Planning an adventure on your own? Here’s your guide to friend-making, risk-taking and positive thinking while you’re off discovering yourself.
Unless you positively invite danger – i.e. strolling around a pitchblack park at 4am with headphones on – travelling alone isn’t actually that risky. The biggest peril is being taken for a ride. Literally, in the case of taxi drivers: always ask for an estimated fare before setting off. Otherwise, try to never look like a tourist; instead, exude assurance.
Carry ID and always keep a back-up. Ensure that someone else knows your itinerary and commit to regular contact with them.
Being alone means you can’t use your cohort’s phone when yours runs out of juice, or rely on them should you lose your wallet.
Put emergency systems in place: write down key numbers (friends, hotels, embassies, emergency services), have change for phone boxes and always keep some back-up money in your bag or, better still, in a locker.
Solomangarephobia. That’s the official, medical term for a fear of eating alone – a fear that many single travellers have. If you can get over your fear, it is very possible to enjoy the experience.
Bring a book to dodge boredom, sit at counters to be less conspicuous or use the opportunity to practice your French or Filipino on a waiter. And scoff all the bread yourself.