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 person and too busy recording my daily adventures in my diary 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.
2017-05-30T04:54:22+00:00 November 18th, 2016|TIPS|28 Comments

28 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.

  8. […] her Muslim girl blog, we recommend that you read her post on lessons from a solo traveler in which she gives tips to her readers regarding her experience on being a Muslim solo […]

  9. josypheen October 11, 2017 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    Excellent post!

    I have only traveled alone a few times, but you’re right – you always seem to make friends along the way. I love that you can end up with long term friends, even from short term trips. 😀

    The one thing I still find hard is eating out on my own. I always want a book or something so I don’t seem like too much of a loner.

  10. Elaisha Jade October 11, 2017 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    This is a post I needed! I’ve been toggling with the idea to move to Spain. I also appreciate that you mentioned the media’s role in fear mongering! Keep it up 😻

  11. Elaisha Jade October 11, 2017 at 5:03 pm - Reply

    Really needed this post! I’ve been toggling with the idea of moving to Spain. I especially liked the fact that you addressed the media’s role in fear mongering too.

  12. Sylvia October 11, 2017 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    I totally get where you’re coming from. Solo Travel is awesome and i am glad to know more people write about it.

  13. It’s interesting how much thought people put into solo travel – I’ve always done it and never given it a second thought! Of course, I take different precautions while solo, but not going has never occurred to me!

  14. ADA October 11, 2017 at 7:45 pm - Reply

    What a lovely post! I was the same, like you was afraid to be alone or do anything alone and them right after high school I moved alone to Germany and it was the best decision I ever made! Being alone shouldn’t be scary, you follow your dream after all so hopefully more girls will realised it as well 🙂

  15. dressingdanishly October 11, 2017 at 8:33 pm - Reply

    I’ve never travelled solo, but I am planning on moving abroad by myself. It’s great to hear
    About all of the positivities of travelling solo.
    And congrats of moving to Spain and achieving your dream!

  16. Ruth October 12, 2017 at 12:51 am - Reply

    Your post is so uplifting. I hope more people in the world would understand this simple (but complicated at the same time) truths. Wish you the best in your future travels! I would like to live in Spain one day.

  17. godigodesa October 12, 2017 at 10:03 am - Reply

    Such a nice story, you should be proud on yourself!! Solo traveling is the best <3

  18. fillmypassportblog October 12, 2017 at 1:36 pm - Reply

    These are great tips for traveling alone! I had a great time in 2013 when I went on my own. It can be quite life-changing!

  19. Céline CLudik October 12, 2017 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    Brilliant idea for a post ! Sometimes the best travel companion you can have is yourself. Solo travel is easier than you might think, totally liberating, and completely rewarding in a way few other experiences in life can match. Like many travelers, I used to never go anywhere alone, but after a few eye-opening, life-changing experiences, I’m hooked on solo travel. I think that traveling alone makes you a better observer of people and places around you, which in turn has the power to make you more compassionate and a better person overall 🙂

  20. authenticfoodquest October 12, 2017 at 6:57 pm - Reply

    It sounds like you have found your “place” at this moment and time, Your radiance and joy shines through in your writing. Savor every moment and keep living your dreams!

  21. Anjali Chawla October 13, 2017 at 7:11 am - Reply

    Awesome post. Loved reading it! Points #2, #3 and #4 are so true! Even though I’ve never experienced solo travel because I love to travel with hubby and daughter but I guess one thing is true in both cases whether you travel solo or with family, travel changes you for good. One’s attitude and perspective changes positively. Spain is so on my wanderlist 🙂

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