Lonely girl’s guide to overseas travel

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(Please note: this post is published as an entry to the Virgin Australia Voyagers competition)

When you’re a broad travelling abroad you might feel a tad overwhelmed when you wander through the airport all on your lonesome.

Get a hold of yourself sista. This trepidation has nothing to do with your final destination. Kindly direct your fears to the nearest exits. Now let’s begin our ascent.

Strangers aren’t strange
Bring your A-game banter. Eighty-year-old Erica in 12E might turn out to be the nan of your new best mate.

Idle chit-chat at the local chippy could lead to an invitation to a weekend soirée not too far away.

Keep your wits and words about you at bus stops, train stations and any old queue. These are the moments when time stands still, making way for your witty repartee to build bridges where none existed, make connections at interchanges and forge throughways at crossroads.

Never order your coffee to go
Pull up a pew at the long communal table in the centre of the coffee shop. Avoid either end. This is not a board meeting and you’re not the Chair.

You’re that free spirited traveller, journaling exotic tales of last week’s adventure, all the while seated ever so casually at the middle of the six-foot trestle table made from recycled timbers.

A simple “please pass the sugar” or “may I have that magazine” will likely kick off some kind of cuppa convo. Remember, a shared hot brew warms the solo traveller’s soul.

Abandon the selfie stick
Forget the self portraits. You’re a tourist, not a photographer. Look for someone else wielding a map and ask them to take your photo. Then, do the same for them.

Before you know it, email addresses are exchanged, tales of travel woe and wonder are swapped and voilà, two lone wolves travel in a herd for an hour or two. Who knew?

Tales from HQ
Remember that exchange student who fascinated you in primary school? Now the roles are reversed and you’re the leading lady. You might not feel exotic but to someone who knows nothing of your homeland, you’re a mystery and a marvel.

There’s no harm in a few “g’day mates” and the occasional “barbie and struth”. Just skip the tales of kangaroos as pets and koalas in your backyard, ok?

Friends in high places
When you land, call that friend of a friend. Connecting with mates of mates is like an employer giving you a job based on your references.

It’s a sure bet you two will have mutual interests and hanging out together will come as naturally as it does for you and the guy or gal who introduced you.

Make it home in time for Christmas
Come December, don’t put an ocean between you and yours. No matter where you baste your turkey, you’ll be downing eggnog wishing you were with family.

It’s true, home really is where the heart is, so beat a path back there before the fat man makes it down the chimney.

Safe travels sista. x

stonehend

Have you travelled solo? Got any tips to add?

10 Comments

  • Reply August 6, 2015

    Isabel

    Nice one Tonia. I’m so glad you posted this on Facebook this morning…as soon as I saw this competition, I entered too. Imagine winning two return business class flights to LA?! I can’t even imagine how exciting that would be. I love your tips. xx

    • Reply August 6, 2015

      Tonia

      Thanks Isabel. I totally agree, what a great competition! x

  • Great tips, lady! I’m all for tapping up friends in high places, and while travelling I’ve found small group tours for a day or two a great place to meet peeps and network because everyone is in the same boat so to speak!

    • Reply August 7, 2015

      Tonia

      Hey Sammie, good point. I do recall taking a few terrific guided tours with a whole bunch of folk from all corners of the globe. Lately, I’ve been dreaming of dusting off the passport. For now, my trek to the Gold Coast will have to do! See you soon. x

  • Reply August 7, 2015

    Kathy

    I love your tips Tonia – I can see you with your seasoned solo traveller swagger having the best time. I’ve entered the comp too, who knows! See you next week!

    • Reply August 7, 2015

      Tonia

      Hey Kathy, I’m so looking forward to catching up next week. The countdown has officially begun!

  • Reply August 9, 2015

    Heart

    Great tips, Tonia! In addition to that, being polite and cheerful can help us enjoy solo travelling.A single smile to anyone you meet can start a new conversation.

    • Reply August 9, 2015

      Tonia

      Thanks and yes I totally agree. Sometimes a simple smile can really turn someone’s frown upside down! Thanks for stopping by.

  • Reply August 12, 2015

    Tash @ Gift Grapevine

    Love your travel pics Tonia! Friends of friends are brilliant when travelling. I’ve found people are always keen to show off their home town xx

    • Reply August 12, 2015

      Tonia

      Thanks Tash. Gosh I had fun going through my holiday snaps. xx

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