Ever since I held my passport in hand, a solo international trip was always on my bucket list. However, sometimes it was my own procrastination or the occasional ways of life keeping me away from the dream.
So, I thought why should I not make a promise to myself this year to do a solo trip on my 25th birthday. And I can say that it turned out to be the best birthday of the life I have lived so far on this planet.
From choosing the most suitable destination for my first solo trip, planning the itinerary and budget and gathering the nerve to do this adventure being a woman in the ‘man’s world’, it all became such a fascinating journey that I will be proudly narrating to my grandkids in the future.
After doing copious amounts of research over coffee at Starbucks after office hours and convincing my parents with facts and sentiments, I was ready to flutter my wings and fly out of the homeland. And this dream of mine took the shape of a memorable picture in no other place but in the beautiful Land of Smiles-Thailand.
Why I decided to wander alone amidst the enchanting landscapes of Thailand? Well, being a diligent planner that I am regarding my most things in life, I can say that this decision was not taken in haste. And now, since I have been there, I would only love to list out the quintessential reasons for booking my tickets to Thailand and share it with my fellow women travelers.
Ease of travel
One of the first and most feasible reasons to take a trip to Thailand is its fantastic infrastructure in tourism. The well-worn tourist trail allows you to have a great network of travel agencies and tour operators in Thailand. While on some routes like Bangkok to Chiang Mai I opted for a flight, going to other places like Pattaya and Koh PhaNgan, I made use of the government run bus service.
I generously made use of the search engine 12Go Asia which I got to know from one of my friends to search transportation options between places. Whether it was renting a motorbike while backpacking in Chiang Mai or haggling for tuk-tuk rides, this part of my solo trip in Thailand is one of the favorite memories.
Language No Bar
Along with being greeted by smiles all the time, I found people who were comfortable with English everywhere. People were ready to offer their help with directions and other things whenever I needed, which left me with a sense of belonging in the new place. I also learnt a few Thai phrases to use it while communicating and it was reciprocated with great admiration wherever I went during my trip.
Great backpacking options
All you need is a good place to crash when you are tired after a day of travelling and Thailand offers such places in plenty. Moreover, it is one of the best ways to make new friends on a solo trip and not let the lonely feeling sink in. I planned ahead and booked a hostel in Bangkok and met some amazing co-travelers there. When I was in Pattaya, I opted for a dorm stay and in Chiang Mai, I booked a hotel to bask in luxury all by myself. This way, I was able to have it all during my short vacation.
To do activities never done before
Thailand came as a surprising answer to cross off a number of items on my wish list. To satiate my zeal for adventure, I ziplined through the forests of Chiang Mai and partied all night in Pattaya. I did temple hopping, scuba diving, learnt a good deal about Thai culture, gorged on some of the best food in my life and brought some fantastic things in Chatuchak Market to keep them as my delightful souvenirs of this trip.
And how can I forget mentioning the delicious food there which still tingles my taste buds. I had some amazing delicacies wherever I went and it was often the highlight of my days. Another thing which I tried for the first time was the rejuvenating Thai spa and massage hailed across the world.
Many places for fulfilling wanderlust
Offering something for every kind of traveler, Thailand allowed me to explore a new place every day. I soaked in the serene landscapes of Chiang Mai, enjoyed the bustling walks through Bangkok and had my share of fun with the nightlife in Pattaya. I also happened to finally do scuba diving for the first time in my life in Koh Tao. Seeing such variety of places is always my thing and I am glad Thailand allowed me to do so.
Fits the budget for one
Although I was saving for a while for my international trip, I was quite anxious about how I will manage the finances by myself. But the good thing is that Thailand is neither too cheap nor too expensive, thus allowing you to be flexible with money. I had a range of experiences, both luxury and budget by knowing how to save on unnecessary things and make the most of my time in Thailand.
That feeling of being safe
Being a woman, there is always a worry back in your head regarding safety when travelling in a foreign land. All I needed to do was follow a certain set of precautions and I could travel solo in Thailand. I didn’t face any harassment being a women traveler and met some of the nicest people during my stay there.
Even when I ventured out during the night parties, there were plenty of people and it was not at all weird. I took a travel insurance too just in case; however, I am more than happy that I never had to use it during my solo vacation in Thailand.
My first solo international trip was in every way more than I could ask for. It left me with a feeling of being empowered in ways I have never felt before and gave memories that I will cherish for a lifetime. At the end of the trip, I realized that travel is more than just about places. It’s an awakening that brings us closer to our real selves in every possible manner.