For any budding solo traveller, Amanda Williams’ popular blog, A Dangerous Business is the ultimate authority. The Ohio-based blogger has conquered over 50 countries on her own and her inspirational stories are brimming with advice on navigating the world with just yourself for company. Here, Amanda shares her tips on how to travel solo.
What inspired you to embark on your solo travel adventures?
“To be honest, I was just tired of waiting for people to be able to go with me! I really wanted to travel, but it was tough to find friends or family members who could get time off, or who wanted to go to the same places that I did. In the end, I was inspired by some other female travellers and bloggers who were going the solo route and decided to give it a go myself.”
Were you anxious before you first went travelling alone?
“Definitely! Being nervous before traveling is pretty normal (I still get anxious before big trips), and it can be worse when you’re traveling alone since you only have yourself to rely on. I find, though, that most of the time you just have to push through the fear of getting on the plane, and then a lot of those nerves fade away.”
What’s been your most memorable experience while travelling solo?
“I’ve had some great moments while traveling solo; things like volunteering at an elephant sanctuary in Thailand or hiking on a glacier in New Zealand or road tripping in Norway – those were all pretty awesome!”
What would you say to those considering travelling somewhere new and adventurous by themselves?
“Go for it! I know that the idea of traveling alone can be pretty daunting, but it’s one of those things that you’ll never know if you like it until you try it. Solo travel isn’t a good fit for everybody, but I think everyone should try it at least once. If you’re unsure about embarking upon a really big trip alone, consider ‘testing the waters’ with a short trip closer to home, or by joining a group tour first.”
What do you enjoy most about travelling solo?
“For me it’s definitely the flexibility and freedom. When you travel by yourself, you never have to compromise with another person and can do what you want when you want to do it – that’s pretty empowering!”
What is your top tip for solo travellers?
“To just remember that it’s YOUR trip. You don’t need to go somewhere or do something you don’t want to just because someone (or a guidebook) tells you that you should. Own the fact that you’re the boss! For solo female travellers, I’d also say to always trust your gut. Travelling solo doesn’t have to be dangerous, as long as you avoid putting yourself in dangerous situations.”
What essentials do you always pack in your suitcase?
“As a blogger, I never go anywhere without my camera and laptop. But other must-haves always include my Kindle (a great companion when I’m dining solo); a scarf for keeping warm on planes, trains, or buses; and good walking shoes.”
How do you balance your work and home life with travelling?
“It’s tough, and I’m still trying to find the perfect balance. Most years, I plan one ‘big’ trip (usually 3-5 weeks), and then several small trips, spreading out my travel over the course of the year. This still usually means that I spend 25-30% of my year traveling, but that seems to be a good balance of adventuring and at-home time for me.”
What destinations are you heading to in 2018?
“This year I’ll be visiting New Zealand, Ireland, Iceland, Greenland, Canada (to see polar bears!), along with several spots within the US.”
All images © Amanda Williams