Want to know how to f*ck up your first solo trip?
Table of Contents
1. Expect nothing to go wrong
At some point, shit is going to hit the fan. And you will need to remember that it is going to be ok. Learn to go with the flow so you don’t spend your time fretting over things that you probably can’t change. Sometimes the only thing you can control is your response to the situation you find yourself in. Expect the best but be prepared for the rest.
2. Plan too much
It is good to plan a little bit but hot damn, don’t book everything like a work calendar back home. There are going to be things that you have no way of knowing about until you hit the ground in your new destination. Do you really want to miss out on one of the best experiences of your life because you planned a “beach day”?
3. Don’t plan enough
This is one that I constantly fall into. I don’t plan enough on occasion and find myself in situations like wandering around Prague at 3AM trying to find a hotel that still has rooms available. You can put yourself in unnecessary situations if you don’t take the time to prepare at least a little bit. Make sure you have a place to stay and there are no extra considerations you need to make.
4. Only stay in touristy areas
Yes, tourist areas are popular for good reason. They have awesome sites and experiences to behold. However, they are usually not a real representation of the country you are visiting. They are very expensive areas to stay in for too long and you miss out on so many real experiences with local people by just staying there. Sure, you get awesome Instagram photos but is that really why you left home?
5. Pack too much
Yes, there are many things you will need to bring you on your travel. But do you really need all of it? You can buy things as you need them and stick to a very basic wardrobe to keep your bags light. You’re going to be carrying your bags often so make sure whatever you’re bringing is worth it.
6. Be afraid of strangers
Locals and travelers are likely to strike up a conversation with you at restaurants or cafes. Don’t be afraid to sit and have a conversation. You will make new friends and learn things about where you are that only people who have been there for a while will know about.
7. Stay in your comfort zone
If you go on this trip thinking that you will only eat a specific food or have your coffee prepared in a very specific way, you are likely going to be very disappointed. I’m not saying don’t be a vegan or vegetarian. I’m saying don’t say no to new opportunities to try things that you may have avoided at home. Imagine yourself sitting at home across the table from your friends telling them the story of what you are about to do. Doesn’t that seem more exciting than saying you didn’t do it?
8. Refuse to try anything new
I know you really don’t want to try the crickets or grasshoppers and you don’t have to. But there will be other little things that come up, like new fruits you can try or going snorkeling. Things that are new and exotic. When you look back you will be happy that you tried.
9. Try to control everything
I know this may be a surprise but some people like to be in complete control all of the time. You will have to let go and trust that the world will catch you. Trusting that a cab driver will get you to the right place. Trust that the new friends you made aren’t going to rob you in the jungle. Let go of control and let things play out however they may. You don’t know what great things could come out of it.
10. Party too much
Partying can be a damn good time. The biggest reason that a lot of digital nomads can’t keep up with the lifestyle is that they have no balance. They party too much and let work slide. Don’t let this happen to you. Stay disciplined when you need to and have fun when you are free. Otherwise, you will be heading home before you know it.
Written for Lost & Lore by Trevor Carlson