One Woman’s Solo Travel Experience

We asked Lahaina Jacob to share her solo travel thoughts with us after we read about it on her Instagram account. If reading it inspires you to take that solo trip, rest assured you’ll realize that #ThereAreNoStrangers at our hostels.

My first solo travel experience in the Philippines happened in July 2016. I’ve traveled alone to two countries befoe but it took a while before I gave in to the idea of going solo in my own country.

La Union, or as most of us know as “Elyu”, was the place I picked to jumpstart my local solo travels. I’ve been here years ago and I just thought it was a good choice to go to alone. The commute was easy breezy, the budget needed is not too expensive and the fact that I am already familiar with the place comforted my praning self.

I stayed in The Circle Hostel and to my surprise, I had the place for myself for almost 3 whole days [until 3 British ladies checked in during my last night]. I first knew about this place when some friends and I went to Zambales in 2015. I find the place a great choice for solo or even group travelers.

Processed with VSCO with s3 preset

Processed with VSCO with s3 preset

Traveling alone can be scary, especially during these times. But what actually makes solo traveling scary, specifically for females?

Embracing the reality that everyone has different personalities and characteristics, the idea of solo traveling can be interpreted in many different ways by different individuals. Some people take it as an exhilarating activity while others dread the thought of being alone in a foreign land.

Personally, the fear of getting kidnapped or raped initially stopped me from planning local solo travels. It sounds weird to be scared in your own country, but mine was triggered by all the bad stuff broadcasted on the local news. Also, the possibility of getting robbed and taken advantage of (monetary-wise) also adds to the scare fest. But hey, I conquered my fear! I planned, boarded a bus and went on.

“How?” you ask? Life orchestrated things to push me to do what needs to be done.

The city life took a toll on me. I was sulking due to stress. Things at work have been overwhelming and I just needed a breather. I craved for the things that I believe will soothe my weary and heavy-laden soul—sand, sun and sea.

My boyfriend couldn’t go with me due to his upcoming trip to Thailand but he told me that this is now my chance to go on a solo travel. He helped me planned things, gave ideas and even links to tons of blog posts about female solo travelers. In no time, I was able to come up with a fully planned trip and off I went to strengthen my tired soul.

I am not an expert in traveling, but based on my experience, I can assure you that taking that leap of faith will empower you as an individual and more so as a female. The world is way bigger out there, get to know it more first-hand. 

If you have no idea where to start the planning process, use Google. Read up on the tens of thousands of blog posts about female solo travelers. Need more encouragement? Reach out to people. Don’t be shy. Drop a message to the travel bloggers or travelers on social media. Ask around, help always makes its way to those who need it.

If you are afraid to be on your own, the more I ask you to do it. If something scares you, the more you have to (wo)man up and face your fears. It’s a cliche, I know, but traveling does really help you not just find, but discover more about yourself.

Remember: Traveling is more than just having Instagram-worthy photos, it’s what our hearts capture during the trip that matters the most. 👣✨

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