The Single Girl's Guide to Travelling Alone
I'm going to start this blog off by owning up to the fact that travelling alone... in fact, doing anything by myself, has not always been something I've enjoyed.
I've spent most of my life wrapped up in co-dependant relationships. I lived in a dorm with 32 strangers during my university days. Then I went and voluntarily locked myself away in a house with 19 other strangers and agreed to be filmed 24/7. In summary, I was happiest when I was surrounded by other people.
In fact up until a few years ago, normal, every day activities such as grocery shopping, sleeping and going to the movies seemed absolutely impossible to do by myself.
But that was then and this is now. And now, I'm a mother fucking independent woman who just took herself on a luxury holiday for 1. And I only cried once.
The benefits of traveling solo are actually endless, and the first one occurred to me even before I'd left for Thailand...
- You can pack as much as you like, chuck in whatever ridiculous items and there's nobody to lecture you about baggage allowance. For a travel blogger, I'm a shithouse packer. I once took a hand-held steamer to Coachella, you know, so our maxi skirts wouldn't be crinkled. For my trip to Thailand, I packed no less than 11 bikinis. I was only going for 6 days. But so what? I wasn't having to share my suitcase and nobody but me was going to have to carry it so I went right ahead and packed a full 25kgs worth of beach wear.
- You can do whatever you want, whenever you want, for however long you want. You want to order a breakfast Passionfruit Mojito and then spend 30 minutes taking the perfect pool selfie, you go right ahead! If you feel like a 90 minute massage and THEN a facial, do it girlfriend! There's nobody to whinge about waiting around for you. If it tickles your fancy to change outfits 4 times, get up for yoga at sunrise or do absolutely nothing but sunbake and read all day, you can. There's nobody to have to compromise with, nobody to make you do activities you don't want to do. You can squeeze as much as you like into your day or do sweet fuck-all, the world is your oyster...or salmon. Whatever! Your choice!
- You'll make new friends, from all walks of life. When you travel with mates, chances are you're going to socialise with them, rather than strike up a conversation with a stranger. I tend to come across as cold or intimidating (so I've been told) but really, I'm just awkward as fuck and actually pretty shy when I'm not on home turf. But here I was, chatting to little old ladies at the airport and sharing gin cocktails with Tim from Kata Rocks*. (The resort actually has their own brand of gin, it's that elite.) When you're exploring the world alone, you're more inclined to get out of your comfort zone and make new friends because you've really got nothing to lose. If you make a dick of yourself, you can pretend it never happened. If all goes well, then you're no longer enjoying Happy Hour by yourself!
- There is absolutely no drama. When you travel with someone- friend or lover- you end up being in each other's pockets 24/7. You share rooms or beds together, sleep next to each other on overnight bus rides or 15 hour flights. You trek up mountains together, struggle with language barriers together, eat every single meal together...you do literally everything together. Have you ever tried to find your accomodation in the dark when you're sleep deprived and hangry? Or missed a flight? I'm telling you, you're bound to storm off from your travel buddy at least once. These kind of situations are part and parcel with travelling and can cause a strain on even the most stable of relationships. When you're flying solo, there's nobody to argue with you or ruin your beautiful sunny day.
- You become more comfortable in you own skin, more confident in yourself and more content in your own company. I'm a nervous flyer, and stress out about having multiple flights and transfers, especially when I'm on my own. So when my flight got cancelled, subsequently meaning I'd miss my connecting flight and only get into Phuket at 1am Thailand time (5am Melbourne time)...I could have been a stressed-out mess. It could have been a shitty start to my holiday. But I took it in my stride. I didn't let it get to me. Sure, I had to run 100kms across Bangkok airport lugging my 25kgs of bikinis but I made it. I did it, all by myself. I felt totally capable and independent. Did I cry for a hot second when I was given the tour of my ginormous, super romantic villa at Soneva Kiri*? Absolutely. For a minute or two I felt sad and lonely and a little bit like I was wasting this beautiful villa on just me... but then I put on some Bob Marley (always helps switch me to 'holiday mode') and ordered a champagne breakfast for 2, ate BOTH the chocolate croissants and instead appreciated how lucky I was to be able to go on a holiday at all.
Travelling solo might take a little to get used to, especially if you're embarking on an adventure by yourself for the first time... but doing it frequently means you will learn how how to own it. You will learn how to be confident and comfortable in yourself, whether you’re with others or not. You’ll learn how to walk into a restaurant and ask for a table for one without feeling self-conscious or uncomfortable.
If fact, book enough little adventures for 1 and you won’t even think about it any more, you’ll just be making the most of your life. Exploring new cities. Making new friends. And evolving as a human being... all on your own.
* I was lucky enough to stay at both Kata Rocks in Phuket and Soneva Kiri in Koh Kood, just an hour and a half via plane from Bangkok.
Kata Rocks is design-driven with sleek, superyacht-inspired interiors and unobstructed ocean views, creating the illusion of being adrift on the azure waters of the Andaman Sea. The main pool and restaurant offer some of the best sunset views I've ever experienced and my 60 minute massage was so good, I was only woken by the sound of my drool as it hit the tiles.
Soneva Kiri combines luxury, environmentally friendly design and authentic Thai experiences. Located on the secluded beach or hidden amongst the Ko Kood rainforest, all villas have infinity pools, personal buggies and really make you feel like you've stepped into a scene from Robinson Crusoe or Tazan and Jane. Other highlights include their open air cinema, Benz restaurant hidden in the mangroves, the FREE chocolate and Ice cream parlour, their observatory and perhaps my favourite: their once-in-a-lifetime Treetop Dining Pod experience.
NB: Not in any way, shape of form a paid post.