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Solo Travel? Yeah. I F**k** Up. I Should Have Started in SE Asia!

When I left for SouthEast Asia (SE Asia) about 4  months ago, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous.

I was ABSOLUTELY SCARED SHITLESS!

I had never been to Asia let alone SE Asia before and the thought of doing it solo was scary.

But I’ve realized there is a difference between traveling in Asia and traveling in Europe solo. I felt safer in SE Asia than I did in Europe. – Honestly. I felt as thought the backpacker scene was more welcoming in SE Asia than in Europe.

Another thing that I loved about traveling solo in SE Asia. Were the other travelers I met along the way.

There are different types of travelers traveling in SE Asia than there are in Europe. I mean the type of travelers that are traveling solo too.

In Europe you usually find the traveler who’s got a deadline. What does that mean? It’s the traveler that is only on a weekend trip or has to return to work after x days away. Which is usually the normal for people traveling. Right? Well, in SE Asia it is slightly different.

Yes, you’ll meet the occasional/ typical traveler who’s taking their two weeks off from work or life. But more often than not you’ll meet the traveler who has quit their full-time job to travel the world. They usually have no deadline or returning flight. I call them, the ‘crazy travelers’.

Once in a while you’ll come across the young 18-year girl or boy from Canada, who has been saving up since they were 15-years-old to just travel after high school because they didn’t know what they wanted to do with their lives.- Which is totally normal in most countries, except America!

It’s pretty cool. Not going to lie. I am one of those ‘crazy travelers’. Before I ever traveled to SE Asia, I traveled Europe and South America. I hadn’t met many  ‘crazy traveler’ like myself. It felt reassuring and comforting to know, I wasn’t the only one who decided to do something out of the norm.

It wasn’t my first time traveling solo when I headed to SE Asia. Like I’ve mentioned before I’ve traveled alone plenty. I was nervous. I was scared. It was the best thing I did! I had wished it was the first place I started traveling, back when I decided to quick my job and travel the world in February 2015.

The best part is that its cheap too! And when you’re traveling on a strict budget, anything helps.

The culture, the people, the strangers, the food, the heat, the challenges, and meeting other travelers like myself made my experience an amazing one. I believe I learned so much more about myself traveling through SE Asia solo then I ever did traveling in Europe.

Although I am a firm believe that everything happens for a reason. I guess I wouldn’t have felt this way if I hadn’t seen Europe first.

If you’re looking for an experience that will inspire, motivate, and give you the biggest culture shock of your life. It will change you as an individual. Start your solo trip in SE Asia.

As a solo traveler most of your most memorable experiences come from meeting strangers that turn into friends along your journey. It is an adventure all in itself, but it makes it so much more interesting when you walk away from it all and realize you’ve learned more than you could have ever imagined.

 

 

2016-10-24T23:03:28+00:00

6 Comments

  1. The Barefoot Backpacker January 26, 2016 at 8:53 am

    Absolutely agree entirely!

    Four years ago, when I made my first tentative steps into solo travel again, I asked my friends where would be a good place to go that was interesting, relatively cheap, and ‘easy’ to cope with. Every single one of them said SE Asia. The specific countries varied, but the principle was the same.

    And they were right; I did feel very comfortable there – lots of other travellers to speak with, very friendly locals who were all-too-happy to assist, getting to grips with the infrastructure was much easier than I expected, the food was great, and everywhere was very accessible. (I spent my time mainly in Cambodia & Laos, but Indonesia was much the same for me on a later trip).

    I think if I’d have gone somewhere more ‘difficult’, I’d have enjoyed it less and maybe not done as much travelling subsequently as I have done.

    So now, I always say the same thing as my friends did to me, if I’m asked about first-time backpacking – go to SE Asia. You won’t regret it.

    • THE SOCIAL GIRL TRAVELER
      THE SOCIAL GIRL TRAVELER January 26, 2016 at 8:57 am

      Glad you agree and yes it’s so true it was slightly easier. – sometimes hahah the biggest challenge was wifi. Being that I’m a blogger it’s extremely important but all in all it wasn’t too bad. ☺️

      • The Barefoot Backpacker January 26, 2016 at 12:57 pm

        Ahh, you get used to lack of WiFi, and anyway chatting with other backpackers tends to distract you from the tasks in hand!

        I do have a tendency to type blog/FB entries offline, then simply copy/paste/upload when I get the chance, meaning I don’t need too much time online, which when you have places with WiFi limitations (either on time, or bandwidth – booo!) is a great help.

        Though being a social media addict & someone who *needs* to know what my friends are up to … yeh … WiFi rocks!

  2. Albi October 16, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Jen-
    I was considering doing 6 months of travel. 3 Months in South America and 3 months in South East Asia, in that order. What would you say is your biggest reason for saying to go to South East Asia first?

    • THE SOCIAL GIRL TRAVELER
      THE SOCIAL GIRL TRAVELER October 17, 2016 at 12:00 am

      Both SA and SE are great options. If you’re on a tight budget / low budget both continents help with that. I loved SA more simply because of the other types of travelers you meet a long the way. Also, the culture is so different. I mean I had never experienced that solo traveling in those countries. It was just amazing.

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