When planning a solo trip it’s easy to get caught up worrying about what it will be like to visit a new place on your own. To push past those fears and get to the heart of what makes solo travel so great, we reached out to some real life solo trip takers. Here’s what our followers had to say about their own solo travel experiences and reasons why traveling solo with Pack Up + Go makes so much sense!
For our second “Solo Travel Week” story, we thought we’d take advantage of our followers’ experiences and ask for their thoughts on traveling alone as a Millennial. Here are some of their tips for having the best trip possible!
Taking a trip on your own can seem daunting, but the experience of traveling alone is well worth the risk! If you’re warming to the idea of taking a solo trip or if you’ve already planned one, knowing what to pack can make the process seem a lot less scary. Juliana, our City Research + Media Content intern, puts her solo travel tips to use to bring you our list of essentials for the solo adventurer!
As people, we are innately gluttonous for human interaction—touch, dialogue, validation, competition, all of it. We continue to innovate avenues of communication in an evermore hyper-connected, almost borderless world divided today only by native tongue. Inevitably so, we’re seldom alone.
Isolation in the truest sense of the word is coveted, but to actively seek detachment seems unusual—to want to be alone in a society where even selfies are deliberate manifestations of our thirst for public response, where blogs are broadcasted memoirs and where the epitome of Twitter negates all claims of oblivion.
To delete social media is one thing; to travel far and forlorn is another.
For me, it’s my medication and, at the same time, a cyclic, unabated addiction. I’m forever tempted by and homesick for places I’ve never been—usually no place in particular because I travel not to go somewhere, but to go.
Perhaps most of us are apprehensive about traveling unaccompanied because a significant minority of the news in our feeds is forbidding. We live in a world inundated with paranoia, in an age where terrorism is rife, insurgency is endemic and a spate of pandemic diseases claims lives. We’re reluctant to leave the cities of our comfort because we’re perpetually paralyzed by the “what if”—and because it’s easier to read about places to which we’ve never been and people with whom we’ve never engaged from afar. So we succumb to our fears and we don’t travel much, if ever alone.
I’m an extrovert. I’m a shameless blogger, an opinionated journalist, a loudmouthed podcaster. But I’ve always had an insatiable curiosity about the world that feeds my impetus to travel all alone. And, likewise, my travels whet an abiding curiosity. I first opted to go in 2012, when I left the States for, ironically, the second time. I’d spring break-ed in Mexico the year prior, though it wasn’t the journey I craved then, but rather the all-inclusive resort and limitless tequila. I’ve since danced in the Sahara Desert with nomadic drummers, shared meals in Southeast Asia with refuged sex workers whose names I never learned but stories I’ll never forget, sacrificed sheep in remote tribal villages of North Africa, protested at kissing rallies in the Middle East, hiked volcanoes of Central America and tangoed below the equator.
I used to tell myself that I should just go, with or without company, because if I rely on anyone else for my plans to come to fruition, I’ll take on their dilemmas as my own. And I never wanted to forgo an experience over an excuse that doesn’t belong to me.
But I’ve recently realized that that’s not the only reason I travel alone. Our responses to cultures and opportunities are too often molded and, consciously or subconsciously, tempered by the company we keep. I want to be unhindered by my friends’ fears or apprehensions, unconfined to their itineraries, unrestricted by their budgets. I want to see what I see, not what we plan to see. I want to do whatever happens not what we’ve agreed to schedule. I want to feel discomfort in a room congested with strangers. I want to learn their stories, indulge in flavors I’ve never tasted, practice religious customs I’ve never understood, dance to rhythms I’ve never heard.
To read the rest of Re’s article, visit her awesome blog here!
Spring is right around the corner, meaning folks are ready to come out of their dens and do some exploring… Have you been thinking of taking a solo trip, whether it’s for spiritual or personal reasons, or just taking a break from work?
Numerous factors will shape where, when and how to travel solo, especially when you are tight on time, money, or have no clue where to start. Everyday some 102,465 flights take off around the world, and according to the U.S. Travel Association, international travel is one of America’s leading exports. The choices aren’t overwhelming at all…
Deciding where to go should not be stressful and complex, though. Since returning to the U.S. after growing up in Asia, I’ve become a big proponent of traveling, exploring, and experiencing the thick — the real fiber — of my own country and its kaleidoscope of subcultures. This natural curiosity has granted me amazing group adventures — like the The Millennial Train Project and meaningful experiences with Americans across the country.
The real surprise, however, is that I’ve enjoyed many U.S. cities “flying solo.”
Have you ever ventured to the opposite coast or headed to a border North or South of the U.S.?
Here are four reasons to discover America on your own time, terms, and agenda this spring:
1. Dive into our diverse history: From visiting the slave quarters of Mount Pleasant, SC and the Cuban culture of Miami, to the pilgrim houses in Boston and Japanese-American internment camps in California or Hawaii, you’ll see for yourself the many treasures that still stand as tributes to our becoming the greatest nation on earth. Seeing it solo is a powerful way to connect with your heritage, intentions and goals as a global citizen of the world.
2. Experience our awe-inspiring geography: Forests, seas, mountains, caverns, deserts, rivers, lakes…the U.S. has it all. Our country is known for it’s 58 diverse national parks (some even accommodating to the solo traveler). The lesser-known, preserved outdoor regions give you a chance to unplug and roam the paths in solitude.
3. Indulge in regionally influenced, palate-pleasing food: Given our melting pot history, wherever you go, you’ll delight in regional cuisines that send the palate on a magic carpet of tasting adventures that cannot be rivaled. Some of my “stuffing my face favorites” are: Japanese restaurants of San Francisco, CA and New York City; food trucks of D.C. and Austin, TX; and “fusing” multicultural restaurants bolstering the economy of cities like Atlanta, GA, New Orleans, LA and Colorado Springs, CO.
For the rest of this article and for more inspiration, head over to Lauren’s blog!