For almost 10 years I have been fascinated by people who travel alone. How can they go to a place where they don’t know anyone for a long time? Isn’t that boring? No, absolutely not. Of course, you have to jump over your shadow the first time. Especially if you’re such an introvert as I am. Instead of thinking about all the negative aspects, let’s just highlight the positives.
- Sleep and go to bed when you want.
- No fighting over activities.
- Meet new people from all over the world.
When my mom used to tell me that she was traveling alone when she was my age, I laughed at her because she had no friends. I now know that, firstly, it is not so easy to set up appointments with friends as an adult and, secondly, it takes a lot of courage to get out of your comfort zone and into new waters, completely on your own.
You’d think that shouldn’t bother me. After all, I emigrated quite spontaneously from Zurich to Berlin at the tender age of 20 years and left everything important to me behind me for a new start. The difference, however, is that somehow everything was already settled on site. I had a job, an apartment, and most importantly, my boyfriend at the time and his circle of friends. So I sort of sat down in a made nest and didn’t have to deal with the topic of being alone at the time – even if everything was new and scared me a little bit.
Previous experience with solo traveling
Strictly speaking, this isn’t my first trip alone. When I flew to Bali in 2017, I also spent almost a week alone on this breathtaking island. My best friend wanted to stay a few days longer at a festival, so we postponed our meeting. At first, it was super bad for me. I’ve often flown alone because of my long-distance relationship and the move to Berlin, but then you’ll see familiar faces again no later than an hour after arrival.
The thing in Bali was a different matter, although I wouldn’t compare it to the trip to Kos. I was pretty much thrown in at the deep end during the trip to Bali, as this was only decided the evening before my departure. On-site I spent the time with the things around me. I went to the nearby beach, watched movies in the room, or read a book by the pool. This time it was time to go out. Planning a daily routine, meeting new people and more.
Otherwise, in the past few months, I’ve tried to slowly approach the whole solo traveling thing, with ever-growing excursions. The very first thing I did on my own was a trip to the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. After that, I went on a day trip to the Bastei, where I went hiking for a day.
Choose the right country
It is up to you where the first trip should go. But my recommendation for the beginning is to approach it slowly. As you could read from my previous experiences, I was overwhelmed in Bali and didn’t dare to go out. In any case, Europe offers a lot of familiarity and security. I don’t want to say that women are weaker, but many men see women as weaker and there are differences from country to country as to where you can roam around more freely, especially in the evenings, and where you can’t.
I’ve put together a small list of places where I personally or people I know have had good experiences. If one or the other also knows something, he is welcome to write it in the comments, then I will add the country.
My solo traveling expectations
It is August 26th, 2021 and almost three hours ago I booked my first trip, which I will make alone, at the Atlantis Hotel on Kos. Also almost three hours ago, my boss confirmed the vacation request and set the pillar for my big adventure. I feel like a bouncy ball all the time and I’m super excited in a good way. I can hardly wait for these 40 days to go by so this adventure can finally begin. I still have some digging to do as I’m a total adventure junkie. So far I know what I want to do is a full-day boat trip where you can see dolphins, visit different small islands, and snorkel in the crystal clear waters. I would also like to do a wine tasting, but so far I haven’t found anything about this project.
In addition to all the things directly related to the trip, I have also dealt with forums. I am now a proud member of an All Female Solo Traveling Facebook group. I’ve found a few tips that I find very helpful. It’s also super motivating to read all the other girls’ stories.
My first trip alone to Kos
I thought that I would start looking back on my trip and summarize my experiences while traveling solo. But now I’m back in Berlin writing this article because I had no time during this trip. It was filled with beautiful experiences with amazing people! I was always on the move. My expectations were completely exceeded, I’m still flashed.
I met Chris and his foster daughter right on the first evening. We hit it off right away and met up for drinks after dinner, which ended up being several. Already on the first night, I went dancing, bathed in the sea, and ventured into the pool in the middle of the night. I had planned to sit down at the pool bar with my novel and a glass of wine, but nothing came of it. The next evenings were similar, but more and more people joined our group. I spent most of the days by the sea. Of course, I also experienced some adventures as planned. Some things I was doing by myself like the planned boat trip and sightseeing of Kos town. Other things I did with Chris and his foster daughter like a quad tour across the island. Among other things, we went to the Empros Therme, Plaka Forest, and a dried-up salt lake. We ended the evening with a glass of wine in Zia while watching a breathtaking sunset.