Lessons from a Solo Traveler

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One year ago, I took the leap of faith to live in Spain (My long term goal). From then on, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to numerous places, sometimes with friends and most times alone. With every journey I took, I learnt a thing or two. Here are some lessons I share with you from a solo traveler.

  1. Take most of the fear mongering images from the media with a grain of salt. Rather, do your research (Blogs, Facebook groups, International Friends, Local Newspapers etc.) on the places you’re visiting to know what to expect.
  2. Most parts of the world are safer than portrayed on the media.
  3. Don’t judge people by their government.
  4. Most people are friendly and everyone wants the same things we do: Love, Food, Friendship, Happiness, and Stability.
  5. Plan ahead of time however don’t over-plan. Spontaneity is the root of adventure.
  6. Traveling alone doesn’t mean you are lonely.
  7. 9/10 times, when you travel alone you are bound to make a new friend along the way.
  8. As sad as it is for me to say this but when it comes to being a girl/woman, you have to be extra vigilant of your surroundings. Know how safe it is to be a woman in the country of your choice.
  9. Traveling as a Muslim is an opportunity to shatter negative stereotypes.
  10. Stranger doesn’t always mean danger.
  11. Pursue your dream and don’t let anyone stop you.

When I look at this list I can’t believe how my mentality has changed. I used to be that kid in high school that was afraid of being different or being alone. It was my worst nightmare to sit by myself in the school cafeteria. Now I consider my self an intermediate solo traveler, ordering in a restaurant for one and too busy recording my daily adventures in my dairy to be bothered if I am lonely or sad.

 Do I sometimes wish I moved to Spain with a friend or family member? Absolutely! There are times when I think “Aww Man, if only my sister/mother/ friend e.t.c. were with me to experience this extraordinary moment together”.  But they can always visit.

 If I had to repeat moving to Spain the way I did; I would do it again in a heartbeat.  From my move I went from knowing nobody in Spain to making, meeting and keeping in touch with numerous individuals from various backgrounds. I got to experience and see the beauty of nature.  Most important of all, I gained a new perspective of life and got to know myself better.

You might be in a point in your life where you were like the old me; worried about negative external forces making you forfeit your goals. It could be traveling, falling in love, learning a new language, writing a book, starting a company, volunteering etc.  My question for you is this: Can you smile within and say to yourself “I am true to myself. I am happy where I am at in life”? If you genuinely feel this way then you are on the right track.

I hope you felt inspired! 

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Solo Traveler

  1. Take most of the fear mongering images from the media with a grain of salt. Rather, do your research (Blogs, Facebook groups, International Friends, Local Newspapers etc.) on the places you’re visiting to know what to expect.
  2. Most parts of the world are safer than portrayed on the media.
  3. Don’t judge people by their government.
  4. Most people are friendly and everyone wants the same things we do: Love, Food, Friendship, Happiness, and Stability.
  5. Plan ahead of time however don’t over-plan. Spontaneity is the root of adventure.
  6. Traveling alone doesn’t mean you are lonely.
  7. 9/10 times, when you travel alone you are bound to make a new friend along the way.
  8. As sad as it is for me to say this but when it comes to being a girl/woman, you have to be extra vigilant of your surroundings. Know how safe it is to be a woman in the country of your choice.
  9. Traveling as a Muslim is an opportunity to shatter negative stereotypes.
  10. Stranger doesn’t always mean danger.
  11. Pursue your dream and don’t let anyone stop you.
2017-05-24T22:39:36+02:00 November 18th, 2016|TIPS|14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Louise Allonby May 6, 2017 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    I totally agree with everything here and good for you for saying all that. Great post

  2. thefabulousscript May 6, 2017 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    It’s amazing how much growth one can experience from solo travel! Once you experience what’s out there on your own, you feel like the world is at your fingertips and nothing can stop you. I also started my solo travel adventures about a year ago now, and its noticeable how one’s attitude and perspective grows to the better good. Keep traveling 🙂 ! Looking forward to reading your future posts. – Mariella

    • Hijabiglobetrotter May 6, 2017 at 2:55 pm - Reply

      Thank you Mariella for your thoughtful response :). And yes Travel does change you for the better. I look forward to your posts too!!!

  3. Meg May 6, 2017 at 3:34 pm - Reply

    I love this post. In our family travels, we have found #1, #2, & #3 so very true, yet with all the media fear-mongering, it’s really hard to convince others of that. I envy your move to Spain! My husband is under strict orders to accept any international transfer immediately, because my dream is to move internationally. Looking forward to reading more about your adventures.

    • Hijabiglobetrotter May 8, 2017 at 3:52 pm - Reply

      Thanks Meg 🙂 Haha, I hope your family moves somewhere too! It’s always exciting living in another place. Where would like to live in if given the opportunity?

  4. Anna Harris May 7, 2017 at 12:02 pm - Reply

    Great post!! #2 and 6 are so true, people think I’m so crazy that I travel so much because they’re considered “unsafe” (keeping in mind that I am a woman so I need to watch my surroundings more). Plus many of my friends won’t travel b/c they don’t want to be alone – great way to explain it!

    • Hijabiglobetrotter May 8, 2017 at 3:54 pm - Reply

      Couldn’t have said it better! Sometimes I wonder if we are brave or crazy for making the decisions we do? lol

  5. Joanna May 7, 2017 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    Your post is so true! I went alone to Brazil, to Sao Paolo and before I arrived there I was terrified and convinced that I will get robbed for sure.I was so certain of it that I took all the measures for it, even bringing a fake wallet with me. But guess what? When I arrived in Sao Paolo I discovered a beautiful city with friendly people and amazing street art. I didn’t feel unsafe not even for one second!

    • Hijabiglobetrotter May 8, 2017 at 3:55 pm - Reply

      Hi Ioanna! I’m glad to hear that! I’ve heard mixed reviews about Brazil, but your comment has given me a reason to consider Brazil

  6. Karin @ GirlAstray May 8, 2017 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    I like to read about travel from your perspective 🙂 I also find that unless you go somewhere, you can not know what to expect – the information we have from the media are mostly absolutely useless. Looking forward to future articles!

  7. The Barefoot Backpacker May 11, 2017 at 11:28 am - Reply

    Oh yes 🙂 Agree with all of those points absolutely.

    It’s sometimes hard to push yourself out of your comfort zone (I’m a solo traveller who’s also a huge introvert – this means that it’s often hard for me in certain countries because the people are *too* friendly and it’s something I’m not used to, or can easily cope with). I’d be lying if I said it was always a rewarding experience – sometimes it’s really hard. I’ve left towns, even countries, early because I’ve found it hard to cope.

    But I wouldn’t have changed it for anything. It’s a learning exercise – learning more about the world, but also about who we are, what we’re capable (and not capable) of, and of how other people are around us, both on our travels and those back home. We develop ourselves, maybe we develop them too.

    🙂

    • Hijabiglobetrotter May 11, 2017 at 1:22 pm - Reply

      Hello! Yes I know what you mean. I’m an Ambivert. I have my Extroverted days and Introverted days but sometimes I get antsy when there are to many people etc. Or when I have met a lot of people, I always need time alone to recharge.

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