Welcome Nicole, from the delightful Woman Seeks World blog, who is our latest superwoman traveller. Nicole is a fellow Aussie who figured out at age 22 that there was more to life than a perfectly planned career path (and that's pretty much exactly what I decided at 25 - so she was smarter than me!). These days, in her words, she's transitioning "from travel addict to full-time digital nomad" and she's actually in India at the moment, but planning the "trip of her life" starting in 2012. Thanks for taking part in our superwoman traveller series, Nicole!
Tell me about your first solo trip.
I've always been quite an independent person and even as a kid of 11 I was travelling across the state to visit family and friends. Overseas solo travel just grew from there - I remember booking my first solo trip to Fiji and it felt completely liberating! I was a little nervous, but I knew that I would be ok no matter what, and I totally was! I had an amazing couple of weeks scuba diving, swimming and drinking Fijian Kava with my new friends and I knew from then on it was only onwards and upwards for me and solo travel.
What's the biggest advantage of travelling solo for you?
Freedom. While I also love travelling with my boyfriend and friends, there's something about travelling solo that makes me feel completely alive, free, and in control of my own destiny. Every trip I do by myself gives me more confidence, so it's kind of like a drug to me in a way!
Are there places you'd rather not visit on your own?
Some places in Africa and the Middle East I would be hesitant to visit either alone or with other people, but I hope to be able to visit these places one day in the future - maybe I'll be brave enough to go it alone, who knows?! I think if I knew I was taking all the precautions needed then I probably wouldn't have a problem with it.
Can you give us a tip for women thinking of travelling solo?
I would say to every woman out there that they need to travel solo at least once in their lives. It can be really scary for some people, but we all have it within us to set off alone and have the time of our lives. Travelling solo has given me so much confidence, self-awareness and patience that I can't imagine what I would be like if I hadnt have done it. Believe in yourself and trust that you will be ok - just go for it and embrace the freedom, because you won't regret it!
Thanks Nicole - I totally agree that every woman should at least try travelling solo once - there's a good chance you'll fall in love with it! If you're concerned, Nicole also has a great post about why you shouldn't be scared of solo travel, so check it out.