with, I get a slight feeling of loneliness and it is a little bit weird to be alone again, but that usually disappears after a while.
Is it easy to meet people (even when you are shy)?
I would say yes! For me, it depends on the situation and the people if I am shy or not, but I would say it is super easy to meet people when you live in hostels.
In your hostel room, in the kitchen, TV room, sitting area there are fellow travellers everywhere that also want to meet other people and even if you are shy but just smile and look friendly there will be people talking to you and starting the conversation. Or you can start it yourself by just saying “Hi, how are you?” or asking a question. You will get more and more used to it and it gets easier every time.
I also found it super nice and very easy to meet people when you do a bus tour with a small group for a few days. Because you have to stay together for several days it is a lot easier to make friends because you actually have time to get to know them and you also are kinda forced to talk to each other as you are travelling together. With my three tours I did so far, I was always very lucky with my travel mates and met some nice people.
Are you scared of travelling alone sometimes?
I am not a person that gets scared easily and until now I’ve been not in a situation that really scared me. Obviously, there were some moments that I didn’t felt completely safe walking home alone or being in a surrounding that doesn’t feel completely safe, but you also have those moments at home. Overall I would say Australia is a very safe country and you don’t need to worry a lot. It is definitely a great place for females travelling alone or travelling alone for the first time. Usually, you are in bigger cities/towns anyways and the hostels are in animated and busy areas.
I also experience so many great situations where people asked me to help me, told me what to do and how to stay safe and in general Australians are so nice and helpful.
Easy questions for first conversations:
- Where are you from?
- What are you doing in Australia?
- How long have you been here?
- What are your plans?
- What have you seen so far? Where have you been so far?
- Are you travelling on your own?
- What are your plans for today/tonight?
- How was your day?
- What do you do at home/what have you done at home before you left?
Those are the easy questions you basically ask and get asked as a traveller EVERY TIME you meet people :D Can get annoying, but it’s fun at the same time, especially when you get over these basic questions with someone and have real conversations. Another funny thing is that you usually ask very late what his/her name is because it doesn’t matter that much and you meet so many people and can’t remember all their names anyways :P
How do you get to meet/talk to people?
- In your hostel room. Just say hello to everyone in your need room, smile and if you get a friendly response and a real smile back just ask one of the questions above t start a conversation
- In the kitchen. When you ask to get a kitchen tool after they are done using it or tell them that their food looks/smells yummy you can easily start a conversation and sit together while eating after cooking.
- In the common area. When you sit down with your food next to someone/at the same table, smile, say hey and if you get a friendly response/smile back you can start a conversation
- On Tours. Because you are travelling for a few days together, it is a lot easier to find friends here because you are kinda forced to talk to each other and get to know one another. When you meet at the bus ask where they are from or see what the situations bring you. Oftentimes the tour guide also makes everybody to introduce him-/herself.
And you will see that oftentimes the other person is just as willing to start a conversation and starts him-/herself. Especially when you are travelling alone and other people are together or in a group they will start a conversation because it is a lot easier for them than for you as a solo traveller. And when you are shy to do the first step, better choose another person alone than a group/couple because that makes it less scary.
Why Australia and why on your own?
It’s hard to exactly say what made me do all this. There were several reasons behind it, but the biggest was that it just felt right. I felt the urge to go travel on my own after school and Australia called me.
Other than that, Australia is a warm and sunny country which I love, it is big so it makes sense to explore it in one year and really see many places (for example New Zealand can also be done in 2-3 months, at least that’s what I think), the nature and animals are completely different than in Europe or wherever I’ve been so far and it’s supposed to be a very good country for travelling solo as a female for the first time when you are still very young. It is also pretty popular for travellers, so you can easily meet others, find jobs as a Backpacker and travel around.
When I was thinking about my gap year I was always seeing myself doing whatever I want, not being with someone and when I started to get more into it and read amazing experiences and advantages solo travel has I knew, I want to do this on my own.
Why do you love and recommend travelling alone?
Because you learn and grow so much as a person
- You learn to be confident,
- to make your own decisions,
- stop being shy and practice talking to strangers
- getting life experiences that will help you your whole future life
- meeting many different people from all around the world
- you will get to know yourself and your own character trades more
- making friends with new people and some will be part of your life forever
- you get to see the world and culture more intense and maybe even differently
- you can do whatever the hell you want to without having to make compromises or justify it
I love travelling with my friends or going on vacation with my family. But solo travel just has such a special feeling to it and it changes and lets you grow even more than travelling already does.
I can only recommend everyone to try it themselves! It’s special, it’s an adventure and it will only have a positive impact on your life at the end (even with a bad experience you will learn something).