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News 21 signs that you’re ready to travel solo

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21 signs that you’re ready to travel solo

Thinking about taking that first solo adventure? Travelling on your own can be liberating; you decide the route, the itinerary, the budget. But it can also be pretty daunting; romantic dinners for one, finding new friends, negotiating bus timetables alone. How many of these signs describe you? Take the test before you decide to go it alone...

1. You don’t need words to communicate, that’s what hands are for

What do you mean ‘language barrier’? Whatever you need to say can usually be communicated with a shoulder shrug, a raised eyebrow, or a thumbs up. Sharing a sideways glance and a giggle with someone at the bus stop feels just as good as having a full-on discussion about life, the universe and everything.

2. You’re up for making new friends

You may start out on your own, but it doesn’t take you long to get chatting to someone new, even if it’s just someone to split the cab fare with. You’re not shy about coming forward when you see a friendly face you fancy getting to know.

3. You can sleep pretty much anywhere

On the train, on a bus, in the car, even at your desk (it’s called productive power-napping) you can catch forty winks wherever you are. This will stand you in good stead for those 15 hour bus rides, or sharing a dorm room with an impressive snorer.

4. You’re not afraid of getting lost

Not because you have an awesome sense of direction (although if you do, this is another sign that you’re ready to fly the nest solo) but because you don’t believe in wrong turns. There’s new adventure around every corner, and sometimes the only way to find it is by putting down the map and heading off piste.

5. You’re happy to spend time with yourself – a good book and a glass of wine are optional

It’s more than not minding being alone for a few hours. You actively look forward to some ‘you time’, lost in a good book, treating yourself to a nice dinner or just chilling out with a glass of vino with a TV box set.

6. Your phone is full of useful travel apps

Google Maps, a translator, a currency converter, and of course, Skyscanner – your phone is fully stocked with a library of travel apps so that you can navigate yourself through the wilderness of north London. Imagine how useful these will be when you step out in to the big wide world as a party of one! And now that we’ve got flights, car hire and hotels all in the one place, why not find out how you could save money and time with Skyscanner’s 3-in-1 app.

7. You always carry your sunglasses, an umbrella and a box plasters

Every good Boy Scout or Girl Guide knows, ‘be prepared’ is a solid life principle. You never leave the house without being fully equipped for every eventuality, a skill that will save you from more than one sticky situation once you decide to wander the world alone.

8. You’ve got friends all over the world

See point number 2; you’re not put off by having an international group of acquaintances and appreciate friendships made whilst on the road. It’s also handy to have a few couches to crash on.

9. You’re big on sharing…

But you’re not an oversharer; name, age, hometown, perfectly acceptable information to divulge with your new hostel buddies. Whip out a few party tricks if you feel comfortable enough. But you like to keep some things private and you realise that your Facebook status is not a ‘dear diary’. And if you do end up making a tit of yourself in front of your new friends, take comfort in knowing that at least it’s not as bad as this…

10. You’re ok with ordering food and not knowing 100% what’s in it

That’s part of the fun; it could be a bit of cauliflower, it could be a chicken’s brain, who knows? Who are you going to ask if you’re dining alone? And really, who cares what it is? Stick it in your gob and see if it tastes good. If yes, repeat. If you want half an idea of what you’re eating, check out our guide to the world’s greatest street food before you head off solo.

Travelling solo: You’re ok with ordering food and not knowing 100% what’s in it

11. You brush your teeth twice a day…

And you floss regularly. This is a sure sign that you know how to look after your personal health and hygiene, an important factor when you’re left to your own devices, especially if you want to make new friends who see your beaming face before they smell you.

12. You see a trip to the supermarket as an adventure

Working your way along the aisles, browsing shelves of brightly coloured groceries, stopping to look at items you never knew you wanted (man, those pickled pigs feet look delicious) – what a way to spend an afternoon! You might just encounter one of [the world’s weirdest foods

13. You know how to manage your money

Rather than blow your month’s salary or your student loan on the latest ASOS look, you’re good at feeding your piggy bank. A thrifty shopper, you take control of your spending – this is important when you jet-off solo as you’ll be the one calling the shots on where and how you spend your hard-earned cash. Make sure you’re super savvy and follow our 20 money saving travel tips and secrets

14. You know how to handle yourself

We don’t mean you’re a fully-fledged karate kid, but that you keep your wits about you. You know not to wander off at night alone in to dark corners and not to go flashing that expensive camera for all sorts of unsavoury characters to snatch.

15. You love not always having a plan

Sure, some things should be well thought out, like flight itineraries, but the most memorable moments of any trip, in your opinion, are those that are spontaneous and unplanned. You enjoy having the flexibility to change direction at any moment; from switching up that Starbucks order to climbing a mountain at a moment’s notice.

16. You’re not bothered about personal possessions

Your home is not necessarily where your things are, but where you have the greatest number of friends and family. As a result, you don’t really care about material possessions and could survive quite happily living out of a box, or backpack.

Travelling solo: You’re not bothered about personal possessions

17. You never let fear get the better of you

There are days when you feel scared or frustrated, but those feelings will never override your passion for adventure and going out in to the world to experience something new. Instead, you prefer to turn those brief flashes of panic in to a positive energy that keeps you going.

18. You’ll take a good story over selfies

You prefer sharing travel tales to seeing the world through a camera lens. Selfie-sticks are not something you’ve ever been interested in and you’re much more eager to get out and experience places for yourself, rather than get awkwardly angled portraits taken next to clichéd tourist spots.

19. You can carry five plus shopping bags in each hand

You live on the third floor? No big deal! Being strong enough to carry your nan’s shopping up several flights of stairs means you’ll have no problem lugging your backpack on and off buses.

20. You keep a diary

Whether you’re happy, sad, excited or just bored, you turn to your diary to express this. You don’t need a face-to-face convo, this way you can get it all out uninterrupted. Another alternative is blogging, but you can’t beat old fashioned pen and paper pals.

21. Your gut instinct has never steered you in the wrong direction

You’re a rational person, weighing up the pros and cons of most decisions, but you’re biggest indicator is your gut instinct. It’s your strongest ally in making a right move; trusting your finely tuned natural reactions will be an invaluable guide on your solo expedition.

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