One of the first things you learn when you are travelling alone is how to introduce yourself to complete strangers.
The first person I started talking to was on the bus from the airport to the centre of Split (where I would be staying for a week). I simply asked the person sitting next to me if they had been to Split before, and from then, we continued talking for the entire bus journey. You just need a bit of confidence, an open question, and a smile.
I did the same thing two dozen times over throughout my trip (admittedly, using different questions) and met so many amazing people that way. Sometimes saying ‘Hello’ can open more doors than you could ever imagine.
Bring a Journal
I know it seems a bit cheesy, but keeping a diary is not only a great souvenir, but it also helps you organise your thoughts. There will be times when you are by yourself and writing a journal gives you something to do and allows you to capture how you are feeling at the time, describe all the new people who’ve met, and exciting activities you’ve taken part in.
Stay in a Hostel
Hostels are cheap and ideal for solo travellers. Although the idea of staying in a dorm may bring back nauseous memories of high school trips or boarding school, living in a hostel is fantastic. It is a great way to meet other people, as you see them every evening, and the warmth and kindness from other hostel-goers is something you never see at the breakfast buffet of an all-inclusive.
My Time In Croatia
In Croatia I visited beautiful stone beaches, the Marjan National Park and the islands of Hvar and Brac. I went rafting in the river and swam in the Krk waterfalls; ate my weight in fresh fruit and veg from the local market and took numerous panoramic photos of the spectacular views from the hilltops. Croatia is a truly incredible country and well worth a visit.
If you are thinking of taking the travelling by yourself, to Croatia or elsewhere, just go for it. I was nervous when I first arrived and thought I had made a big mistake, but honestly travelling alone has taught me more about myself in one week than I have learnt over the past 22 years.
They say you find yourself when you travel but I don’t think that is true. You find other other people and that’s what makes the trip special.
In my opinion, the hardest part of travelling alone is trying to put sunscreen on your own back.
Claire is a final year Dental student at King’s College London with a taste for adventure, sunshine and the sea. Always up for new things, she loves immersing herself in new cultures and writes to share her experiences with others. Although Claire lives in London, her heart will always be in her suitcase.