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5 Challenges of Solo Travelling

Trælanípan, Faroe Islands - Europe 2018 Solo Trip

As much as we envy our solo travelling friends by scrolling through their social media feeds, here are some untold truths of solo travelling.

Safety: One top concern for any solo traveller is security and it's even more if you are a woman. There's no one to watch over your luggage. This can be quite challenging especially when you want to go to the bathroom and the place is not huge enough to accommodate your luggage.  You wont have anyone to depend on. Furthermore, you have to be quick to think on your feet if things go south. During my 2018 Europe solo trip, someone robbed my mobile phone in Paris in an underground metro station. Words cannot express the amount of panic I felt. I just couldn't think straight, I wanted to cry and wanted to share this with some familiar face. With the help of lot of strangers and using two other people's Google Maps, I figured the way to my hostel and got back safely.  A popular Girls Travel Group on Facebook and my Google Local Guides friends on Hangout came to my rescue for emotional support! I bought a new phone the next day and went on with my travels.

Loneliness: There are certain moments during your travel that you deeply wish your close friends or family were around so that you could share it with them. Sharing via social media does not have the same effect as sharing it in person. For some people, dining out along can be quite challenging.

Gender disadvantage: There are many cultures in the world that are still patriarchal and simply wont allow women to travel alone. Women have to justify as to why they want to travel solo. Men don't receive the unwarranted attention and advances that women do in various countries which is an unfortunate fact for solo female travellers.

Planning and Researching: Planning your entire trip is the most challenging part of solo travelling. Moreover if you are from one of the countries with a weak passport and require a tourist visa, then securing your tourist visa is a challenge. You are required to produce your detailed  itinerary which includes confirmed bookings of every place you are visiting. This is quite scary as  you are not sure if your visa will be approved, but at the same time you need to produce confirmed bookings! This doesn't allow flexibility to make other plans.

Getting a photo: It's also hard to get a good photo of yourself when you are travelling solo.  Of course you can set up the timer, use a tripod and so on, but it is time consuming and the moment of excitement passes away. So you just end up taking a selfie.  Whenever I want a picture of myself clicked along with nature, I always give the person some quick tips on framing in layman terms like "keep me to the side and have more of the waterfalls/mountains", "avoid putting me in the middle", "please do not zoom", "please click in landscape mode", and so on. And these tips have actually helped!

Can you relate to some of these challenges? What challenges have you come across when travelling solo? Share your experience in the comments below.

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