Loyal reader Rhona has been traveling Germany solo for the last three months and has been enjoying her experience. There are a lot of women who like to travel but only go when their friends or family go with them. That limits your opportunities if you need other people to go with. Now you are not only dependent on own your schedule and money, but someone else’s.
Rhona explains how she started traveling solo and why you should too! Check out her blog about her Germany adventures at the end of this post.
What was your first first trip solo – where and how long?
My first international solo trip was to Barcelona, Spain over the Easter Weekend of April this year. I was supposed to meet some friends that weekend in Spain but at the last minute, they bailed. Since I had already paid for my trip, I went alone. I was upset at first to not be sharing the weekend with my friends but in the end I had a fantastic time!
What prompted you to go? Did you try ask friends and family to go with you? What happened when you did?
I am currently in Germany on a 3 month program for work and I decided to see as much of Europe as I could in my short stay and I am proud to say that I have and am. For Barcelona, my friends and I agreed on this locale for a short break.
What was/is the reaction of your family and friends when you take off by yourself?
My family and friends know and understand that I am an independent person so they were not too surprised about this first solo sojourn. My parents were obviously a bit nervous but I made sure to send my sisters emails and texts on my whereabouts to sooth my family’s nerves.
Where have gone since then by yourself?
I have gone on all my weekend trips here alone! And, I love it! I have visited a lot of places in Germany as it is my favourite country thus far. German locals include: Heidelburg, Ludwigsburg, Düsseldorf & Köln, Berlin, Munich, Tübingen, Ulm and Bremen. Not to mention the numerous cities all around the city I live which include Kornwestheim, Stuttgart, Degerloch, Bietigheim. There are too many to list off here. Around Europe I have been blessed to visit Salzburg, Austria. Strasborough and Paris, France.
Any crazy experiences abroad as a woman? Men trying to pickup, mistakes in customs or culture, etc?
Everything with customs or train travel (my prefered method of travel around Germany) has been hassle-free. I will say that the men in Germany are very forward for the most part. In Barcelona an older gentleman tried to ask me out. In Strasborough I was fed some flattering compliments. I took all (not that there are much) with a little laugh. I have never once felt threatened though.
What tips would you give women who want to travel by themselves?
I would say confidence is key. Be confident in whatever you do as you travel. Be confident in asking questions and the way you conduct yourself around locals. Most people I have encountered were only too happy to help me with any inquiries I had. I was always friendly and gave a smile which opens a gateway for conversation.
If you are unsure of how to get to a hostel from the airport or main station, simply send a message to the hostel or hotel on complete directions a few days before you actually leave. I have always received timely responses.
If travelers, especially women, need to be reassured about traveling by themselves, what would you tell them?
Please, just take the plunge and do it! There is a giant wonderful and exciting world waiting for you.
Solo travelers: Comment below and give your suggestions and tips to others who may want go see the world but still a little hesitant to do it alone.