Let’s Talk Solo Travel! –
The LLLT Travel Aspiration Interviews
With Elise Schuster
“Don’t be scared to walk alone. Don’t be scared to like it” – John Mayer
I remember my early 20’s and venturing to the UK on my own to become a nanny. I never felt more liberated. At first it was scary, coming from a big family, I’m not someone who is used to my own company, but the more I traveled, the more I realised that I could be whoever I wanted to be and do whatever I wanted to do. Today, travel is more about family, but I am forever grateful for this time I had.
Travelling solo can be anything YOU want it to be. We had the opportunity to speak to our friend, Elise. As well as being a beautiful person, Elise is also an inspiration when it comes to traveling solo. She has lived and worked in South Korea and Thailand, but has also seen so much of South East Asia as a solo traveler.
1. Where in this wonderful world have you traveled?
For work: the Marshall Islands, Kiribati and the Soloman Islands. For fun: the US, Cambodia and Singapore. For uni: South Korea, Thailand and Malaysia
2. What’s the best thing about being a solo traveler?
You have total freedom! You can go where you want, on your own schedule, and do the things you really want to do. If you feel tired, you rest for that day, but if you wake up full of energy, then you can get up right away and make the most of the day! And you can make decisions that suit your budget too eg. accommodation, places to eat, activities, transport options. Also you learn to be independent and decisive with the extra challenge of being in a different place / city / culture / country.
3. What is the best thing that you’ve done while traveling?
This is difficult…it’s a toss up between scrambling around Bayon and Ta Prohm temples at Siem Reap in Cambodia, strolling around the French Quarter in New Orleans while jazz bands play on every street corner, going on a bike tour in Bangkok that also included transport via truck, train and two types of boat, and climbing a mountain in Colorado.
4. What do you think you can do a solo traveler that you wouldn’t be able to do if you were traveling with someone else?
As a solo traveler, you are much more likely to meet a huge array of new people. If you’re in a pair or group, there is usually neither the incentive nor the opportunity to strike up conversations with random people. But if you’re traveling alone, you’re much more likely to find yourself chatting to other travelers and locals too. I don’t necessarily trade emails or keep in touch with these people but that’s not always the point – you are making connections with other people, in the moment, and always learn something new or surprising by listening to their stories. It restores my faith in humanity that there are genuinely good people all around, who are willing to share their story and are equally willing to hear yours.
5. Where will your next travel adventure take you?
My next adventure will be within australia, probably a road trip to Sydney and the blue mountains via Byron Bay, although I’m also really keen to see the states again and visit a lot of friends living up and down the east coast