I've traveled by myself on more occasions than I can count, including Malaysia, Peru, Turkey, Cambodia, Spain, Japan and many others. I've never encountered a problem, but I have learned a few things along the way. Here are some of my tips for traveling by yourself:
- Be forewarned
- Before going to a new country, check out the safety and travel warnings from the US Department of State, particularly safety, visa requirements, and health information. Keep in mind that there is crime everywhere. Keep it in perspective by asking yourself, if the report were about the city I live in, what would it say?
- Find local transportation
- Load Lyft or Uber onto your phone. Sometimes it is hard to find a cab or know how to get a cab in a foreign land, but Lyft and Uber work the same way all over the planet. One or both of the companies are active in many international locations. You don't have to worry about having local currency, or even speaking the local language.
- Stay connected
- Pay for at least rudimentary roaming to stay connected.
- Research activities in advance
- Do your homework ahead of time so that you have a list of activities that you're confident about doing and are reputable. (Most of my activities are scheduled and arranged before I arrive.)
- Be confident
- When you're traveling, give off a very confident energy. (I am not timid and scared, but I also remain humble and open to new people and new experiences.)
- Don't stress about the language
- Don't be intimidated by visiting a country where you don't speak the language. English is the international language of business and hospitality, so checking into a hotel is usually simple. Restaurants can be more challenging, but pointing and gesturing works incredibly well. In many locations, subway maps and street signs are in the native language and in English. Try to arrange most of your activities ahead of time via the web with English-speaking guides. If you learn a few basic words (please, thank you, excuse me), you'll be set!
The best thing about traveling alone? You get to do whatever you want! There is no worrying about other people having a good time.
If you're not ready to travel completely by yourself, sign up for a Bold Food Tour, where you'll have the experience of traveling by yourself without having to travel alone.