Travelling solo can be an amazing experience. It not only gives you the opportunity to do what you want, when you want to, but it’s also a great way to break out of old routines for a while and go out and do something worthwhile.
Personally, I’ve been on three “real” solo vacations so far and a number of mini solo day excursions. Each adventure brought a beautiful new experience with it and if you’re thinking about taking a solo vacation and haven’t yet done so, I would definitely recommend it!
That said, if you’re unsure or don’t know what you could do on a solo vacation, the idea can be a little disconcerting. So with that in mind, I’ve compiled a short list of ideas of what you could do on your next trip away.
1. Do Good & Learn – Go WWOOFing
If you haven’t heard of WWOOFing before, then here’s your chance to learn about something amazing. WWOOF actually stands for World Wide Opportunities On Organic Farms, however, contrary to the name there are actually many different organisations that take part in this program, not just farms.
The principal behind it is that you exchange 4-6 hours of help, for one full day’s food and accommodation, with the length of your stay being determined between yourself and the farm/place owner.
My own WWOOFing experience back when I was 18, took me all the way to the middle of the Nagano hills in Japan, where I spent a week and a half cleaning rooms, moving furniture and keeping the foreign guests entertained at a charming little pension.
It was a great experience, which I still think back to fondly and I’d encourage anyone who is at all interested in alternative living and meeting interesting people to give it a go. You can check out their page at: www.woof.net
2. Take Home An Adventure Story – Go Shark Diving
If you happen to be lucky enough to take your vacation near an aquarium, then why not enquire into the possibility of a shark dive? (Or do as I did and travel 300km specifically for a shark dive?)
If you’ve never been scuba diving before, it provides a great experience to learn the basics in a short time and it’ll give you a good feel for what the real thing might be like. An aquarium will also provide you with a (hopefully) safe environment to look in awe at some of the most beautiful creatures under the sea, which is a truly breathtaking experience.
If you’re reeeaaaally lucky, you might also get to pick up a shark tooth or two from the tank to take home as a souvenir, and how many people can say they’ve done that now, eh?
3. Overcome Your Fears – Go Bungee Jumping
I don’t know about you, but I’m suuuuuuper scared of heights. People have made fun of me for getting dizzy on ski lifts, when looking down a mountain and also not wanting to jump from the pool diving board.
Having said that, I did go on a bungee jump on one of my mini day excursions and I’ll tell you it would have never happened if people were around to make fun of me.
That’s one great thing about a solo vacation. Nobody knows you, nobody expects you to be a certain way and it really makes for some excellent opportunities to do things you wouldn’t normally find the courage to do. Most often because back home, without knowing it, there are so many expectations set on you.
So use the opportunity to go out and do something wild, nobody will know (unless you choose to tell them of course!)
4. Learn to Relax – Go On A Yoga Retreat
This is something I haven’t personally got around to doing yet, but it sounds like a blast. You get to meet new and interesting people whilst learning to relax and often in what look to be magical surroundings.
These retreats are also available for all kinds of budgets, so don’t think you need to cash out for a luxury retreat to take part in one of these. You will potentially have to do a bit of digging though to find the right one.
One site I found recently, which looked quite interesting for this was the Book Yoga Retreats site (original name, right?)
5. Connect With The World – Go Meet Some People
Believe it or not, travelling solo is one of the best ways to meet new people. Travelling alone in new places that will often force/enable you to ask for help, directions and ideas from people who might just have an interesting tale or two to tell.
If you stay at a hostel, you’ll also likely meet a number of other solo and group travellers who will be out on adventures of their own and who may quite possibly be willing to allow you to tag along.
Site such as Travel Buddies, Couchsurfing and Meetup also make it extremely easy to find new travel partners, find out what’s going on in the community around you and jump on board of any plans which happen to strike your fancy.