Independent AF

Travelling is hard but travelling alone can be even harder. Having spent the last 8 months exploring multiple countries, here are some tips and advice to help make your life easier!

  1. It’s ok to be alone. It’s ok to feel lonely. This is important. There is nothing wrong with you.
  2. Do not spend all your money on food. Yes, it will make you happy for 10 minutes but your bank account will not agree.
  3. Get a transaction budget app! It’s important to be able to visualise your spending habits. I have never really budgeted and always took for granted the fact that money was always coming into my bank account each week. But now that I have no income, every bit counts (how many times have you heard that from adults?). It's surprising how it all ads up and be sure to have some money put aside for the future, you never know what will happen to you.
  4. It’s ok to splurge once in a while. There is no point in going on an amazing holiday if you are going to spend the entire time being a tight ass and spending absolutely nothing. They say money can’t buy happiness but in some cases it can buy experiences and that can be just as good. Go out. Have fun. Do that cool activity you have wanted to do. But as they say with food, everything in moderation.
  5. Take walks without listening to music. I used to never go anywhere without listening to my iPod but when you realise you have no need for a distraction you can truly clear your head, make plans and create actual ideas. It's actually really nice to be alone with your own thoughts.
  6. It’s ok to miss home. It means you have something worth going back to. You most likely won’t travel forever and looking back on your old, more permanent life, makes you realise why you are currently out doing what you are doing. Treasure it and don’t take it for granted. Appreciate the fact that you are currently doing amazing things.
  7. Talk to people. Everyone is literally in the same boat as you and most likely will be after a bit of conversation and company as well. Saying 'Hello' is never as scary as you think it will be.
  8. Make sure you take time to listen to what your body and mind is saying. The last thing you want is to burn out. At first I felt like I should constantly be doing something but you need to give yourself a break to recharge. You know what is best for you, so just chill. You have time. Tbh I am not good at this. I often spend continuous days walking over 25,000 steps a day, creating feet full of blisters and a lowered immune system from being in the cold.
  9. Doing cool things may make you emotional. I’ve been really proud of myself a couple of times so far on my trips and in that moment of realisation, I found myself starting to tear up. Actually cherish this feeling because you are doing something very special and I can assure you, it will be a moment you will want to look back on.
  10. Everyday habits and cycles go out window. This is not home and your routine is completely messed up, especially when in hostels. Shower when you can and sleep when you can. It will save rushing and stops the essentials from being pushed aside.
  11. See the sunrise and sunset as often as possible. Its a permanent fixture of each day but it will never look the same, especially if you are constantly in new locations. Travelling helps you realise the beauty in the world and the sky cements it.
  12. Couchsurf! My absolutely favourite part of travelling. Staying with locals not only shows you a city from a local perspective but it helps remind you that there is still so much love and generosity in the world. Don’t take these people for granted, they are very special.
  13. It’s important to know that you will not be the same person as you were when you first packed up and left, despite the fact that your old life may still look exactly the same. Something inside of you will permanently be changed due to your experiences and it can be a big adjustment when it’s time to settle back in. This can be so hard, give it time and try not to let Post Travel Depression hit you too hard (it will).