As a solo female traveler, I think that it helps to add independence and confidence to my life.
I also feel that, while at hostels and other places, it is easier for me to join a group of people I meet for a day out exploring or they are more likely to chat with me.
I feel rather than traveling as a group I meet more people when I travel on my own.
Out of the last 5 years, I have spent about 4 of them traveling the world and I just finished exploring my 60th country.
While sitting on an 11-hour bus ride from Inle Lake to Yangon in Myanmar I was thinking to myself what makes me feel like a traveler more than just a tourist seeing a place and I came up with a few thoughts.
I feel I am a traveler when...
- Getting into a bus I look for the seat with the cleanest window versus the nicest seat (I enjoy photography and usually take photos from the bus window)
- I pay more for the guide who speaks English so I can find out more of the history and answer my questions than just the cheapest option
- I eat street food or where the locals are eating over going to a restaurant that looks clean
- I try to learn basic words like "hello" and "thank you" for each country I go to
- Don’t expect or get upset when there are language barriers because I don’t know the local language and people don’t know English. I have fun then playing gestures
- When leaving a place, the things I check have been my passport and debit card versus my phone
- When I am the only foreigner on the bus/ minivan / local transport
- When a country proves me wrong about something I thought. A misconception
- When a local teaches me a traditional game or sport of their country
- I squat to pee and carry my own toilet paper
What makes you feel like you have gotten off the tourist track? What do you look for when traveling? Do you stay in the posh hotel or do you stay in the hostel and push your comfort zone?