Solo Travelling: 101

By Muhammad Najib Mohd Taib 

The world is a book, someone who does not travel has only to read one page of a book a day. This is the word of wisdom I picked up today.

It is almost the end of semester. Some of us may go home after the semester ends. Some may try to look for a part-time job. Some may want to travel and have fun. Some may want to go for an adventure. So, for those who like to travel alone and are searching for some adventure, I hope this article provides you with some insights that would be beneficial for your guide.

Being an avid traveler, I would like to share some backpacking tips that I learnt throughout my travel.

First off, the most important tip that I would like to share with you who like to travel alone is to know the difference between being nervous and being afraid. Some of you may want to travel alone, but you are scared that you may get lost, stuck in a place where you could find no help, or in a worst case scenario, you might think that you could not survive alone.

To me, I have experienced this before, the feeling of being afraid of the unknown that might happen to me when I travel alone. But, if you manage to get through it, your feeling of afraid will be substituted with the feeling of nervousness – nervous because you are about to experience something new in your life.

Once you are ready to travel alone, here’s the most important aspect, where budgeting is very important. Remember to plan for your transportation cost, identify some transportation tips, and know the exchange rates of the countries that you would travel to. This is to avoid the future problem, in which for me, when I was travelling alone, my budget had been way off than what I expected it to be. Thank God, I have some extra money sitting in my bank account, which is the third important tip that I would like to share. Keep extra money as a contingency plan in case you run into serious problem.

For your safety tips when travelling alone, never use your back pockets. You will not always be aware that some hands are aching to pick pocket you while you enjoy the view while travelling. Buy travel insurance, because “walking off” a broken foot isn’t a learning experience. Never have any combination of your money, your phone, and your passport in the same place. For me, just to be safe, I put my wallet in front pocket, and some money in my shoe insoles, my passport in my backpack, and my phone hang around my neck at all times.

For your accommodation, Use Workaway, HelpX, Couchsurfing, or hitchhike application. These applications are the most used application for travellers around the world. Another way is by finding some hostels that are a cheap. It is a comfortable way to meet people from different parts of the world. If you don’t come across the world to hang out with them, consider other arrangements.

The last tip that I could provide is that never ruin the surprise by reading every detail about where you want to visit. Don’t get caught up in taking pictures to rub on your friends’ face that you miss out the true experience of travelling, and always trust your guts.

Different people may have different tips on travelling alone. These are useful tips based on my experience. ***

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