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.
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 😅.
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
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.
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 😉
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 😉 .