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5 Tips For A Girl That Is Planning To Travel On Her Own

Writing tips for a girl that is planning to travel on her own is something very special to me. Since I was a teenager, this was a dream I had, but I couldn’t know if I was going to have the guts for turning it into a reality.

Right now, I am 22 years old, and happily, I have traveled on my own twice. Of course, I believe this is just the beginning of what is going to be a lifetime full of trips by myself. But, since I am very proud of this accomplishment, I decided to share some tips for making this decision easier and more fun to another girls, because one thing is certain: there are going to be troubles, loneliness will scare you sometimes, and being by yourself is not always as romantic as some movies and articles make it seem to be. Sometimes things will go wrong, and this is part of a process that you will have to accept. Having said that, here are some advices I would have loved someone told me before I took an airplane and spent one month completely alone in Europe, at the age of 19.

#1 Not everyone you love is going to understand this decision

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Unfortunately, our society has created some bad stereotypes about women that travel on their own: because of the deeply structural sexism that is still a reality nowadays, the idea of a girl traveling by herself can be seen in a negative way by many people.

Some relatives, friends, and even partners, can get really concerned about you, because of possible dangers you will have to face alone: harassment, urban violence, and even harder stuff. On the other hand, if you don’t have any girlfriend or boyfriend, people can see it as a ‘’sad-lonely-girl-who-has-nobody’’ decision.

For the first case, keep in mind that you already fight against all of that on your own where you live, so this is not going to be different somewhere else. You do have to take some precautions, but they are gonna be very similar to the ones you already have in your hometown. In the second case, the only thing you can do is try to talk with this dear people of yours that still have this “old mentality”: start by saying all the things you can learn, and how independent you can become by traveling on your own. If it works, great! If it doesn’t, please, don’t give up on your plans because of the other people opinions.

#2 Your feelings will oscillate more frequently than usual

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Because of many reasons, it is obvious that you are going to be much more emotionally unstable during your trip – more than you usually are. You will meet new places, cultures, people and languages. Of course, all of this is going to dialogue with you differently depending on the occasion.

I will take my case as an example: in only 24 hours, I met several neighborhoods in Prague, drank the most wonderful beers ever, almost froze, ended up being robbed in the hostel I stayed and felt completely unsafe in there. Took a flight in the first class to Paris, saw the Eiffel Tower for the first time, met another Brazilian girl, from Rio, by chance in the subway and we became friends. Then I saw the best street artists I’ve ever seen in my life, that are the ones who work in Paris’s public transportation (they really are unforgettable), went to a party with this new friend of mine… Wow! This is much more exciting than an entire month during my routine in São Paulo.. and I had the most diverse feelings during all this: fear, angry, loneliness, cheerfulness, gratitude, tiredness, excitement, and many others.  

Dealing with this big amount of emotions during this so brief time is not an easy task. It is important to be aware of this oscillation, so when it happens you don’t lose your mind. Have the consciousness this is a natural part of the process!

#3 Many times you are going to be totally alone, and that’s ok!

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The idea that you’re going to easily meet several people during your trip is not necessarily true. It is something that is actually pretty random: in one day you can meet 10 different people, and for weeks not even a single one.

Traveling alone is also a challenge of hearing and dealing with yourself, and understanding that, at least in principle, you’re your own company and the only person actually trustful you know in this new place. Here is one valuable tip: your lonely trip is an opportunity of being honest about your desires with no judgment. So if you wanna sleep until 3pm, do it! If it is your wish leaving that famous museum because you’re feeling bored, do it! You wanna skip lunch and eat ice cream instead, for once your life? Go ahead! No one you know is there to judge you!

#4 Choose a destination that best fits your personality

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This one can be a little obvious, but choosing a destination when you’re traveling alone is a little bit different than choosing it when you’re traveling with friends, partners or family. What happens is that the destination is going to be your main – and many times only – entertainment. For instance, I’m a city person, so in both trips I did by myself I went to big capitals around the world, because I knew these places would be full of things that are related to my lifestyle. So, keep in mind: choose a destiny that you, and only you, thinks is amazing – even though it might be a little bit unusual for others!

#5 Organize your finances

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Now that I wrote about more existential things about traveling alone, it is important to talk something very practical, but not less important: money. Be aware of how much money you can spend, and divide it for the days you’re staying on your trip. Otherwise you can be in trouble during the last days, which is not nice at all. With this simple organization, you’ll have no worries and will enjoy much more!

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Monique Sampaio

Casper Libero

Feminist,in love with literature and coffee,proud of being latina.
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