Sarah’s 2-Step Solo Travel Guide
I’ve been traveling the world for over 7 years. Solo traveling isn’t something I would recommend to everyone, but if you are up to the challenge it has given me some of the most rewarding experiences in my life. Traveling on your own is pretty intimidating, and I’ve found that solo travelers’ guides are often outdated and unrealistic. This lead me to create my own 2-Step solo travel guide to help those of you who are looking to expand your individual travel experiences.
If you want to travel on your own it starts with having two very important skills. First, you need to know how to ask questions.
When you’re traveling you have an opportunity to grow as an individual, to meet life-long friends, and try things you have never even dreamed of. If you’re not willing to ask for directions, ask for local customs or local cuisines, or even ask the simplest things (like a name) you will be doing yourself a grave disservice.
Don’t be an American. A friend of mine from Chile once told me that she was an American. Of course I was initially offended, but when she asked me “why couldn’t South Americans call themselves Americans” it caused me to pause and consider why U.S. citizens claim their residence as a broad term for a two different continents. If you ask anyone else where they are from they say their country specifically.
When you say you are an American it comes with an over-sized luggage load of stereotypes. The truest one being that we think that we better, smarter, more civilized than everyone else. A lot of times we don’t mean to do it, just like I didn’t mean to get offended by my friend’s comment. It comes with growing up in a country that is seen as a superpower of sorts. There’s no shame in being proud of your country, but you shouldn’t travel outside of your own country if you think the world outside has nothing more to offer.
Broad Life Lesson: Different ≠ Bad
I’ve seen so many Americans reduce their travel experiences because a country didn’t live up to their American standards. If you want to learn how to start asking questions, if you want to get the most out of your travel experience, ask yourself this:
What makes you so sure that the “American-way” is the best way?
The only way to answer that is to see what else the world has to offer with an open mind and a lot more questions.
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Best of Luck