After being laid off in 2009, I began traveling alone.
When I was laid off during the last recession and relocated to South Korea, I began traveling alone. As an expat who has subsequently lived in many places, such as South Africa and Germany, I’ve recognized there are numerous options to travel and explore the world. I have visited more over 50 countries to far, around 30 of which were solo journeys.
I currently reside in Oman in the Middle East. I’m an English teacher by day and a travel blogger by night. I co-founded a website in 2012 to capture my travels and offer advice.
I enjoy solo travel because I enjoy having autonomy over my itinerary. When traveling with friends or family, compromise is inevitable. I appreciate having the freedom and flexibility to decide one day whether I want to lounge by the pool or go on an adventure.
Individually, I’ve matured and learnt so much about myself. Traveling is a learning experience in general, but navigating a new location on your own is particularly empowering.
My number one piece of advice is to thoroughly investigate a destination to determine whether it is suitable for solo travel.
Brewer performing travel-related research.
I’m a huge nerd who used to work in market research, and I always conduct extensive study to determine whether a destination is suitable or safe for a woman, especially a Black woman.
In addition to standard trip research such as tours and activities, one of the first things I investigate is the number of Black individuals at the destination. I will read the posts of other Black female travel bloggers, TripAdvisor reviews, and social media such as Facebook groups and Nomadness Travel Tribe, an online community for Black travelers.
I prefer to anticipate the best, but plan for the worse. The fact that something happened to one individual does not imply that it will happen to you.
Respecting the local culture is important to me, thus I will pack accordingly.
Brewer in Abu Dhabi.
I always make care to research the local laws and customs before traveling. For instance, if you’re traveling to a place where the majority of the population is Muslim, you should bring more modest clothing.
I usually plan excessively when it comes to budgeting for solitary travels.
When traveling, Brewer always carries her folder of various travel credit cards and paperwork.
As a lone traveler, you must always be overprepared, and budgeting is no exception. You must pay for the hotel room on your own, as there is no one with whom to split the expense. I always have a small amount of additional spending money since you never know what may arise.
In addition, I ensure that I have a credit card with travel insurance and a little additional spending money, because you never know what can occur. My go-to card is the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which offers numerous travel-related perks. Both Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy are excellent loyalty programs. I’m attempting to get better at accumulating points in order to get a couple of free nights on a trip.
Many people fear traveling alone, but I’ve discovered that there is more kindness than evil in the world.
Years of traveling to many locations and experiencing so many cultures have taught me that there is more good than evil in the world. If you are lost, people are typically willing to assist you.
I believe there is a stigma surrounding solo travel – concerns that someone would try to rob you or something horrible will occur. But I can count on one hand the number of terrible experiences I’ve had compared to the number of wonderful, positive memories I have from solo travel, and I want to encourage others to go out and see the world because it has so much to give.