After two months of backpacking Japan, The Philippines and New Zealand with one of my oldest and closest friends Phoebe, it was time to say goodbye. It was the most amazing eight weeks of crazy adventures, beautiful views and a lot of laughter, but sadly Phoebe had to return home to begin law school (I told her I wouldn’t blame her if she temporarily deleted me off all social media) and it was time for me to tackle the art of the solo backpacker…well for 10 days until my new travel bud Alice came flying out to meet me in Sydney!Despite feeling like a fully-fledged backpacker by now, the thought of going at it alone was a little daunting. For starters, what if I didn’t make any friends?
That, along with my terrible sense of direction and my dislike for eating alone in public was filling me with little excitement for the next chapter of my travels.
Fortunately these worries quickly disappeared within an hour of arriving at my first solo destination. Just hanging out in the hostel’s communal area (secretly eying up what group I could inflict myself on), I got chatting with a girl who happened to live just 10 minutes down the road from me back home – it can be a very small world.
Equipped with google maps (which I learned doesn’t need wifi to track your location – ideal), I managed to navigate myself with more ease than I had predicted around both Auckland and later Melbourne, stopping only occasionally mid-fluster at McDonalds to abuse its wifi to help me find my way. (Top tip for backpackers: there is always free wifi at Maccy D’s). Most excitingly, I only ate alone once. Armed with my kindle, it really wasn’t so bad. The solo part of my travels might have been short-lived but it was definitely an experience I would recommend, if only as a gap to pass the time between fabulous travel partners!