I am very passionate about female solo travel. In many ways I prefer travelling alone than with others. There is a huge sense of liberty, empowerment and freedom in planning your own trip, making your own decisions and discovering yourself, by yourself.
My first trip as a solo traveller was when I was 22. I travelled to Tanzania in Africa and it was truly life changing. Since then, I have travelled solo to many different countries, and somehow those solo trips are always the ones that I find are the most fulfilling.
People seem to find the concept of solo travel dangerous or even lonely. I will always remember my sister saying to me ‘But I feel bad that you just sit and eat on your own’.
First, never feel bad for people sitting and eating on their own when travelling. That person probably absolutely loves their own company and is more than happy to be doing that.
For me, there is nothing I love more, than being in a country different to my own, ordering something delicious from the menu, and reading my book or writing in my journal. It is one of the things I love about travelling alone. Those little moments to yourself to just relax, or reflect on your day.
Secondly, most of the time, I do not sit and eat alone. Solo travel is not about being solo all the time. Solo travel is about meeting new, interesting, open-minded people. Travel is the best way to do that, and what better way to get to know someone than going out and eating together?
My sister's vision of me on my solo travels were of me being alone, when in fact, it is the complete opposite. Travelling alone does allow you to learn to love your own company. It also allows you the freedom to make all of your own decisions. If you want to be alone; be alone. If you want to party; party. If you want to do a sky-dive, then go and do a sky-dive. You are travelling solo. So you can do what ever you want, whenever you want, with whoever you want.
If you are considering travelling alone, below are three of the best places for solo travel in South-East Asia.
Thailand is the perfect place for female solo travel. Thailand is a stunning part of the world and is renowned for its breath-taking beaches, wild parties, beautiful nature and delicious food scene. It is such a popular country for backpackers that you will meet so many other solo travellers in your journey through Thailand. There are an endless number of hostels wherever you go in Thailand filled with solo travellers.
I still look back on my solo trip to Vietnam as one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Vietnam was so different to what I had expected. I thought it would be very similar to Thailand, but they are very different, and both have their own unique and wonderful culture. Vietnam is amazing to enjoy the unbelievable street food, the hustle and bustle of Hanoi or the tranquil, astonishing nature of the far North.
Every time I think of Bali, I have a huge sense of nostalgia. The people in Bali are the friendliest people I have ever come across. My favourite memories in Bali are of jetting around solo on my scooter, finding hidden beaches, eating delicious Indonesian food, walking around the colourful shops, chatting to locals or finding a refreshing smoothie bowl. Bali also has a great nightlife scene where you can meet so many solo travellers.
Tips for Meeting People as a Solo Traveller
1. Join Facebook Groups
There are a lot of Facebook groups for female solo travellers. These places are great to connect with other female solo travellers. I am always posting in these groups to gain advice or travel tips. The female travel groups are the friendliest groups, and in general people are so happy to offer friendly advice or travel tips. This could be controversial, but personally, I do find that the female only travel forums or Facebook groups are much friendlier than the other groups.
2. Stay in Hostels
Staying in hostels is a great way to meet people. Also, you can choose your hostel based on what kind of people you would like to meet. I always book my hostels with booking.com and check the reviews. If I feel like I am ready to stay up drinking all night and meet people ready to party I will book into a party hostel. Or if I am feeling more of a chilled relaxing vibe then I will check the reviews and stay in a quieter hostel.
A great social hostel in Vietnam is The Vietnam Backpackers hostels , they have them throughout the whole of Vietnam and you can even just book your whole trip through them. I loved these hostels as they were so social, however I also liked to take a break from them, when I was ready for a bit of me time. Blanco hostels in Thailand are also very social. I have only stayed in the one in Koh Lanta, but I had a great stay there and met lots of people. They also have a Blanco Hostel on Phi Phi Island and in Krabi.
3. Take Tours
Book a trip on a group tour. When I was in Vietnam, I decided to do a 3-day tour of the Ha Giang Loop. You can do it alone, but it could be dangerous if you are solo travelling and I felt safer to do it in a group. The tour was amazing and so were the people I met on it. It was such an incredible experience, and it was even more special to share it with such great people. During the day we motorcycled the loop, and in the evening, we drank beers and talked about the day we had had. Booking a tour can be such a great way to meet like-minded people.
If you would like any futher advice on female travel, feel free to message me!