Thank you so much for sticking with me throughout this series and I really hope with all of my heart the information provided has been helpful and has made you think that "yes I really can do this", take it from me it works I have traveled to almost 15 different destinations on my own but never alone because I always had someone there that I knew who would make me feel safe and ensure that I had an amazing time on my vacation.
Today we will discuss the final problem that you identified in the surveys and that is how to ensure that you learn something new and form lasting memorable relationships or friendships at your new destination.
When you get to your travel destination, you have connected with your friend who has offered to accommodate you, you go around with them and they show you their lifestyle, sights and culture you now need to ensure that you take something away from this experience and that you ensure it will be one of your most memorable travel experiences ever.
To do this you need to DO, do what everyone else around is doing, take part, participation is key. Dress like the locals, eat like the locals even speak like the locals if possible. Just be in the present and learn as much as you can. This is why I will always advise you to take a class, participate in a workshop or when offered accept the opportunity to take part. My final year of university my tourism class had a 4 day trip to amazing Cuba. I can't begin to tell you how amazing that trip was but I will tell you about how we made use of those 4 days and how much I took away from that trip.
Ofcourse we did sightseeing and bus tours as at all destinations, but what I remember most was our night out at a salsa club. This was a different experience than the touristic visit we made to the cigar factories or the restaurants and the other things we did because this was really mixing with the locals. We partied like true locals in their own authentic clubs and it was such an amazing experience, the music which was so different from what we knew, the dancing, the interaction. We had no choice but to participate and be apart of it all. We didn't know anything about salsa music, we didn't understand one word that was being sang but it was an amazing night out and thats what you need to do.
Put aside the I don't know how to and just be like "I want to learn how". No one is going to laugh if you get it wrong, no one is going to be upset that you just can't get it right. The locals will be so happy and proud to show you what they know and really impressed that you want to learn from them. Take the opportunity to learn a skill, I learnt to do a little salsa dance with the masses, you can learn to cook a dish or play a traditional instrument, whatever it maybe go at it with gusto.
Forming lasting and memorable relationships depends on you. If you have interacted with someone on this journey constantly, you have connected in some way or another, similar interest and hobbies, why not keep it going, why not exchange contact details. In this world of social media you can definitely stay in touch. Unfortunately in my days of solo traveling, social media was not as popular and I have lost contact with tons of people that I have met on my journey but I will always remember the part that they played in my experience.
There it goes those are my absolute top tips to overcome 3 main frustration and fears of traveling as a solo woman at a new destination. I really hope you enjoyed the journey with me and that you would consider what I have said for your own journey. But before I close this series I do have 1 other thing I wanted to show you and it's my strategy for putting it all together. Putting together the 3 tips that I have outlined into one memorable travel experience.
My next email would be me showing you my strategy of having the absolute best solo travel experience of your life!!! After this you will no longer be looking for company to go with you on your journey, you'd be looking forward to the next trip that you can take when its all you, your confidence would be sky high and your excitement to complete this journey would be overflowing.
Hope you've enjoyed my series so far and please stay tuned for the final link of putting it all together.
I sure hope you enjoyed my last email, I know it was a bit long but I had so much I wanted to say. But most of all I hope you agreed with my advise if that problem applied to you. Now that I'm married I feel sad when my single friends tell me how much they want to travel but feel so scared and most of all don't think they will enjoy visiting somewhere new by themselves. This brings me to problem number 2, How to truly immerse yourself in a new culture, lifestyle and feel more apart of the destination?
My solution to this problem is to seek advise from your local friend or person at the destination. We all know someone who traveled somewhere, stayed in a hotel, only went to areas surrounding the hotel, maybe lazed in the pool and ate at the hotel's restaurants etc and yes that my be a great vacation for some people, but if you are like me, thats not a vacation! You might as well book into a hotel in your own city or country and do that rather than spend your money on plane tickets and travel!!
When you travel to a new place you want to explore, you want to experience new things, see new places, speak to different people and most of all learn something new. How amazing is it when you go somewhere, come back and tell all your friends what you saw, what you did and show them also what you can now do. My husband and I traveled to India earlier this year and it was one of the most rewarding trips I have had so far. When you read about India you hear how amazing it is, how different, but I can tell you now you will never understand until you go and experience this yourself.
Of course we knew someone there, the whole trip was a bit spontaneous in that we were not planning for months or anything. My husband's friend who lives in Madeira, southern India kept saying to us to come over and visit. One day my husband said to me why don't you check the fare for India from Cyprus which is where we are now living. I did and it was so much cheaper than any of us thought that I said to him immediately, LET'D DO IT!!!! and we did, 1 month later we were on a plane to Madeira, where our friend picked us up from the airport and took us around.
I learnt so many amazing things in India, like the fact that they use a lot of Shallots in there cooking, I didn't know that, and drink lots of coffee ahaha these are the things that stood out to me I know. Because of our friend we had a chance to live like a local person in Madeira, we stayed in a hotel that he recommended and it was great and cheap, because we got a discount as we were referred by a local, I know right.... amazing. We spent days with his family, cooking, chatting and visiting places that they knew all too well. The entire journey was just experienced through the eye of a local person and thats how I love to explore my destinations. We are so grateful to our friend for his time and knowledge because it showed me how hard Indians work and just how persistent and ambitious they are as a people. 1 out of 2 indian has his own little business, they work extremely hard and they are some of the humblest people you will ever meet.
Take it from me and take the advise from your friend/buddy, this will ensure an experience of a lifetime.
Stay tune ladies, next time we will be discussing How to ensure that you learn something new and form lasting memorable relationships or friendships at your new destination. Please let me know what you think of these tips and if they are helpful in anyway.