Travelling Solo – Go with the flow, or 'Oh No?!'

If you love travelling as much as we do, you're probably starting to think about getting as far away from home as possible (mum if you're reading this - it's not you, it's me). You're probably a bit bored of daily life, are sick to the sight of your home town and have been dreaming about *that* beach for as long as you can remember. There's just one problem....
Nobody you know wants to go travelling.
Or at least, they don't want to go with you/you don't want to go with them. You've promised them that you don't smell/will buy them sweets, but that didn't make a difference. (There you go Mum, it really is me!)
Well Real Gapper, we're here to tell you that it's NOT you. We're all different, and actually some people just don't 'get' the whole travelling thing. We're not all born with our adventure caps on, prepared to drop our lives at the drop of 'that cap' to see it all. But there is one thing you certainly can do – travel solo.
Just the thought of those two words sitting together on a page usually makes people shudder. Really, travelling ALONE? Numero uno? Luckily with us, travelling solo isn't really 'a thing'. 70% of all of our Real Gappers travel on their own, but as soon as they arrive in country they then meet tonnes of new travel mates who all have the one thing in common you didn't have with the people back at home. They ALL love travelling!
If you're considering travelling 'solo', we have loads of options for you:
Experience trips: Our experience trips are simple; they involve big groups going out to explore one country, together. Best thing is that barely anybody knows each other before they land, so everybody makes friends straight away. 'You are not aloneeeeeeee'
Paid WorkA common solo traveller effort is that of the paid work variety – ie, you travel to Australia, settle down and get a job for 12 months. Simple. Except, Australia is pretty far away and actually, living on the other side of the world is pretty scary. Not! On our 'Paid Work and Sydney Intro' programme, you'll get the chance to meet loads of other travelers who are in EXACTLY the same boat as you and on the Sydney Intro week, you'll get to do loads of cool stuff together. Bonzer.
Learn a new skill/do your bit/chuck yourself in at the deep end (of the ocean): Whilst you're out and about, you may as well do something really cool… right? You could head to our martial arts academy and chat to other travelers over a kung fu session, pick up a PADI and scuba in the Great Barrier Reef, or you could volunteer and make a difference to a community over on the other side of the world. Either way, by doing something outside of your comfort zone you're going to talk to new people, get to know the culture of the country in question and have a really great time. Boom!
How we can help:
Here at RG we've all been there, done that and got the t-shirt (it still sports a UV stain from the Full Moon Party, the little rascal). We've all been travelling on our own, with mates and with our mums (HI AGAIN!) – so hit us up and we'll dish out the best advice we have to offer. We can even sort out your visas (if so required) and point you in the right direction of the sort of stuff to pack for different trips.
Once you're all booked on to a trip of a lifetime you'll get sent your trip notes, where you can swat up on everything to do with your trip.
You'll then receive your buddy list 30 days before departure. Wahay! Your buddy list will have the contact details of everybody on your trip, so basically everybody Facebooks/emails each other and gets in touch before they travel… so really, it's not so scary after all. You'll know each others life stories before you even touch down in country – sorted.
Case Study
Name: Danielle
Age: 22
Position: Customer Operations Coordinator
First Real Gap Project: Community work with young children in Moshi, Tanzania
Story: I first met the Real Gap Experience team at the Adventure Travel show when I was 18 and after some serious deliberation, decided to go to Tanzania and volunteer on a community project in Moshi. The guys on the team were great in helping me make my choice!
I wanted to travel by myself because I wanted to do something amazing. I really wanted to learn more about myself and to see the world. Since a young age I’ve always wanted to make a difference and the first opportunity that I got I booked my flights.
I think travelling by yourself makes you a lot more independent - you have to rely on yourself and you have to make your own decisions. I don’t think that I would’ve learnt so much about myself if I’d gone away with friends. When you travel by yourself you meet so many people because you are in a situation where you want to meet others. Most of the people that you talk to are very like-minded and I’ve made some amazing friends that I’m still in contact with now.
I definitely think that it makes you more mature because you get to see and experience things that you wouldn’t have when you are at home and relying on others. I love the freedom and opportunities that it gives you, and I’ve been travelling solo since!


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