This is the part where we bombard you with all the tips and tricks you could possibly need when travelling alone in the big wide world. Travelling alone can be a very daunting thing for anyone, although doing so is one of the biggest achievements once you hit home soil, you can tell yourself: 'I have achieved my dreams all on my own'. Travelling alone can be exciting and exhilarating, although it can also be scary, if a little boring and a little more risky; when traveling you have one and only person on your list to take care of: you.

No doubt your parents, friends and family have warned you plenty of times that you will need to look after yourself, and of course we can actually say - you will. Traveling can be hard work, rewarding of course but hard nonetheless. You will need to take various precautions simply to cover your own back, whilst ensuring you take care of yourself at the same time. Mentally and emotionally, this trip can be exhausting. Missing friends and family, whilst undergoing the biggest excursion of your life to date can take its toll on you. You will need a good amount of patience and tolerance to simply keep your head above water.

Travelling alone can do a lot for you emotionally (not to mention physically, think of all of that walking and dragging around your belongings). The very clich´┐Ż fact is that it will broaden your mind, generally sharing a bed with bugs is a no-no, but once you become an expert traveler you will try anything once. Experiencing a world of different cultures will be a chance in a lifetime for you, experimenting with various types of foods, drinks, dances, rituals (perhaps the odd swear word, why not it's all fun right?)

Many GAP year students decide to explore the big wide world alone, it isn't an unusual phenomenon, gaining the independence about where you go and what you do is probably the biggest selling point, you will quite literally be in charge of your own destiny. It also allows you to meet and create friends a lot easier, rather than being in your own little clique.

Have you grown a little bored of your guardians accusing you of being lazy, irresponsible and selfish? Many can feel the stresses and strains of family life and feel like there is just no getting away from it all. Well during your travels, you will discover a great deal about you than you were able to in the safety of your own home:

  • Responsible

    Indeed you will discover that you suddenly go from the teenager who definitely did not throw up in your Mom's favorite plant pot and blamed it on the dog, to the person who has actually taken responsibility for your life. You suddenly realize that it is not solely down to your parents to make every decision of your life, rather you can hold onto the reins of your life. Choose where, when, how and why.
  • Self-reliance

    "Mom, Mom, Mom, MOM! I need a sandwich!" No more of this upon your travels, as mad as it sounds if you feel the hunger pains, Mom will not be in your suitcase ready with your favorite meal. You will be able to make your own food and wash your own clothes. You may even come back a changed person.
  • This is the time where you truly develop as a person, and discover what you like, what you don't like and what you simply love.
  • Travelling alone, meeting new people and experiencing the world. Not only is it fun, you will also be able to learn a lot about yourself and more importantly, your dreams. How do you know what you want to spend the rest of your life doing unless you really experience the world?

Sounds like a dream which has come true, right? Solo travels are ever so daunting, but once you make that huge step into the future, who knows what is around the corner waiting for you? Solo travel is a unique travel experience, with ample opportunities for you to enjoy. Although taking steps in your own personal safety will help you get to the life of enjoyment ever so quickly. Research is key to your personal safety, particularly if you are a woman. Unfortunately there are various places in the world where a woman's safety is at risk, thus traveling alone around these areas may not be the best idea in the world. If you were to ever vacation in Turkey, in particular Istanbul, you are likely to see women dressed in full Hijab; whilst on vacation you are not usually permitted to wear it. However if you chose to spend a little longer than two weeks in the country, then it may be an idea to fit in with the female attire. Respect for local traditions is highly important, as is research for the laws of various countries, simply being a U.S. citizen does not give you the opportunity to get out of breaking the law. Generally sexual harassment is the biggest problem you are going to have to be aware of, places like the Mediterranean can be notorious for sexually frustrated men. This isn't to say fear every male local you come across, however just be wary about others. The Caribbean may be beautiful; however countries like Jamaica are renowned for drug use. You may come across many pushers, try not to be tempted or even pushed into any of it.


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