10 Reasons Why You Should Embark On A Solo Travelling Journey (+ Exclusive Travel Tips!)

June 12, 2020



With Covid19 happening almost everywhere in the world, it seemed that the earth just stopped orbiting as all of our plans from travel to work and even weddings come to a halt. 

But as the world recovers from this global pandemic, we must not give up on our plans and still look forward to what we have planned for. 

Borders are closed, flights have cancelled, attractions are no longer in operation. 

But guess what? We now have time to rethink our upcoming destinations and what are the things you would want to do next given the opportunity to travel. 

You may know that I am a Solo Traveler who travels with her bunnies while posting Instagram stories almost on an hourly basis from the moment I leave home till the minute I board the plane. 

Many have also asked why are you always travelling alone? 

"Not bored ah? Not lonely? You got no one to go with? "

While at my age I would already have gone on graduation trips with my friends or even shopping trips to nearby cities like Johor Bahru Malaysia or even Bangkok, I simply haven't because of my very busy schedule and I always decide to go on a trip as late as few days before the flight or just weeks before. 

Getting tickets 6 months in advance is never possible unless it is a business trip. 

My friends and I rarely have the same period where we both are free and hence.

However, apart from the reasons I just listed, solo travelling is not just about chopping as many chops on your passport before it expires to make it worthwhile. 

It is about the many things that money cannot buy you on every trip. 

And here's why. 

1. Independence - A Space for Yourself 


Whenever I travel, I tend to choose an Airbnb over a hotel, unless I am on a business trip. Not only is it cost-efficient, I actually get to experience living by myself without anyone in the comfort of a "home". 

I prefer living in a 1 Bedroom Condominiums when I travel to Bangkok, otherwise, I have also stayed in an Underground 1 Bedroom Apartment in Seoul! 


The view from my Condo in Bangkok 

The only time I stayed with an Airbnb host was during my Taipei trip where I lived in the Song Shan District where I lived with a couple, a baby and a really cute corgi cat! 

However, living alone without butler services/service staff to help you to make your bed and providing you with 24/7 service, you then have to take charge of the little things like emptying your own trash (imagine your dirty food packaging that may attract cockroaches!), washing and drying your own clothes/towel as well.

In Bangkok, the trash points for condos are usually located on the same level where there is room to throw your trash, however, in Seoul, it's really quite hard to even find a centralized bin area... 

In Taipei? They have strict recycling policies and Waste Management Culture where you have to separate your trash - from the food waste to carton boxes then plastic bottles. Thereafter you'll hear this loud siren being played whenever the Garbage Truck is arriving/nearby the area. Failure to adhere to the strict policies may even earn you a fine!

My Taipei Airbnb Host even had a chiller compartment meant just for the food waste so ants do not get into the trash bags! I can never imagine what would happen to Singapore if we were to adopt the same policy.

But all in all, despite all the troubles of having to take care of yourself and the apartment you're staying at, it is all worth it because temporarily, that was a place you could call home after all your daily adventures in a foreign country.

2. Get To Know Yourself


When you travel alone, you get to know more about yourself. 

Your likes and dislikes, the things that make you happy and excited, the things that would cause a thinker or two inside your brain. 

You will get to feel different from being alone as compared to being with other people. 

Who's the real you? Are you really that person who needs company wherever you go to? A fan of loud places over quiet cafes or scenery? 

Be surprised by what you never knew. 


Here's a photo of me enjoying a skewer in Seoul. 
I never knew that I could eat green onions just like that!!!!

I would recommend you to have a nice dinner with yourself, eating mindfully without any disruption. 

3. Take a Break 


Travelling allows us to not only take a break from the reality for that while, from our busy lifestyle, work but more importantly, if we were already troubled in the first place by matters of the heart - from a bad relationship, a stressful period in life; simply travel and get to reflect and think alone!


Stop and Start to Smell the Roses, and appreciate what you have in life.

Know what you are grateful for and understand that there are so many more opportunities out there waiting for you.

A common observation that I have made from my own and hearing others' stories is that whenever you're happy and seen to be doing better, the people who made your lives miserable in the first place would always come back with that "hello".

If I were you, I wouldn't even respond. 

Do not waste your air ticket and your newly gained memories and healing. 

4. Go At Your Own Pace


Ever faced issues of having to wait for that friend who oversleeps or you tend to be someone who sleeps early and wakes up early so that you can explore more? 

Or heck it, you sleep at 3 am and wake up at 9 am. 

Whatever the situation is, travelling alone means that you do not have to wait for anyone nor to accommodate anyone. 


You do you.

You do not have to rush through things and you are allowed to explore longer or even at a faster pace should you want to. (I am so not guilty for exploring 1/3 of Seoul in just 3 days haha!) 

5.  Master Self-Discipline


Self Discipline is extremely important when you are travelling alone especially when you have paid to make plans. 

From a sightseeing tour to activities only available at the specific time slot and day, you may have had thoughts of even skipping it for more sleep. 

It is important that you wake up on time and not waste your day even if you slept as little as 3 hours.

The only thing I gave in was too expensive taxi rides in Seoul whenever I overslept a little and couldn't take public transport... Other than that I am still glad that I took that extra 30 minutes to sleep in order to have the energy for a full day of activities! 

I also remembered during my first day in Taipei I slept from 1 PM till 7 PM before I headed out till 11 PM to night markets nearby. I was extremely tired from my morning flight from Seoul to Taipei where I barely slept as I had to reach the airport at around 3/4 AM as my flight was at 6:50 AM, plus I had to take an airport bus that only operates at 2 AM or 4 AM which will take 2 hours to reach the airport.

Imagine the time you are left to for packing after a short nap? 


Jakarta 2019 - Flight from Singapore was at 7am+, I had zero sleep prior to flight.


Seoul 2019 - 2 hours of sleep prior to flight to Taipei

No discipline = miss your flight = spend more money  

6.  Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone 


As cliche as it sounds like every newbie trying to take part in some talent competitions or even for reality shows, that one particular reason everyone would mention would be 

"I am here because I want to step out of my comfort zone to accomplish this that whatever ok?"

7 Reasons to join the Tech Squad at InMobi


Heck it. 

It's real when it came to my first Solo Travelling experience back then in 2016 where I  first travelled alone to Bangkok. 



2016 - my first Solo Travelling Trip

I was so sceptical and scared about things, hid money everywhere, carried my bag at the front, strictly no handbags only bag packs. 

Not taking public transport and just cabs, for the fear of getting robbed somehow which led to zero exploring around the vicinity and not meeting any new people apart from existing friends or my landlord. 

On my second Solo Travelling experience to the very same place but a different me and mindset, it felt as if I have lived in Bangkok for the last 10 years or so. 



On the BTS during my second solo trip to Bangkok in 2018

I walked to the BTS from my Condo, knew where to go to at random BTS stops and had dinner, did my nails, seemingly whatever I didn't know in the first trip I became smarter about it automatically here. 

On my third experience, I even took the MRT from the Airport to my Condo (with a short cab ride involved) instead of paying 500 baht for taxi. 

It was faster too, though. 

Really though, stepping out of comfort is very important in Solo Travelling.

The only comfort I haven't got out would be staying in a hostel because I fear people slapping me over my 40 Alarm Clocks set every morning. 

7. Gain New Experiences


The next step after being out of your comfort zone would be to gain new experiences. 

Ever explored a foreign land by simply relying on Google Maps only even though the taxi is cheap? 

Walking to a place that you had to be at for a good 20 minutes instead of taking a taxi because you wanted to explore the neighbourhood? Even better if you found hidden gems along the way! 

Airbnb Experiences is also a good platform for you to search for such experiences, in my last trip to Seoul, I went for a lipstick making class, K Beauty class and a cooking class is a MUST for me in every solo trip too!


In cooking class back then (2018 @ Bangkok) 

Cooking in a different country with locals + new friends from different parts of the world is extremely fun and valuable. I will allow these pictures to speak for itself and I will share more on these on a separate post soon!


With Victoria from Vic's Lab Korea!


Morning Market Walk prior to Korean Cooking Class!


Lipstick Making Class at Vic's Lab Korea!


8. Creating Memories just For Yourself 


I am always thankful for platforms like Facebook, Snap Chat, Twitter and Instagram (especially the stories function) because it allows me to capture and archive these travel memories that would record my day and to be able to share it with my friends. 

It also serves as a form of memory for myself too. 

On top of that, I loved creating memories in another way; photoshoot!


(Bangkok 2019 - Railway Station)


(Seoul 2019 - Gyeongbokgung Palace)


(Seoul 2019 - Yong Ma Land)


(Taipei 2019 - Shi Fen Old Street)

I have shot with some of the most talented photographers well sought after for their niche areas and I have shared some of them via my Instagram @thirteentuesday and these pictures remain to be a favourite part of the trip too whenever I look back. 

9. Getting to Know People Beyond your Home Country


Since living in a hostel isn't part of my comfort zone for my 40 alarms, I got to know friends overseas via the various platforms you could ever imagine; such as Airbnb Experiences (my photographers and those who were involved in group shots) as well as 

Tinder Gold! (I paid for passport to know friends in advance.. haha) 

Surprise. 

Not for the purpose of shady things but to really have a friend who could show you around. 

Bonus if he is a photographer in which I really did got to meet a photographer friend via a dating app while he was in Singapore (and I was on the plane heading to Jakarta) 

In Seoul, I got to meet a long time match that I happily said before years back "should I travel to Seoul I will find you ok!" 


And just like that!


And the trip to Seoul was totally UNPLANNED and a SURPRISE (I will share on this trip soon too!) and I was glad that I still had his contact via Telegram. 

We had KBBQ and walked around the neighbourhood of Sinnonhyeon in the Gangnam Gu area where I went to a supermarket and found the Oreo Cereal at a cheap price. 


Korean BBQ ate in a traditional manner taught by an authentic Korean!


I used to have these for breakfast when they were available in Singapore when I was a child! 
Then it went MIA and 10 years later it was sold 2-3 times of the actual price! 
It's only $5+ in SGD as you can see. 
I ate it sparingly. RIP Os, I missed you.

I also had a short cafe hopping with a friend called Sam who lived in the UK for years before heading back to Seoul! 

However ladies, please be cautious and not get into dangerous situations ok! Maybe I'll write on what to avoid or so soon... there are some tips and tricks indeed. *laughs* 

10.  The Little Things that Makes a Difference


Solo Travelling stories/encounters are nothing but the best. 

Even the slightest detail does make a difference. 

Ever got complimented by a stranger? Ever got help from someone unexpected? Did something interesting for someone?

Here are some of the little things that made a difference in my journey:

#1 - The Korean Lady at the immigration counter stared at me (for a while I thought I did something wrong, it was 5 AM and I just got out of an overnight flight!) and said: "your hair colour is so nice!"


Freshly taken prior to my flight to Hanoi from Singapore! 

I had my purple-pink hair specially re-dyed for the trip. Thanks, Erwin!

#2 - The Airport Security at Changi Airport who complimented my Lavender Ash hair. Again, a masterpiece by Erwin and an encounter similar to #1. 


Lavender Ash!

#3 - A Korean Man helped me to carry my VERY HEAVY luggage from the luggage belt (from Hanoi to Seoul) as I was struggling. He immediately came to my rescue when I showed signs of a struggle and almost lost my luggage to the belt. Extremely thankful for his kindness as I said goodbye with "kamsamida!" (Thank you, in Korean) 

#4 - A Taiwanese Couple (Hubby Taiwanese, Wife Vietnamese) that I met in the Airplane who sat beside me on our flight from Taipei to Ho Chi Minh City. We shared funny conversations where the hubby actually shared on how China Airlines (or China Southern, I forgot) wouldn't give two damns if you hopped over from Economy Class to Business Class (by pretending to go toilet) should the seats not be fully taken up.

Later that night, as the flight from TPE to HCM wasn't full, each of them moved to an empty row, leaving one entire row to myself where I slept lying flat. 


My bunny babies always in luck to have their own seat. 


Thankful. 

#5 - In my dreadful Grab Experience in HCM City where I got robbed (will share one day) prior to that happening as I did not have a sim card as it was only one night for a layover, the Airport Security standing at the taxi stand area kindly helped me to dial for the Grab Driver to speak with him (in which due to the language barrier I really couldn't figure out too...) still!

#6 - A Thai Woman came to me in the cinema on my second trip asking me for directions to the toilet, thankfully my broken Thai then understood her words and I directed her correctly. 

Similarly on my third trip to Bangkok, as I was waiting for the shuttle bus at Bang Wa BTS station, a lady came up to me and spoke in Thai in which I didn't fully understand but guessed the meaning anyway due to my situation then; in which she was asking if this was the place to queue and wait for the shuttle bus to head to Seacon Bangkae where I answered Chai ka (yes, in Thai) 

As for the other stories I will share when I blog for my individual trip!

These encounters may only happen once in your life as you'll never get to meet that same person again unless by fate. 

As you think back they will bring you back happy memories and feelings that you felt at that point in time. 

And that sums up my 10 Reasons!

As promised, I will also share on Exclusive Travel Tips with all of you!

Not all, but 5 main tips just for this very post so that I can leave you hungry for more when I do a deep dive on each one!

5 Exclusive Travel Tips as a Solo Traveller

Tip 1 - Spend Wisely with the help of Applications!

From Air Tickets to Accommodation, to Experiences, you can simply get them at a fraction of what people are spending should they buy direct! 

Flying budget was alright for short-haul flights (in my dictionary it's up to 2.5 hours) however when it came to flying overnight, transits, etc I simply had to secure the BEST DEAL for myself

In my last Solo Trip, via a Travel Application, I spent $622 for the 6 flights (3 being transit flights) that were non-budget and came with baggage allowance, which was really important when you travel longer than 4 days with the plan to shop for more.

A fond memory would also be that one time where I spent $140 for return air tickets to Bangkok after a $20 discount via another travel app! 

Accommodation will usually be below $100 for 3 - 4 Nights in countries like Bangkok and slightly above $120 in countries further away from Singapore like Taipei/Seoul/Manila.

Experiences will usually be for what's worth too, even better with a discount should you be new to Airbnb Experiences

For Travel Applications to search on the best Air Fares as well as Hotel Accommodations (for layover; cheap but good hotel = YES!) I would recommend the following: 


1. Traveloka - they have occasional discounts where you can save up to $20 or $50 on Air Fares as a new or repeated customer

Traveloka

2. Trip.com - their multi-city flights and user interface in the application itself makes it easier to navigate for good deals, and very rarely are there discount when they tie in with cards like Union Pay or even Visa/Master - they also have a coin system for you to redeem discounts 

Trip.com: Flights, Hotels, Train & Travel Deals


For Accommodations and Experiences (such as cooking classes, tours) I will definitely recommend:


1. Airbnb - My go-to application for places to stay and experiences! One tip is that should your family member not be a user on Airbnb yet you could ask them to register and book on your behalf so that you qualify for the discount! Otherwise, as a new user, you get to enjoy up to $45 off your Accommodations and $22 off your Experiences! You can sign up via my link to enjoy the discount. 

Airbnb


Tip 2 - Have a cuddly buddy 

I am known for bringing my RBF Bunnies (Resting Bitch Face Bunnies) each for a trip on a rotational basis because I love them, then again it's actually useful to have them on board because they not only act as a friend, your chou chou, but your pillow in flights and a good bolster sorta replacement on the bed!

The Glorious yet Cuddly 5


To date, all 5 of them (+ the one who got deported from Melbourne; long story cut short, a farewell gift that came back to me) have travelled across Asia! 

Then again, as a Solo Traveler, you'll feel safer with that tinge of familiarity. 

Tip 3 - Get a Best Friend - a Perfect Travel BackPack to ease the ache off your shoulders as a Solo Traveler 

I am never a backpack user ever since I left school. Neither am I as cool as my boss to own a nice LV backpack for office use that can contain your laptop (but I love MCM backpacks but I can never imagine using it long term...)

I am a handbag person, to the extent I actually paid $99 for a non-designer "Travel Handbag" with compartments for laptop, water bottle, lipstick and more. 

To be honest, the quality doesn't scream wow but I thought the compartments were a good way to store my items. 

As a solo traveller, there may be some restrictions should you want to carry your laptop along with you.

To be honest, I never travelled peacefully without bringing work along for I had so many responsibilities BUT with that said, bringing my laptop along also allowed me to complete work on the go should I need to. 

If I were to travel with baggage allowance, some airlines would allow 1 Luggage to be checked in only, some will allow up to 2. 

The laptop belongs to Hand Carry so I will always have it in my handbag or backpack. 

Problem is I will always require my bag of essentials (mask, lip balm, jacket, earphones, charger etc...) which may not fit in the same bag as my laptop, or worse if I have an additional duffel bag that I have to carry because the airlines only allowed 1 luggage to be checked in and I couldn't squeeze in any more items into the luggage anymore. 


Situation 1: Only 1 Luggage allowed to be checked in (and you hand carry the rest)


Imagine lugging one handbag with the laptop, carrying your cuddly buddy OR carrying the duffel bag via shoulder straps as you head to the immigration to queue... your shoulders will ache so badly! 


Situation 2: 2 Luggage allowed to be checked in (and you hand carry the rest)
By the way, the luggage and grey duffel bag combined was around 18kg.
They didn't bother to weigh the rest haha! (I'm pretty sure it exceeded 7kg...)

For those who may suggest a mini suitcase, there's no way it is feasible for a solo traveller to be dragging two luggage while being able to be on the phone. 

Thank god for what you saw in Situation 2 was a flight back to Singapore and I could skip the long immigration queues due to our Automated Immigration Gates!

Now, I have always been in search of the Perfect Backpack. 

I have seen advertisements from this "N" brand that is said to be the best travel backpack and they even had packing cubes that could amazingly flatten 10 sets of your clothes or more.. until I bought it to try, and it wasn't the case.

Thankfully, Gaston Luga has approached me for a collaboration and I am happy to share with you one of the backpacks from their series that would be a perfect one for your solo trips!


Introducing, the Gaston Luga 

PRÅPER


It is the biggest size available on Gaston Luga that is made up of both PU Leather 
and Strong Durable Canvas!


Comes with a padded inner laptop compartment as well that fits up to a laptop that's of 15 inches wide! (Mine is a 13 inches one, in photo)


There's also a roomy interior that will give you enough space for your travel essentials and perhaps your cuddly buddy!


The strong rugged build of the adjustable hooks also provides extra-secure closure for you!


There is also a hidden pocket at the back to store valuables! (like cash!)


There are other colours available as well so pick one that would suit your personality!


How I look like when I rummage my bag for passport and all, 
so a bag that's easy to manoeuvre would be important! 

I'm happy to share that Gaston Luga has provided me with a special discount code just for all of you! 

Enter "THIRTEENTUESDAY" at the promo code section when you check out and you get 15% off the retail price! 

A fantastic deal definitely plus time to time there'll be a promotion where you'll earn an extra premium for tote bags to cardholders that will be useful!

Tip 4 - Bring a Face Mask along

Prior to Covid19, Facial Masks (fabric ones) were essential to me for every trip

I'm not sure about you but for me, when I am in the plane itself there are times I would feel a little breathless due to the air circulation or so, where a fabric mask would make me feel better as I could breathe better. 


Even before I board

It also prevents me from having a blocked nose somehow as the air-con + air itself in the plane may cause minor flu even before we reach the destination. 


All-time favourite - Hello Kitty!


In Singapore should you want to purchase good quality Fabric Masks, do head over to Made Suits; as quoted: "THESE ARE STRANGE TIMES WHERE FASHIONS MEETS THE DEMAND OF THE VIRUS."

Like my Hello Kitty mask & 低调 (Low Key) mask, these masks can be reused and washed over and over again, so you're paying for the exquisite design + sustainability! 

Support our Local Tailors as they are not allowed to be opened still at this stage and I think it's extremely witty of the boss to think of such designs and names... I mean..





This is one of my favourites because of it's soft and silky feeling! It''s  90% Cotton 10% Silk so Hand Washing is recommended for this design. 

My mom tried these masks and she loved that the loop was adjustable as she got hives from the current masks she's wearing which are so uncomfortable if you are wearing it for long hours.

I ordered two more in Blue Hunter for my Mom & Guardian and they are excited!

I do recommend you to insert a filter inside as well!




If you find my Hello Kitty design Mask to be over the top then wait till you see these designs. 

(My personal favourite would be She's Just Not Into You, what about you?) 

Even as Travel Restrictions gets eased up eventually, we may have to wear Masks or pay even more for our flights, I personally dislike the usual face masks because they tend to get soaked up in our breath (air droplets) if we were to wear too long. 

So invest in a good mask today with a filter preferably!


Tip 5: Update your whereabouts 

Even as you travel solo, it is important to keep yourself safe where your friends would sense that something's amiss should there be zero updates via chats or social media.  

Especially after that near to death experience where I got robbed in Ho Chi Minh City without any data on my phone to reach out to my friend who lives in Ho Chi Minh, I got so scared after and I swore to always have data even if it's a short layover (as long as I step out of the airport)

Something funny I do even in Singapore, ever heard of hitch rides via Telegram Groups? 

So many women had weird and creepy hitch rides encounters hence I do get a little scared at times to the extent that I have exchanged such messages with Fabro. 



#Sorrynotsorry - I just wanted to be safe!

And that concludes the 10 Reasons why you should embark on a Solo Travelling Journey + the 5 Tips I have for you as a Solo Traveller. 

I can't wait to share more stories with you soon. 

Travel far enough to meet yourself


Stay safe my squirrel friends. Follow me @thirteentuesday for more updates and also an in-depth look at the Gaston Luga PRÅPER through my IG Highlights! 

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