So, I have been screaming about stepping outside of your comfort zone and making a conscious effort to become your version of the “perfect” you (one step at a time). For me, I want to be more adventurous, the “perfect” me is a traveller and isn’t afraid of her own company. So, I did it, I went on my first SOLO trip!
For my first trip alone, I went to Marsa Alam, Egypt. And while I had an amazing time – in the much needed sun – I also learnt some lessons.
Always be kind to the staff
You’re alone, the staff are your family whilst you’re away, or at least can be your friends. The staff there legit had my back. I met these two men who seemed nice, took a few novelty (I met a black girl) pictures with them and I thought that would be it.
Wrong. They found me again at dinner where I found out that one was old enough to be my grandfather (66) and the other was almost twice my age! They are super friendly and asking a few questions, but it’s getting kinda awkward and I wanna chill. I excuse myself.
The next day they pop up again whilst I’m on the beach and a few of the hotel staff notice them around me. By this point I am friends with half the hotel and these guys know everyone. I met with Mido who does the quad biking, he tells me to beware of the Lithuanians, they want to cause trouble form me, I didn’t get what he was talking about, but later on in the day Adam who organises horse riding tells me the same thing. I am starting to get concerned, finally Hassan (my Egyptian bestie) tells me the exact same thing. Turns out the Lithuanian men have been talking about me. They think I want to have “fun” with them – I’m here alone, so I must be looking for a “good time” right? And as it was their last night they felt like they were the ones who were going to show me a good time 😳. You see why it’s good to have friends? This information gave me the knowledge to stay clear of those men that night, in fact I basically ran to my hotel room that night so they wouldn’t see me lol.
Create an itinerary before you travel
I thought I’d just go and have an amazing time relaxing on the beach. I wouldn’t get bored because in theory I had a lot to do and the plan is to step out of my comfort zone right (as soon as I stepped on the plane I did that so ✔️) so there’s no need to plan
In fact I was so anxious about being in a new environment that on the first night I questioned whether or not I even needed to eat because I was scared to venture out of my hotel room alone.
Of course I love my food, so hunger won out and I finally built up the courage to go out and find the restaurant. But you can imagine how unadventurous I actually ended up being. In fact it was until the 3rd day when I was truly bored out of my mind that I actually sat down and built an itinerary. This Itinerary allowed me to finally embark on some new experiences and do some things I had never done before. So, I would advise you to definitely create an itinerary before you travel, maybe even pay for a few excursions beforehand, this will push you to go even if you’re thinking of chickening out.
It is so important to check in with a family member whilst you’re away. I am sure you have heard of that poor girl who went travailing in Austraila. She made sure to check in with her parents whilst she was away and it was her silence that signalled that something was wrong – a lot sooner than if she only checked in every 3/4 days. Her story didn’t end well, but this could be the difference you getting home safe and you not getting home at all. At the very least, it got me out of a few awkward situations with persistent men.
Plan (travel documents)
I cannot stress this enough. This is more than the itinerary I asked you to create in point 2. This refers to the documents/things you need to check off before you travel. Do you need vaccinations? Do you have the address of the place you are going to stay at? Transfers? One that gets me is always visas. I knew beforehand that I needed a visa to go to Egypt, but it totally slipped my mind and I was only just able to get it sorted before the big day 😪
Barter, barter, Barter!
You may see it as a pro or a con, but the fact that price tags are not a thing in Marsa Alam means that every price is up for negotiation. While I didn’t accept the first price given to me, I also don’t know if I actually secured a good price or if the price I got it at just seemed good to me. Some of the deals I got (or thought I got) was a camel ride for 200 (EGP), at trip to Luxor for 75 (EUR) – he charged the other group that came with me 120 (EUR) 😉 and quad biking for 600 (EGP).
Now I know I am not the queen of haggling, so if that is a gift you possess, there are some deals to be found over in Marsa Alam
All in all I had a good time, I am the type of person who enjoys my own company and with a good book and a few conversations from bae I am good to go. The bonus was enjoying that time on a beautiful beach next to the Red Sea, I also got myself out of my comfort zone – which isn’t the easiest thing for me – and I tried a lot of new things, for that I am proud of myself. Will I be doing another solo trip? Yes, however I wouldn’t recommend Marsa Alam as the place to do it tho. Whilst the beaches are truly beautiful there just isn’t that much to do. It was actually boredom that pushed me to go and pursue some adventure. Next time I would definitely go to a big city where I can experience more of the culture instead of being in a hotel in the middle of a dessert.
If you have any advice on solotripping or are thinking about it, hit me up and let me know!
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