Traveling solo may seem like a difficult undertaking if you are a novice, but just a few tricks can make this one of the most exciting experiences of your life. In this article you will find everything you need to know to start your solo travel on the right foot.
How to prepare for a solo trip
Any trip begins even before you leave. Packing your suitcase, last-minute shopping, saying goodbye to friends, cleaning the house, reading to prepare the itinerary..these are just a few of the things you need to do to best prepare to leave.
Don’t panic! Let’s look together at some tricks that will help you leave with a clearer mind and a spirit ready for adventure.
GETTING INTO THE RIGHT MOOD. Is this your first solo trip, or for some reason does the departure make you nervous? Here are some things you can do to make the wait a time of enjoyable preparation:
- Create your own travel playlist. Choose songs with the spirit in which you want to experience this journey in mind and include them for each mood.
- Choose a small notebook to carry with you and on the first page create a guiding moodboard: whenever you feel tired or restless, you will know where to find inspiration and grit.
FREEING THE MIND. Sometimes it is the amount of thought we carry around that is the heaviest part of the baggage. Just as you don’t need beach clothes if you are leaving for the mountains, similarly there are many thoughts you can decide to leave at home, because taking them with you won’t do any good.
- Tie up any loose ends left over before you leave: back bills, answering that message, calling the electrician, mail piling up… try to leave as few things as possible on your mental agenda, only then can you enjoy the trip with a mind free of all thoughts other than the present moment. When the mind is freed, the heart is lightened and opened to the beauty of the unknown.
- Also, leave expectations at home. Making plans is useful, for sure, but maintaining flexibility to the unexpected is even more so. This is as true in the practical aspect of a trip as it is in the emotional one: there may be “bad” days as well as euphoric ones, maybe you will be able to experience exactly that magical moment you had so dreamed of in that breathtaking place, or maybe instead it will rain that day and you will feel nostalgic. So, take a sheet of paper and make a list of the expectations you know you have, then fold the paper and lock it in a drawer. It is a small gesture, however, that helps the mind let go of the imagination and focus on what is there. Remember: your journey will be unique because you will be the one to experience it and choose each day how to experience it.
Starter packs for solo backpackers: 5 practical tips to prepare for departure
After looking at the more emotional and mental side, it’s time to move on to the practical side. Here are some practical tips to get you ready to go on your solo adventure.
- Jot down in your travel notebook the numbers of key friends and family members- if your phone breaks or you forget it in your room, you can always ask in a local place to make a call.
- If you leave for a place where another language is spoken, mark down the main words and phrases to strike up a basic conversation. Add a few smiles and gestures and you’ll see that communicating will be easier (and more fun) than you think!
- Look at the weather a few days before departure and pack one item for each weather condition. Even a rain shower will become a pleasant memory to take home.
- Do a little research of local events, markets, and festivals- they are always a great opportunity to experience the authentic spirit of places and to meet new like-minded people.
- Do a deep house cleaning. It will sound silly but trust me, it will be the best gift that the you of the present can give to the you of the future. Clean every room, do the last of the laundry, change the sheets, and buy something to leave in the pantry so you don’t have to go grocery shopping when you return. When you return from a trip there is nothing better than finding your nest clean, cozy and ready to enjoy some restful rest.
Last but most important piece of advice: have fun! Enjoy every experience, every unexpected event, every place. Traveling solo is the best gift you can give yourself.
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