This is our second publication of our Solo Travel Series.
We eagerly introduce you to Eliza, a solo traveller with an ardent interest to travel around the world. She enjoys exploring different places and we are happy to feature her in our Solo Travel series.
We posted a few questions for her to share her solo travel experiences and her wonderful journey. In the interview, she has shared some essential tips on solo travelling which are helpful and interesting. We sincerely hope that you will like reading about her amazing life and her future plans. She is an inspiration for many who love solo travelling or who are still in a dilemma to venture into solo travels.
Enjoy reading the second episode of our Solo Travel Series – Interview with Eliza.
Interview with Eliza
Which was your first solo travel destination?
After college, I bought a one-way ticket to Chiang Mai, Thailand and booked a month-long TEFL certification course. The day after the course ended I got a job teaching at a local elementary school. I rented a little studio apartment and biked to work every day for 8 more months.
How many places have you travelled solo?
Thailand for 9 months and Australia for a month, plus a few segments of my adventures in Europe and Kenya were solo.
Share your solo travel experience
When I solo travel, I typically sign up for a few itinerary items. That intentionally brings me into a group of new people. In Thailand, I started my trip with a month-long TEFL certification course. It equipped me with my first “batch” of friends for the next 9 months. In Australia, I went on a hiking tour with all new people from Melbourne to Alice Springs. A few others were solo travellers too, and we really bonded (and four of us went skydiving for our first time ever). The tour group was named Intrepid. I spent a lot of the month on my own but it was great to forge some connections too.
What are the essential things one needs to take care of during solo travels?
When I travel alone I make sure that I send my “as is” itinerary to my family and closest friends. They can see where I'll be, but of course anything can change along the way. During the trip, it's essential that I check in with myself, mentally. I feel now is the time to enjoy long, chatter-free hours to reflect on my life- my past, and where I'm going. I bring a journal on all of my trips, and update it religiously on long bus rides. Also I paste my ticket stubs in there too, and it becomes a kind of collage. I do go back and read these journals. The ones I keep from my solo trips are always more interesting and in-depth than when I have travel companions!
How is solo travelling different from travelling with family or in groups?
Perhaps there were too many trips with friends, family or partners. I felt the need to break away and do my own thing. In fact, I needed quiet time to take in my surroundings. I wanted to think without somebody's commentary disturbing my thoughts, or someone's fatigue interrupting my wish to keep going (or alternately… Somebody's high energy cutting into my nap time!).
I do enjoy travelling with others, and have carefully cultivated travel partners who do it like I do. My friend Lindsay is one of my favourite adventure buddies because we have so many common interests. We are highly respectful of each other. In Fact, we are great at saying to one another, “Hey I need some alone time- I'm going off on my own for a few hours, see you at dinner time!”. I also love to solo travel because I can be in whatever mood I'm in, and I'm a terrific self-soother. I can get myself into a positive headspace a lot faster when I'm alone, vs. in the company of others.
My self-talk game is A+, and I'm my own best cheerleader. This was particularly handy last fall, when I went to Australia by myself for a month. I was processing a difficult life event. And didn't want to feel pressured to be in a great mood around others. I needed time and space to let sadness mix in with the joy and wonder of the adventure. It was an even richer trip as a result.
Do you have further plans for solo travelling?
Yes! I've missed the reefs. I would like my first post-pandemic trip to be a dive trip (I live for my SCUBA trips). Well, I do like to travel with a buddy for those. I don't love being buddied up on a dive with a stranger! However, I am also feeling pulled to do a totally different post-COVID trip that's solo. I'm thinking of a long US/Canada road trip with my dog Petri.
Who or what inspired you to venture out on solo travels?
My dad doesn't give a second thought to month-long, cross-USA road trips by himself. He'll visit friends and family along the way. Sometimes my stepmom will fly out and visit him for a segment of his journey. But he spends plenty of nights and long hours on the road by himself. I'm wired the same way. If I announce that I'm going off by myself to explore a faraway corner of the world, Dad is the first to congratulate me. It's refreshing to have a father who condones rather than cautions my adventures.
I'm not currently a travel blogger, but I am a professional organizer by trade. I find that there is a strong connection between helping people to own less, and loving to travel. My own work with clients inspired me to love minimalism and spend more of my money on adventures, not things.
I hope you have enjoyed the second part of our Solo Travel Series. Please follow Eliza on her social media connects to be acquainted with her professional journey and achievements.
Article on a month-long solo trip in Australia: https://www.simplicana.com/adventures-in-small-packages/.
Facebook is https://www.facebook.com/Simplicana.