3 Solo Trips That Will Change the Way You See Yourself
The beautiful thing about solo travel is that no two experiences are alike. There are lessons to be learnt with every trip that you take, and every destination has the potential to provide an enlightening experience that enriches you.
This is perhaps even more so with solo travel, where you’re guided by your own wits and compelled to deal with different situations that you never would have imagined. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up a list of three solo trips that will change the way you see yourself.
Lapland: Land of the Winter Sun
For a life-changing solo trip, you simply cannot go wrong by visiting any one of the Nordic countries. Cities like Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo are great picks for travelers going it alone, but to find true solitude, head further north to the Finnish Lapland region.
Here, the long winters make for dramatic Westeros-like settings. In these northern reaches, you’ll learn about ancient Lapland traditions, be seduced by the awe-inspiring and magical lights of the Aurora Borealis and marvel at the stunning winter wonderland that surrounds you. And don’t forget you can also meet Santa Clause, and learn more about the tradition and legend surrounding the jolly fellow.
This Arctic region might feel post-apocalyptic, but in the Land of the Midnight Sun, there’s ample time for meditation, reflection and solitude. Being exposed to such adverse conditions may seem daunting, but there’s much to be gained from spending time in this part of the Arctic Circle. In simple terms; it’s the adventure of a lifetime that has the potential to change your outlook on life.
Morocco: A Visual Spectacle
Morocco is an enchanting country for solo travelers, and while it isn’t without its challenges, it can make for an extremely satisfying travel experience. All it takes to get around in this land of leather is is a little discernment and a healthy dose of confidence.
Visually, Morocco is an absolute treat. From the buzzing souks (markets) in Marrakech to the ornately tiled Hammam baths in Casablanca, this North African nation is packed with sights and sounds at every turn.
To truly thrive in Morocco, however, it helps to observe the local cultures, particularly when it comes to dressing and in turn, showing respect for the prevailing value system. As a country that follows Islam, it’s in your best interests to follow a modest dress code when you’re out and about.
Confidence is also a trait that will help you to enjoy your time here, particularly in the bustling city centers. Walking with an air of self-assurance is a clear signal that you’re not here to be trifled with. When you’re negotiating with market vendors, be clear, calm and firm, as the last thing you want is to fall prey to a scam. Adding some basic Arabic words to your vocabulary will make your interactions with the locals a little easier, and they will appreciate the effort you’ve taken to converse in their lingua franca.
Once you’ve mastered the art of having your wits about you, you’ll be able to enjoy all that Morocco has to offer. Sights like the majestic Sahara Desert, or the blue-washed village of Chefchaouen, are just some of the things to look forward to.
Going solo in Morocco will force you to banish any self-doubt that you might have about your own traveling abilities. Perhaps more importantly, you will learn the importance of cultural connections and the power of small gestures in endearing yourself to the locals.
Italy: Hedonism on a Dime
When travelers talk about Italy, they conjure up images of Tuscan villas, scrumptious Italian dishes, and imposing architecture. There’s nothing imposing about traveling alone here, however, especially if this is your first trip alone.
From the iconic Cinque Terre in the north-west reaches all the way down to the Amalfi Coast on the southern coast, it’s difficult to pick out a single jewel in Italy’s crown. The best itinerary would most likely see you experience a mix of city and country, with time spent in Rome, Milan, Venice, Capri, Florence Puglia, Naples and Sicily.
The one thing that you’ll very quickly learn about traversing Italy is that some things are best left unplanned. Having a barebones itinerary will work in your favor, as you’ll have time to wander and truly uncover the hidden gems. Slow, unhurried travel will force you to appreciate the beauty and culture that surrounds you.
As travelers, we often get so ensconced in planning that we forget to take a moment to ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with being unashamedly selfish with your time and indulging in the pleasures that the country has to offer. Dine on gourmet cuisine, imbibe the finest wines and sample from a selection of cheeses. After all, these are the cornerstone of Italian food.
As you move through the country, from the trendy streets of Milan, down towards the Tuscany region and eventually settle down south in Sicily, you’ll discover that each locale has something special to offer.