The backpacking lifestyle one step up

Solo travel: My first time experience

What it was like to solo travel for the first time.

Being a solo traveler for the first time was a very hard thing for me to overcome. What if I get lonely? What about safety? Can I end up being my self for the entire holiday? Today I can only say that I am really happy I did it. My first time doing solo travel I was leaving to Asia with a philosophy that I could always find a one-way ticket back to Europe for $500 if all went wrong.

Solo travel Philippines

My solo travel went to Philippines and even so my arrival in Manila was very chaotic I still managed to find my hotel room. I am not sure if it was because I was alone or because of my aura that I was like a magnet to bad people. Nevertheless I had a lot of attention.  After staying in Manila I left for Sabang Beach in Mindoro and later Boracay.

Sabang Beach in Mindoro

I spend 3 nights in Manila and left for a place called Sabang Beach in Mindoro Island. Here I had planned to stay for only 4 nights but on the boat to Sabang Beach I met 2 British guys and we had so much fun I decided to stay longer. In those 8 days I ended up staying here I developed my own comfort zone and established routines. So in the end I was not always solo and every night I went out with the 2 British guys. During the day time I had good fun reading my book and talking to the people I met on the beach.

It was a pure luck I got to know these guys because at first I was not really into talking to them. We met on the boat going to Sabang Beach but they were so hungover and one of them was smelly and farting so I was unsure if they would not be trouble.  They were staying in another town than me so it was also not sure if we would meet at all.

On my 2nd day in Sabang Beach I was driving around the island on a rented motor-bike. In one of my stops I met these 2 guys and we agreed they should come to my hotel in the evening. I was not totally sure if I was doing the right thing but when they came and we talked there was a good verbal connection instantly. One of them was going to Hong Kong to teach a bit and the other one was working in the British Navy.

Solo travel Boracay

Having been successful traveling solo in Sabang Beach I packed my gear and went to Manila to take a short flight to Caticlan and a boat further onwards to Boracay. In Borcay I had booked a hotel called Turtle Inn Hotel which offered pick up service from airport. This was very fast and efficient. A young man from Turtle Inn Hotel was waiting for me and we quickly left the terminal and in no time we were on a boat leaving for Boracay.

Solo Travel Boracay

Solo travel to Boracay. Have been there 5 times now.

In Boracay the owner of my hotel greeted me and asked me if I wanted a welcome drink. I accepted his offer and had the drink while waiting for my room key. When I had gotten the key I went down to the beach. I arrived to the beach at sunset when it was packed and crowded with tourists watching the beautiful sunset. I instantly was a bit overwhelmed and felt a bit scared since I had already established a comfort zone in Sabang Beach. However the following days I met many new people and I was not lonely in Borcay.

Night time examples

In my first evening I went to a bar called Nigi Nigi. I sat in the bar which was shaped like these “Island bars” with service in the middle and customers in a circle around. I felt it did not take long before I started chatting with some of the other customers.

The next day when I came home from the beach the owner of Turtle Inn Hotel was sitting outside a room with one of his guests and I was invited to join them for a beer. We had a nice conversation and I ended up going for dinner together with the other hotel guest. This was another connection established on a solo travel.

Day time examples

Another day I was walking in the beach during heavy rain and one of the local girls came walking with an umbrella. She recognized me from a bar a few days earlier and asked me if I would like to go shoot pool with her and some friends in the evening. I was ok with that and had a great evening.

I had also gotten to know a Danish couple who were in Borcay the first time and evenly as exited about the place as I was. One early afternoon when the weather was not good for staying on the beach they called my name and invited me to join them for cocktails. We had a great afternoon with a lot of laughs.

Solo travel with an open mind

The above are just a few examples of people I met. My post would be 3000 words if I had to tell about all the people that I met. My advice is that if you solo travel with an open mind you will almost for sure meet people to talk to. Especially in a country like Philippines where the life style is laid back and the tourist destinations are relatively small compared to other places in the world, for instance Europe.

So your own openness has a lot to say if you will meet people or not. You need to be willing to take the first step to go out and try and mingle with different cultures and nationalities. I found out during my first solo travel holiday that I should have been travelling solo a long time ago. I really liked it and I have been traveling solo many times since. Solo travel for me is no longer something I need to overcome. It is setting me free and giving me a feeling that I do not need a girlfriend or friend to travel with. I can always just solo travel.  

  1. Great blog you have! And indeed fun-filled routes! If you had had time, it could’ve given you opportunities to visit more places in the Philippines! So envy your routes.

  2. Great read! I am heading there tomorrow and staying at Turtle Inn!

    Put my mind at ease!!!



  3. I’ll be in boracay from sept 5-8. First time to go solo as well. Sooo excited!!

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