Welcome to my next episode of Solo Travel Series. A series I treasure and appreciate. The reason being I am able to connect with solo enthusiastic travellers. The fact I have been into solo travels only due to my profession and that's a compulsion. Never even ventured to travel solo. The courage and passion I observe in solo travellers is commendable and appreciable. Today I am going to introduce to such a solo traveler Deepak Bhatia who nicknames himself “Follow Me Traveller”.
He has visited many countries even been on cruises. His experiences are interesting and fascinating, really worthy of applauds. Besides, you can learn a lot from his interview. Hope you will surely enjoy reading about our precious guest Solo Traveler for today and his stunning travel journeys.
Interview with our Guest Solo Traveler
Which was your First Solo Trip?
My first solo trip was to South-East Asian countries, back in 2016; in which I covered Singapore, Indonesia (Bali), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur & Genting Highlands) and Thailand (Phuket, Pattaya & Bangkok).
Which are the Places you travelled solo?
Travelling solo is equally fun as travelling in the group. You get to know a lot about yourself. Here is the list of countries that I have explored solo –
- UAE (Dubai and Abu Dhabi)
- Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur, Genting Highlands, Penang, Langkawi)
- Thailand (Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Krabi, Koh Samui, Koh Tao, Chaing Mai)
- Indonesia (Bali, Gili Islands, Nusa Lembongan )
- Maldives (Local Islands & Resort Islands)
- Spain (Barcelona, Madrid, Ibiza)
- Greece (Athens, Santorini, Myconos)
- South Africa (Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Knysna, Mossel Bay, Oudtshoorn, Sun city)
- Belgium (Brussels, Boom Tomorrowland festival)
- France (Paris)
- Netherlands (Amsterdam)
- Hong Kong
- China (Macau)
- Philippines (Cebu, Manila, Angeles City, Boracay)
I have had solo cruise trips too
- Dream cruise (Genting dream)
- Royal Caribbean (It was an Inaugural sailing of symphony of the seas – world's biggest cruise, voyager of the seas, mariner of the seas)
- Jalesh cruise (inaugural sailing of karnika cruise)
Please share your solo travel experience
When you plan to travel with your friends or family, it is most of the times a leisure and an easy-going trip. Usually, we prefer to chill, party, and relax. The schedule needs to be according to everyone's choice and preferences. However, travelling solo gives you a chance to plan the trip the way you like, the way you want to explore the city etc. It's all about discovering new places, going on wild adventures, finding hidden gems of that city, getting involved in the local culture, making new friends all around the world, trying their local food, dancing on new tunes, sipping some local drinks.
I am a curious wanderer who always want to try new things and visit new places, and with my very first solo trip, I realized that the real adventure starts when you are alone in some unknown and different part of the world, unaware of the surroundings. Also, the fact that you are going to stay alone the whole trip, you start observing new things and start having conversations with strangers, making new friends.
Your whole perspective changes, the moment you start talking to every stranger you meet on the trip, hotel staff, the taxi drivers, food paddlers or any unknown person you met in a cafe or bar. You gain so much of information, knowledge after being between such people. There are few facts that even Uncle Google cannot tell about a few places, AND that is the power of being a curious soul and exploring everything on your own and making friends on the way. YOU KNOW MORE THAN GOOGLE! Haha
To summarize, I feel joyful when I travel solo because, I know I have not just travelled that part of the country, but lived in that country as a local, experienced the best of things that place has to offer, made memories all around the world, collected the impressive information, and yes now I have people at all places that I have visited and I call them FRIENDS who are more than happy to see me when I visit their city again! What could a solo traveller ask for apart from such warm welcome!
What are the Essential Things you need to take care as a solo traveler?
First let us talk about the frequently asked questions about travelling solo – How safe is it to travel alone?
I want to put the answer across in a very simple manner, there is a basic logic whenever a person is travelling alone – “Be your own hero.”
This simply means the safety and precautionary measures which you take in your own city while moving from one place to another, that same measures need to be taken while travelling alone. For e.g., If getting involved with a stranger person on a street at midnight is not safe in your country, same goes with the place where you are travelling. Apart from that, you need to be vigilant and simply follow the basic principles of that country, research well and you are good to go.
Other things to be considered are:
- Carry a small first aid kit, as you are your own caretaker
- Carry few ‘ready to cook' meals with you. So that in case you reach your destination late or came back late from your daily tours you will not starve or go to bed empty stomach. This also lessens the risk of you roaming alone at odd hours in search for food
- Collect all the emergency numbers for the place you are visiting and save them on your phone for any urgent use
- Always travel lite! A) to save your money b) to save your energy. As you will eventually use the local transport to reach your destinations and if you have heavy bags, this might take a toll on you
- Prefer booking your accommodation in the city Centre, as travelling solo is a discovery mode. So, you must be in the centre from where all the action starts, plus it is safer too
- Do not forget to book ‘a hop on hop off' tour on the very first day of your tour, as it gives you easy and cheap access to stroll all around the city and get more insights about the place
- An active mobile connection is really important. From the very moment, you leave your hometown or take off, make sure you have access to the network when you land too. The reason being using local transport in the new place sometimes gets tricky, so a phone will be helpful in navigation
- Travel insurance is a must
- Drink responsibly.
How is solo travelling different from travelling with family or in a group?
I think I have already explained this in my solo travel experience. To summarize, for me, family and group trip is full of leisure and fun. On the other hand, a solo trip for me is a ‘discovery mode'. Such trips are mean more than just relaxing and holidaying. I would recommend everyone to travel solo just for once in their lifetime; and experience the magic that I am talking about.
What are your Future Plans for Solo Travelling?
Well, I had planned a few solo trips this year too. But of the current pandemic situation, all my plans took a backseat. But whenever the situation gets better I would definitely want to explore; as these were already on my list since 2019.
Who or What inspired you to venture out on solo travel?
It all started in 2015 when I started a small venture of my own i.e., a travel company in 2015.
My passion is globetrotting. I wanted to give the same or better experience to my clients via my journeys and my special curated packages. So, I started to travel more often and started getting hands-on experience about the culture, Places, etc. about each country/city.
However, my first Few trips were not solo, it was with family & Friends. Hence the exposure which I received was very limited.
Not every day is filled with sunshine. Then came a time when the dark clouds above me refused to go. I had few personal bad experiences. But then in between those dark clouds came a ray of hope. A ray of sunshine and the thought of travelling solo came to the rescue; it worked like a medicine for me. There were no second thoughts after that. I simply packed up bag and left my place to discover South East Asia, My First Solo Trip. I will be very honest; the first trip was not as great as I expected it to be, but practice makes the man perfect. After a few experiences, I started to understand the perks of solo travelling; and how it can add more value to my trips.
Later, I decided/ promised myself that I would do solo trips more often. As it has become a therapy for my soul. I also have a dream of celebrating my birthdays in some new part of the world every single year.
Now, in 6 years I have travelled to 21 countries. The experience that I have gained is beyond anyone's imagination; I want to give the same experience to a lot of travellers via my company. So that they can book effortlessly, and travel stress-free to their dream travel destinations. We have 2 offices in Mumbai (India), and a fully functional travel booking website; to help each & every one of you with all your travel needs.
Now what makes us Unique
With time it became a habit to personally visit and explore places, hotel stays and tours to get all the real experience; and exclude the unnecessary before making travel plans for clients.
Feel free to get in touch, and we will always be happy to assist you. PS: The first coffee is on us! 😉
Social Media Handles and Website:-
Website For TRAVEL PLANNING & Travel bookings :
With this, I end my interview with our guest Solo Traveler. I am sure you have enjoyed reading about his travel journeys and travel experiences. Do follow him on social media and his website for travel bookings.
And for the people who really wish to become a solo traveler or are thinking to venture out as a solo traveler; I hope you now know the tips and tricks.