The Struggles of a Solo Backpacker

solo backpacking

Struggle of a solo backpacker. Is there?

I didn’t imagine myself solo backpacking or traveling on my own.
Then all of a sudden, I want to travel. My friends are not available that time, because of work schedule. And I was itchy to go somewhere, where I can find adventures and and take a lot of pictures (cause I got my first point and shoot camera). So I decided to go by myself.

After my solo backpacking, I realized I wanted to travel more (well still depends on time and money, haha!).

I’ve done solo traveling 4 times. And here are my experiences/struggles during that time.

My first solo backpacking was in Sagada, Philippines.  I did plan for my itinerary. But I needed to join some group. So we can divide the expenses/fee for the tour guide(s). I enjoyed the adventure on my first solo backpacking trip. And not only that, I met one of my closest friend here too 😄.

Struggle: My sim suddenly didn’t work. The hot shower was not working in my room too. Body ache after the spelunking and trekking.

Solo Backpacker in Sagada

My second solo backpacking was in Japan. I plan to go to Europe for my birthday but, I realized it’s gonna be expensive. So I opt to go to Japan instead.  So, when I found a promo round trip flight, I booked it for my birthday week. I was anxious when it’s almost time for my travel, that I almost want to back up. Since there might be language barrier. But I was not prepared for the autumn season, I underestimated it 😅

Struggle: I had a luggage instead of a backpack. So I had a hard time lifting/carrying my luggage  when there’s elevators/lift and needed to take the stairs. I got lost, several times, since I don’t have any GPS I just asked the locals. And they were very happy to help me 😁. Lastly, because I spaced out on my last day due to lack of sleep, I almost forgot my handbag with my valuables in the bus, including my passport 😅.

Solo Backpacking in Japan

My Third time solo backpacking is in New York City. It was a long weekend, in Canada. So, I decided to go to New York for 3 days. Rode a bus from Toronto to NYC for 13 hours. Met a solo backpacker too. But we just roam the city in our first day, since she got allergies.  I used the HERE map application, an offline GPS, which really helped me, so I didn’t use my phone data.

Struggle: I wasn’t able to sleep in the bus, ’cause there’s not much leg room. I left my tumbler in the bus and it’s been my tumbler for almost 2 years 😭 (SepAnx). My feet were sore of walking the whole day

Solo Backpacking in New York City

My fourth solo backpacker was in Europe. This was my original plan for my Birthday last 2012. And I’m grateful I was able to do it last 2016, and for my birthday too! I found a promo round trip ticket in KLM airline, that’s exactly on my birthday Month and in my birthday week. Score!!!

Struggle: I always do my itinerary and I’m a fan of Do-It-Yourself. Planning was really hard, especially on what places to visit. Since I wanna visit as much as possible in 2 weeks. So I needed to know what are the tourist spots that really interest me. Another one is the transportation. Looking and booking for a flight or train to transfer from one country to another is kinda tricky. Since I need to know the exact date of my departure.

I used a camping backpack for this trip, but it gave me a serious backache (kidding!). I’m a petite girl, so imagine how big my backpack was (which is half of me), so carrying it was a struggle. Believe me, I tried to bring light stuff, but I need some warm coats since it’s autumn season. I almost lost my tumbler again in Amsterdam. And almost lost my camera bag and extra charge in Athens too, good thing I have spare time, so I kept on looking for it in the Acropolis area.

Solo Backpacking in Europe

Solo Backpacking in Europe

Lastly, was to take a picture of myself. Honestly, I think this was my problem for all of my solo backpacking. But I always find someone who will take a photo of me. But the rest, especially in NYC and Europe, I just used my selfie stick and tripod then set a timer in my camera. and that’s it 😉

Solo Backpacking
Epic Fail selfies!

I always want to have at least 1-2 good/great pictures, before I stop (for both the tourist spots and picture of me). So, I collated some of my epic fail photos. I think I always have 10-20 shots before I’m satisfied.

Is solo backpacking really a struggle? Yes. But I can say, I survived.

Was it worth it? Definitely!!! Every single thing. It is so memorable that I will cherish all of it.

Will I do it again? Of course. I’m an introvert. Sometimes I want some alone time. And I always take time taking pictures too. But of course, it’s always fun to travel with someone 😉 .


Struggle of a solo backpacker


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