Perks of being a solo traveller and tips for beginners who would like to take up the challenge!
Diana, a 31-year-old Romanian, solo traveller and blogger, has been travelling for approximately 9 years. At the age of 23, she decided to pick up her bags and explore the world through her own eyes.
Where have you been as a solo traveller?
Both a surfer and a hiker, she discovered her passion in exploring Sri Lanka beaches and South American mountains. She solo hiked the Vinicunca from Peru and the Torres del Paine from Chile. At the start of January, she started her 18-day expedition to hike one of the highest mountains in the Himalayas. However, her newfound interest in exploring the glaciers drove her to hike Dickson Glacier in early December last year, whilst for New Year, she went hiking Glaciar Perito Moreno. As a solo traveller, she enjoys meeting new people around the world. In every travel experience she had, there would be something unique and memorable to her.
Although she prefers to schedule her own travels, there are perks in focusing on what she wants to do. “You get used to a certain level of freedom,” and “some people won’t enjoy hiking a 140 km trail in Patagonia from Chile,” she laughed.
Why do you travel during holidays?
The afternoon before Christmas Eve, I had the pleasure to talk to her about her Christmas plans in Ushuaia. This beautiful Argentina location and penguins’ natural habitat was the last destination she was at before heading to one of her new year resolutions. She described her perfect Christmas night in, “I’m going to be right here in Ushuaia, going to buy myself some Argentinian treats, watch Netflix and chill the entire day.” In fact, for the past 9 years, she has been staying Christmas abroad and it has become a Christmas tradition for her.
“No one else wants to fly (on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day),” she shrugged. So unlike everyone else, she takes off every Christmas in search of cheap plane tickets, affordable holidays, and hotels where she can enjoy a nice evening with a margarita.
How do you establish a balance between travels and expenses?
“Look for stuff that is cheap,” and “find good flights well in advance.”
“The place (you pick to travel) is really important.”
She found it difficult and expensive to backpack in London, but in Asia it is different. Speaking from her first travel experience to Cambodia, Diana believes Asia is a good starting point for solo travellers because it is packed with cheap food and affordable hostels. “Apart from that, you get to culturally exchange and share fun memories with people.”
“They love tourists,” she exclaimed, which is different from living in London, “you don’t see tourists and oh my god- tell me your life story” on city streets!
Diana also reminds beginner solo travellers to be mindful of their place. She suggests that other than having the courage to solo travel, they should also be sensible and self-aware of their surroundings.
Remember to “stay safe,” she said.