Ive been travelling for more than 10 years alone, mostly in East and Central Africa, but also India and other places. Ive been in nearly all Ethiopia – from the tribes in south to the rock chuches in north and Harar in the west. Ive been sailing out in the Indian Ocean with a local sailing boath full of local men and I have been driving motorbike across Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania to Zanzibar. Ive been visiting Kashmir in the winther, staying with a local family and Ive been staying with the Masaai in Tanzania and so on.
A lot of people ask me if im not afraid. Im not. If I were afraid I think I couldt do trips like I do. Yes Im blond and havning blue eyes and yes sometimes getting a lot of attraction, but I get use to it. Its really seldom im afraid, im kind of getting more surprised and asking myself; what happened. Im choosing not to make problems out of things happening. Im postive by nature and I believe in the good in most people. Maybe it sounds naive, but I think it works for me.
When I travel alone I need to relate to other people. I need to talk to someone and I need to trust myself and my own choices. Im travelling with local transport. That makes me get in touch with a lot of people. Most of the time people talk to each at the bus. Not like in Norway where people dont even sit down beside each other until they have too and nobody say hello or talk. I love the fact that people socialising when stock together in a bus, a boat or whatever makes you go forward.
I use humour very often, either to get out of a difficult situation or to just get in contact. Sharing something is also good. If its food, music or other stuff. Once a local guy said; “Are you sharing? Normally white people dont share” – thats not good to hear. So whatever color you are; share. If you can afford travel, you can afford sharing.
To travel solo means that I dont need to interfere with cotraveller who like to decide and dont like to do what I want to do. Of course, the backside is that I dont have anyone to share my experiences with, but you can invite a local to join you if you feel lonely.
I love to travel solo. Its a individual choice. Lately I tried to travel in a group and I noticed Im not very good at it, but for shorter trips its ok. Mostly Im travelling solo for months and I just have myself to trust. I love to come to new places to get to know people and the society and how everything is working. I will continue travelling for many years to come. I hope.
Some travel advices from a solo traveller;
1. Be openminde and friendly when meeting new people
2. Give of yourself in terms of telling why you are there and what you want
3. Use humour. Most people understand humour both verbally and through body language.
4. Learn some words and some customs of the culture you are into. Locals will be happy if you know anything about their lives and culture
5. Participate in daily life, if you have the time and opportunity. Eat local food at local places and use local transport
6. Travel with light luggage and simple clothing. It is easier to throw around and change plans
7. Ask the locals for help or advice if there is anything you need. They are usually more than willing to help you
8. Be humble and open to learn and curious about the new culture you meet
9. Show appreciation and not spare of your Thanks
10. Greet politely and show that you see other people. In most country this is essential to get to know others
11. If you meet pushy and eager salespeople or “disturbing” men (primarily as a women) ; be firm, but polite. If appropriate, it can help using some humour in such situations
12. Remember that you are a stranger and a visitor. You can not act like you own the whole world (or even part of it 🙂
13. Use your intuition – feeling good or bad – whether you are in a difficult situation or just want to make a choise
14. If you have something to share, share it
15. REMEMBER; Normally all go fine. Enjoy your solo journey and your own company. You are a privileged person who is allowed and have the courage to travel solo and visit other places and cultures