A retrospect – my first solo tour two years ago
Facebook just reminds me that I had been in Thailand and Laos for five weeks. This was in January two years ago and the first time I traveled alone for more than one week. Before I only had been for a couple of days in Hongkong alone or spend single days before or after a group tour at the departure or arrival destination.
This trip I started in Bangkok from where I was heading up north to the Thai Laotian border. In Chiang Khong I crossed this border and continued traveling from the north to south to 4000 islands close to the Cambodian border in the following three weeks . At the end of the trip I spontaneously decided to spend a couple of days on the Thai island Koh Lanta. The weather was one of the reasons but this is another long story.
I never expected that traveling alone and organize everything myself while traveling will be that easy like I figured out soon as well as I would not be alone most of the time during the trip. It did not matter where I had been I met other traveler and had good company most of the time – also at a later point of time when I bumped into people again by coincidence at different places -.
Some stories and people I met I ll never forget. Like the older British couple in their late sixties who already traveled for 10 weeks I met in Vientiane when we shared a Tuk Tuk from the bus station which almost started burning on our ride to the city center. Later on when I tried to explore the island of Don Khong in the Mekong by bike they literally run into me. We spent a funny afternoon chatting and laughing about travel stories sharing some bottles of beer Lao on a terrace overviews the life on the Mekong river.
The Mekong also made me meet more interesting people and listen to more travel stories while enjoying the relaxed two days slow boat ride from the Thai border to Luang Prabang. Followed by a good after arrival dinner, some lovely international wines and my late night climb over the locked gate of my guesthouse (yes I ruined my Jeans and got a big scratch on my leg but luckily nobody had seen me except from the young Lao couple who helped me over) with the couple from New York I met on the boat before.
Another good possibility to meet other travelers and/or locals with good insider tips about the destination is the Couchsurfing website. There are boards/groups for the different areas and city which you can join. This is why I had lunch in a typical teahouse in Hongkong which I never would have found or been able to order food without this funny Hongkong Girl. The plan was to have lunch and finally we spend more time together. She also showed me some night life in Hongkong. Great fun till the taxi driver cheated me by giving me back fake money. Nevertheless I had an epic time.
I can say South East Asia is a perfect destination for solo trips because it is a safe area, the prices are very good, it is easy to travel around and get things organized. You ll meet plenty of other interesting travelers everywhere to share experience and stories.
I am sure this won’t the last solo trip after I learned that it is easier than expected and I also am myself enough as company at least for a while. The independence to decide spontaneously about what to do, where to go to and when is a very good point to try this way to travel.
For those who loves to learn more about our beautiful and interesting planet earth by meeting new people and making new friends from around the world and listen to their stories, learning about different lifestyles and cultures traveling alone is perfect. You never ll meet that many people when you are traveling with others.
Traveling alone for me also was great possibility to get out of my comfort zone and it showed me I can do everything I want to. One thing which made me proud of myself and happy that I could make this experience.