How to Travel Alone

If you want to know the truth of who you are, walk until not a person knows your name. Travel is the great leveler, the great teacher, bitter as medicine, crueler than mirror-glass. A long stretch of road will teach you more about yourself than a hundred years of quiet."

I don’t know if Patrick Rothfuss has walked so far. But I have, and he was right. Making those walks alone shaped me more than anything else. But enough moralizing. Let’s focus on how to travel alone.

Your greatest benefit going alone is flexibility. Don’t waste it. Adventures can actually come along, so let them. Don’t commit too hard to one place. Most places are overrated.

Use Airbnb

Hotels are extortionate. Airbnb is frequently a third the cost or cheaper.

Make Reservations Last Minute

I usually didn’t bother booking reservations until just one day in advance or sometimes even a few hours. This let me keep a very flexible schedule. I visited Beijing, stayed about 8 hours, and flew out to Chengdu after deciding that Beijing was not fun. I meant to stay in Chengdu for 3 days. I ended up there for 2 weeks.

Eat Where The Locals Do

I would like to think this tip is obvious, but too many people waste their time in restaurants that are meant to imitate the ones you have back home. If you going to do that, why bother spending hundreds of dollars on a plane ticket to go somewhere else?

Pack Light

Luggage is a hassle that destroys flexibility. You don’t really need anything besides clothes and maybe a Kindle.

Buy Socks/Underwear At Your Destination

It’s a great way to see the stores.

Take Up Random Invitations

If you’re open to new experiences, you’ll find these happen surprisingly often. I met a Dutch minister that way.

Don’t Bother Seeing Sights

They’re not any better than in the pictures.

Don’t Keep A Schedule

A schedule is work. You’re traveling, not working.

Don’t Take Advice From People On The Internet

It’s your trip. Do whatever makes you happy.

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