Things I Wish I Would Have Done Differently My First Solo Trip
The first time you do anything – it generally doesn’t turn out perfectly or even close to perfect. Give yourself some credit though, it’s hard to prepare for something you’ve never experienced before. You will most likely make a few mistakes along the way but that’s okay, mistakes just help you learn for later on.
My first solo trip was wonderful but if I could go back I would try to do a few things differently. I hope this list will give you a new perspective going into your first solo trip!
- Plan Ahead! As much as I love doing things on a whim , having somewhat of a plan when I arrived in Australia would have been a lot better. If I had a plan I would have wasted less time panicking, trying to figure out what to do next and I would have saved myself so much stress if I knew where I was going once in a while.
- Research the places you want to see! I think I would have felt much more fulfilled with my trip if I knew ahead of time why I wanted to go certain places. It’s not enough to just be interested in a place because it’s pretty, it’s much more meaningful going somewhere knowing why you want to be there and knowing what you want to see.
- Dress LESS like a backpacker Maybe this one won’t be as important to everyone but constantly wearing a Northface/bush jacket and joggers in a city is sort of depressing. I felt so underdressed and “out of place” it left me self conscious, thinking everyone was judging me. Packing light is convenient but if you are going to bring very few articles of clothing – make sure some of them are some what dressy. Also dressing like a “backpacker” makes you stick out like a sore thumb in touristy areas which often makes you the target for pushy sales people or worse –theft! If you want to see what I brought on my trip check out my post Hostel Essentials: List of 20 items that will make your travels even better.
- Take more pictures! Remember to take photo’s of yourself and your friends. It’s one thing to take pictures of buildings and nature periodically but sometimes pictures without people in them don’t really stand out. Plus you know when you get back from your trip your friends and family will want to see photos of you! This is definitely one of my biggest regrets when it comes to my first solo trip. I took no where near as many pictures as I should have.
- Try more restaurants. Australia in general was pretty expensive so I usually cooked all of my food to save money, meaning I didn’t get a chance to go out and have the experience of trying new foods and dining like the Australians. I think we need to treat ourselves and indulge sometimes otherwise you make yourself miserable and miss out on different experiences. I will say I did have a chance to go to one restaurant while my dad was down and it was amazing- we went to an indian restaurant in Port Douglas called Royal Spice.
- When adding new friends into your phone – put a description of where you met them with their name- Usually on a solo backpacking trip you will meet a countless amount of people and exchange numbers, but after a while it get confusing when you have 3 Jessica’s in your phone and no idea who’s who’s. Adding a description of the person or where you met them makes it so much easier to tell everyone apart.
- Join other groups of travellers– Being a solos backpacker it’s easy to keep to yourself and go unnoticed but that gets old very quickly. So branch out and join other groups of travellers when they decide to go exploring it’s more fun that way and you just might make some new friends.
- Take advantage of the other countries around you. I think if you are coming to a new country from the other side of the world – you should take advantage of your new surroundings and see as many places as you can. There’s a reason why many Australians travel to Asia for a holiday – it’s so close!
- Explore more and work less. On a Working Holiday Visa it’s easy to feel pressured to settle in one place and start looking for work immediately but don’t feel the need to settle down right away before you get a chance to explore. If you’re not super broke and in need of some cash Asap – then do some travelling before you stay in one spot. When you start working right away it tends to exhaust you quickly sometimes discouraging you from continuing on your trip at all.
- Try as many new things as possible.You’re in a new place so do your best to try as many new things as you can. Absorb it all – the new foods, the new people, the new language, slangs,activities, sites and so much more. If you’ve taken time out of your life to go somewhere new then enjoy it!
Let me know what you thought of my list of things I would do different for my first solo backpacking trip. Have you been on a solo trip? I would love to hear some of your stories !!