The "Why" factor.
*Photo credit Me. Yes this is the map on my wall with little notes about places to investigate.
Yes this is the place I am headed next!
The “WHY” factor. Where do you want to go & why?
I was recently asked from an inquisitive soon to be global traveler.
“hey Kix, i saw your post about the gap year. that sounds exactly like me. I've been planning on going on heaps of trips in my gap year and here I am almost a full year after high school and no travels yet. One of the reasons is because I can't find anyone to go with. As much as I liked to believe its ok for me to travel on my own to foregone countries, i would feel very unsafe about it not only as a woman i would feel unsafe but just as a foreigner just in a completely new country.”
Lets start off by nailing down step one of a multi step system to get you from “Holy crap there is a whole world out there & it’s passing me by” to “Ohh man those were some great underwater shots of the manta rays we got today while snorkeling off the coast of Indonesia”.
I know, I’ve been on both sides of this & learned a lot from costly trial and error. Let me help you to save time while you maximize experience.
First off I’d narrow down where you want to go and why. Do you want to go to South East Asia to explore your inner chef and suck up its deep historical culture? Or maybe you want to go to Europe so you can buy a T-shirt from twelve countries in twelve days? Or maybe you want to learn Mandarin and soak in the language / lifestyle of China. Who knows better then you? No one!
Personally I knew that somewhere outside of the sleepy little town I grew up in was a world of excitement, I didn't know where exactly thou I’d heard a good place to start was Australia & that’s where I headed.
Let’s say you’re pitching this plan to your spouse, parents, friend etc. Like all good sales pitches you’ll need to be able to validate it within yourself before you can go and sell anyone else on the idea.
Step one, decide where & why.
Next you can start pitching the idea to possible interested friends, spouse, self and so on. Personally my first trip right out of high school I pitched the idea to several friends who I was sure we’re going to drop everything and come along. In the end I went with hands down the absolute perfect friend and I actually hadn’t even considered asking him when I was originally planning this out.
My nephew had planned on going with a good friend for ages and a few weeks before a one year departure date overseas his friend BAILED (boo!). Magically another family member had been on the hunt for someone to go with & they ended up starting off the trip together a short time, until they made other friends and parted ways only meeting up again for the plane ride home. Some way some how it always works out, just get the ball rolling and the pieces fall into place.
As I’m sure is the concern of many travel alone females in a foreign place, it sounds a bit intimidating. Hell it’s a bit intimidating as a male & I’ve been on many a trip. Well there are a few remedies for this even if you can not find a companion who’d be so wise as to see the world.
Many companies offer group tours that are typically full of like minded similar situation people looking to meet others just like them. An introvert female friend of mine went on one such tour for a few weeks in Asia, by the time the trip was wrapped up she had met some friends who wanted to continue on, felt more comfortable where she was & developed a whole new outlook on solo female travel.
I can’t speak from experience thou I’ve heard some reputable companies are Free & Easy Travel & GAdventures. There is also a whole host of other volunteer and religious organisations doing similar projects.
If you have any suggestions or comments please post them below.
In the next post will touch on laying out the budget, ohh that’s a fun one!