“Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Mary Ritter Beard

I caught the wanderlust bug, and I really wanted to travel solo. Many friends were worried for me. Mixed reactions encompassed of several “why” questions and “that sounds great!” Important pointers for me to ponder include, “depends on the location,” and “depends on your purpose.

My top choice was a country which I have never been to. Unfortunately due to MERs outbreak last year, I decided to look into a country that I am familiar with. It was interesting because I wanted to know what had I missed out. My purpose was still the same – wanting to know how it is like to travel solo. These are the 3 lessons that I learned!

1. Money is now a BIGGER issue

When travelling in a group, members usually fork out to pay the person-in-charge of the bookings. Out of trust, no one questions how in-depth the person’s research actually went. When doing this alone, you exhaust all options and make the wisest decisions.

To illustrate, I utilized a smartphone application that compares flights and hotels for the cheapest deal. My browser was also set to incognito mode when booking the flight. Despite wanting to travel alone, I felt inclined to tap on my network there for accommodation. This will free up more funds.

During the trip, expenses are magnified as they no longer can be shared with anyone. Food expenses can be controlled in accordance to how much you actually eat. However, transport is charged at a flat rate wherein you pay on your own instead of sharing with someone else. You also have no one to rely on when in need of extra cash for emergency or personal use.

Henceforth, you are more disciplined in sticking to a budget.

2. Self-Discovery

You do what you feel like doing. The days’ activities are all determined by you wherein others’ preferences need not be considered. When something grabs your attention, you can stop and satiate your curiosity without feeling that you are holding anyone back. Besides, time will be yours to allocate as you pace yourself. A bustling or an unwinding trip, the choice is yours to make.

Time by yourself is also time slowed down. With that, you tend to be more observant by noticing the minute things that you may have missed out on before. For example, many tourists are always on their phones. From taking photos to texting, they do not seem to be immersed in the trip and the culture. This brings me to the next point.

3. Technology – Get away or get addicted

On many occasions, I was tempted to use my phone. I had no one to talk to and my multiple social media platforms can entertain me. However, due to my more observant self when travelling, I chose not to give in like other tourists. To further illustrate, I have observed tourists that filmed an entire performance instead of being in the moment.

While dining throughout, I observed other patrons editing and uploading photos of their food when eating. Thus, I suggest that to maximise your experience overseas alone, cut off technology when you are out of the hotel. Would you like the thought that you have spent so much to be flown there, only to be glued to your phone? Getting off your phones for an extended period of time can be liberating as well.

SUMMARY

A solo trip could be a trip of discovery too. Such a trip could invoke a never-before-known passion in you. It makes you a better spendthrift and a better person. Travelling solo is recommended for people who travel purposefully rather than leisurely; for travelling for leisure is a purpose but travelling for the sake of getting away is meaningless.

***

Jade Lee is the Chief Editor of Giants Learning Technologies. Her life purpose is to help; thus committing to youths like herself through articles regarding early financial planning. Jade graduated from Ngee Ann Polytechnic where she attained a Diploma with Merit in Early Childhood Education, having dedicated three years in understanding preschool children. Under a scholarship, she reads Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Nanyang Technological University. Jade is also a commercial model and engages in Hip-Hop dance. Find out more about her insights via jade@theageofgiants.net

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