Travel Stories: One Full Month of Solo Travel
Sarah from Curious Rabbit Media talks about her experience with solo travel, and how a trip to visit a friend turned into one month of exploring Seattle, Hawai’i, and Toronto.
For those reading that might not already know: Where did you solo travel this past year?
I went on a month long trip over the summer where I visited Seattle, Kauai (Hawai'i), and Toronto. I met up with a friend in Seattle, but solo travelled to Hawaii and Toronto, where I stayed in hostels.
What was the before process really like, and how did you discover that solo travel was something you wanted to explore?
Traveling is something that is always calling to me, and I feel life is too short to wait up for others to come with. Of course traveling with others is an amazing experience as well, but there's something about solo travel that is so special and enriching. I felt inspired to travel for a month before going back to school, and at first I thought I was just going to explore the west coast. I knew I was going to Seattle to visit my friend, and started looking up plane tickets to other states on the West coast. Just for fun I decided to see how much a one way ticket to Hawaii would be, and after seeing how cheap they are from Seattle, i had no hesitation in buying that ticket. I decided to fly back into Toronto from there because it's a city I'd wanted to explore, and cheaper to fly into compared to Buffalo.
For me personally, I was SO nervous before I took my first trip alone. Was that a similar experience for you? How did you handle it or what were the thoughts going through your head if you didn't feel nervous?
I wasn't really nervous until the night before leaving Seattle when it started to feel real. The nerves came mostly from the fear of the unknown since it was uncharted territory. But once I got to my hostel in Kauai I felt very at home. I think it's super important to trust yourself and your intuition while solo traveling. I do my best not to live in fear and trust that most people are good and helpful, but I still watch my back and listen to my intuition if anything ever feels off. Most of the nerves go away after the first solo trip, though.
If you met friends while traveling, how did you do it? What did you do together?
I've met so many cool people, especially in Hawaii! I initially introduced myself to my roommates, who invited me to go to the beach with them the next day. From there I made friends by hanging out in the lounge area of the hostel, where we'd get to know each other and play cards against humanity. I had a pretty solid circle of people I could hang out with throughout my stay there, we'd go hiking or grab food together. So even though I went solo, I wasn't alone the entire trip. I had people I could hangout with and explore the island with.
What was the best part of the trip for you?
I rented a car while I was in Kauai and drove to see the Na Pali coast, which was the most breathtaking view I think I've ever seen. When I was in Toronto, I rented a bike one day and biked all around the city. It was a really cool way to explore and see everything.
What does solo travel mean to you, and why do you feel like it's important for everyone to solo travel at some point during their life?
Solo travel is the absolute best way to self-explore and experience the truest version of yourself. It's interesting to see how you act and respond to the world when you're away from anything or anyone familiar. I feel like those are the times when your truest self shines through, and that in itself is such an enriching experience. I always come home with so much more wisdom and a whole new perspective to carry me forward.
What advice would you give someone that wants to explore and solo travel for the first time?
If you're not sure where to start, start small! Take a road trip to explore somewhere a few hours away and get an Airbnb. Or you could go all in and buy a ticket to Thailand and stay in hostels. If you feel the itch to explore, do it! Don't wait up for anyone else.