(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
Have you travelled solo? Got any tips to add?