I wasn't trying to find myself in a foreign land; my first solo trip was unexpected. I had a fuck it! moment in 2015 after being let down by my travel buddy. When I told my friends and family I was planning my first solo trip, they weren't too keen on the idea, raising concerns about my safety and being lonely. I think some of them thought it was a bit sad.
If I had the same conversation today, maybe they would think differently. Attitudes have shifted towards solo traveling. There has been a 143% increase in "solo travel" searches since 2015. So even if you're doing it alone, you're not the only one doing it.
I have travelled to more countries on my own than I have with other people (Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Spain, Portugal, Malawi, Italy, Germany and France). I have stayed in hostels, Airbnbs and tents. My longest trip lasted 28 days, my shortest - just five. I love it.
To get ready, before each trip I do most of the recommended preparations, from researching cultural norms to reading reviews. But there were many things I couldn’t have anticipated.