In a few weeks time I will be heading back overseas… this time to Hamburg, Germany where I will be living for around 2 months. As the time for my first trip of the year approaches I always get excited and nervous about leaving my family & friends. I have had over 2 months holiday so the thought of being by myself again can be a bit daunting. My purpose for this post is to highlight a few tips I have learned as a solo traveler to encourage anyone who is also planning on doing so, and maybe help settle my own nerves along the way.
The first time I traveled by myself was when I was seventeen. Over the course of nearly 4 years now I have traveled by myself to Sydney, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Milan, London and Paris, and will very soon be adding Germany to my list. Of course, during these trips, I have met friends for life, but have also had a lot of ‘me’ time. As a model, some days will be jam-packed busy, and the next could be completely free. After a couple of weeks exploring a city, there comes a point where all the attractions have been checked off and I now have to fill up days by myself.
One of my top tips is whenever I have a free day I start with something that will benefit my health (physically or emotionally). For me, that usually means heading to the gym or a yoga class. In doing so I am setting the tone for the day and have an excuse to get up and out. Leading me to not drag out my morning at home.
Once I have done a workout, I will make breakfast at home. I always find that breakfast is the easiest meal to eat at home while traveling. Oats/ Porridge is always my go-to option as they are cheap, nutritious and won’t go off.
Making completely new friends while overseas can always be a bit daunting for some. However, once one friend is made, I always find it makes a sort of domino effect, as that person will have a group of friends you will meet and so on. Making friends while overseas is the most amazing way to learn about different cultures and also to have a person to share your experiences with.
Whenever I feel homesick, calling up a friend and meeting for a coffee or a yoga class is the best way to make myself feel better… trust me sitting at home alone will only make things seem worse.
On the occasion my friends are busy or I find myself with a couple of free hours between castings, one of my favorite things to do is get a coffee and read a book. I am a big coffee drinker so I love discovering cute little cafes and often find myself going back to the ones with a cozy and homey atmosphere. Getting lost in a book while drinking a good cup of coffee is so relaxing for me and I always leave appreciating the amazing city I am in.
When traveling alone it is very easy to get caught up in thoughts. Being present is key to an enjoyable trip. When I have a minute to myself I try to stop and listen to the sounds around me and observe the people passing by. It brings me back to the current moment and makes me realize how grateful I am to be traveling the world.
One of my other most important tips and probably the most simple is to ALWAYS carry a snack like a muesli bar, nuts or some fruit. I have been caught many times starving and not being able to find a suitable place to eat and that one snack I remembered to pack in my handbag seems like an absolute lifesaver.
Travelling alone is a major personal growth experience. There will be many bumps along the way and at times giving up and going back to the comfort of home will feel like the only option. However I have learned by sticking to my guns and pushing through, I only come out a stronger person.
Be sure to take many photos and be open to new experiences. If you ever need a friend to chat while solo traveling overseas send me a message and I would love to hear from you!!!