When I left for Southeast Asia about four months ago, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. I was absolutely scared shitless!
I had never been to Asia let alone SE Asia before and the thought of doing it solo was scary. But I’ve realized there is a difference between traveling in Asia and traveling in Europe solo. I felt safer in SE Asia than I did in Europe. Honestly. I felt as though the backpacker scene was more welcoming in SE Asia than in Europe.
Another thing that I loved about traveling solo in SE Asia were the other travelers I met along the way. There are different types of travelers traveling in SE Asia than there are in Europe. I mean the type of travelers that are traveling solo, too.
In Europe you usually find the traveler who’s got a deadline. What does that mean? It’s the traveler that is only on a weekend trip or has to return to work after X days away. Which is usually the norm for people traveling, right?
Well, in SE Asia, it is slightly different. Yes, you’ll meet the occasional/ typical traveler who’s taking their two weeks off from work or life. But, more often than not, you’ll meet the traveler who has quit their full-time job to travel the world. They usually have no deadline or returning flight. I call them, the “crazy travelers.”
Once in a while you’ll come across the young 18-year girl or boy from Canada, who has been saving up since they were 15-years-old to just travel after high school because they didn’t know what they wanted to do with their lives, which is totally normal in most countries, except America!
It’s pretty cool, not going to lie. I am one of those “crazy travelers.” Before I ever traveled to SE Asia, I traveled Europe and South America. I hadn’t met many “crazy travelers” like myself. It felt reassuring and comforting to know, I wasn’t the only one who decided to do something out of the norm.
It wasn’t my first time traveling solo when I headed to SE Asia. Like I’ve mentioned before, I’ve traveled alone plenty. I was nervous. I was scared. It was the best thing I did! I had wished it was the first place I started traveling, back when I decided to quit my job and travel the world in February 2015.
The best part is that it’s cheap, too! And when you’re traveling on a strict budget, anything helps.
The culture, the people, the strangers, the food, the heat, the challenges and meeting other travelers like myself made my experience an amazing one. I believe I learned so much more about myself traveling through SE Asia solo then I ever did traveling in Europe.
Though I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I guess I wouldn’t have felt this way if I hadn’t seen Europe first.
If you’re looking for an experience that will inspire, motivate and give you the biggest culture shock of your life, it will change you as an individual. Start your solo trip in SE Asia.
As a solo traveler most of your most memorable experiences come from meeting strangers that turn into friends along your journey. It is an adventure all in itself, but it makes it so much more interesting when you walk away from it all and realize you’ve learned more than you could have ever imagined.