I travelled solo to Thailand and explored Phuket, Khao Sok, Chiangmai and Bangkok across 21 days!
Travelling solo as a female from Singapore is very uncommon. When I told others that I was going to travel on my own to Thailand, many were apprehensive, worried and skeptical. In general, people (from home) think that travelling alone, especially as a female, is too scary, dangerous, and therefore not safe. At the beginning of my trip, even at the airport, I felt nervous and anxious too.
“What if something goes wrong?” — It’s easy for societal beliefs to get into our heads.
But, I told myself to open my heart and mind up to whatever came my way. Be it pleasant or awful, whatever happens, would be part of my experience. I may screw up, but I’ll learn and move on.
Here is what I learnt from travelling solo …
Firstly, although I am travelling solo, I am never alone. I’ve met so many people across different parts of my trip, from hostels, short tours or day encounters! Somehow, while travelling solo, I became more sociable and dared to talk to strangers more (within safe premises). Many a time, all it takes is a simple greeting to break the ice! 😄 However, take note that while you may meet many people, you would spend only a short time together, as everyone has their own travel plans.
Secondly, travelling solo calls for more independence and responsibility. I have to take care of myself and be accountable for whatever I choose to do or not do. If I fall ill, the onus is on me to take proper medication and have ample rest. If I lose my belongings, it’s my fault for not being careful enough. Whatever “mess” I make, I have to find my own ways to “clean it up”.
Thirdly, it is okay to reach out for help sometimes too. Most of the time, I tend to have a DIY (do-it-yourself) attitude. But occasionally, asking for help could be a better option. For instance, asking for help in directions from fellow locals or hostels host who may be more familiar with the area than Google Maps 😂 Other than that, there was once where I tore my pants at the ankle area from trekking. I didn’t really know how to sew, nor did I have any sewing tools with me. But thankfully, my guesthouse host had needle and thread, while my hostel mate was able to guide me in sewing my pants! 🙏
Lastly, on addressing travelling solo being “too dangerous”. I think that travelling solo is not dangerous, but being complacent, not alert and too gullible is. Travelling with someone else or a group of people does not guarantee one’s safety. On the contrary, one may be too caught up with talking to someone else that they lose awareness of their surroundings 🤔
On a very personal note, I realised that I’m rather scared of making mistakes, so I overthink and over-plan. There were several times when I realised that I could book a cheaper and more convenient transport to my next destination upon arrival, or there could be better tours for me to consider onsite. As for accommodations, I booked for all my nights before flying off and kind of regretted it when another traveller recommended me another guesthouse he stayed at previously. Eventually, I cancelled my original hostel booked and for a few days I couldn’t get over my “mistake”, even though the cancellation fee was just $14 SGD 😲 I’m still working on letting go of my perfectionistic mindset …
On the whole, I really enjoyed travelling solo! I can do whatever I want and be any version of myself, free of judgement. I got over myself and my stuff more as the trip progressed too, though that’s still a work in progress. I also found out that I enjoy taking my own photos too! Not forgetting, it was very enlightening to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds. I feel that people truly make up a huge part of any experience.
Will definitely travel solo again!
Thank you for reading!