Solo Travel #1: My First Solo Trip & How It Changed My Life

What is the Solo Travel Series?

This is a 6-part series where I will talk about how you can go on your first solo adventure (just like how I went to Japan when I was 21 and experienced autumn for the first time). I will talk about the most important things you need to know in order to start – finding the courage, making the decision to do it, saving up, planning the trip, what to pack and booking everything.


Why am I writing about this?

I am writing about this because it is one of the most life-changing experiences I’ve ever had in my life. My first solo trip was not just a trip where I saw cool places and took pretty pictures.

My first solo trip made me feel so much more confident in myself. I didn’t know I had this in me. It was so liberating knowing that I didn’t need anyone else to go to a foreign country, get on the public bus or train, order my food, take pictures of myself. All I really needed was me, and all you really need is you.



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My favorite part is when I ask someone to take my picture and afterwards, they say “one more”. 😂

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I’m writing this because I want others, like you, to share that same experience with me. You can think of me as your little internet cheerleader. My inbox is always open if you have any questions or just want to share your anxiety or excitement, even if we’ve never spoken before. 🙂 <3


“I can’t do it.”

I know.. I know.. I’ve been through this, too.

I want you to pause for a second and think about the things you’ve always wanted to do in your life.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . And for each item, ask yourself, “why haven’t I done this?”. You might find yourself with excuses such as:

  • It’s not the right time yet.
  • I don’t have enough money.
  • I can’t find someone to do it with me.
  • It’s just too difficult.

I get it! Trust me, I do.

But while sometimes this is a valid reason, more often than not, if we are truly honest with ourselves, the answer is that we are afraid. Sure, it might be easier and less daunting to do things with your friends, but while you are sitting here waiting for everything to be in perfect alignment, precious time is passing by.

I was afraid too.. but I know that my time here on Earth is limited. I know that the things I have now are temporary. Who knows what will happen tomorrow? Will I still be as capable and healthy as I am today? While I was afraid to go out there into the world alone, I was more afraid to live a life of regret.

I placed my camera on a bench hoping to get a good photo with self-timer, but it was too hard! Haha. Thankfully, a local was jogging in the area and happily took the burden off my shoulder.

I want to live the most vividly temporary life that I can. I don’t just mean physically; I mean emotionally, spiritually, intellectually. I don’t want to be afraid of bright colors, or new sounds, or big love, or risky decisions, or strange experiences, or weird endeavors, or sudden changes, or even failure. – Elizabeth Gilbert


Life starts at the end of your comfort zone.

When you are afraid, it means you are about to step outside of your comfort zone. When you are able to overcome this, you grow. And when you grow, you become more confident. You will find this new belief in yourself that you are smart and capable. You’ve been always been this way, you just couldn’t see it until you were put to the test. And when you know this, things get much easier than they were when you were doing them for the first time.

My first solo trip (Japan in autumn of 2017)

After this trip, the next trips came so easy to me. I admit, I sometimes still feel a bit afraid to go on solo trips, but the excitement overpowers it. The fear just becomes a faint background noise.



Surround yourself with people who hype you up.

Everyone wants to travel, but not everyone is willing to spend the money or put in the effort and sacrifices to make it happen. While you might be one of those people who are willing to do all the hard things, your friends might not to be.

This was my case when I booked flights to Tokyo in March of 2017. I was desperately messaging friends to come with me, telling them that the tickets cost only Php1,600+ round trip, but still, I was not able to convince even one person. Really? Seriously? It’s 1,600!

I had two options. Just cut my losses and cancel the trip. Or… I could just go to Japan alone. What?! Sounds crazy, but that’s what I did. While it was discouraging that none of my friends were excited enough to do this with me, I found that there are tons of people in the world who share the same passion for travel. When you surround yourself with these people and read about their own awesome travel experiences, it turns the fear into excitement!

Here are a few Facebook groups:

Travel subreddits:

On the next part of the Solo Travel Series, we’ll talk about budget and where it can take you! 🙂


  1. Speaks so much of my first solo travel even if it’s just locally. I can imagine my anxiety when i hit the airport for the first time all by myself but after that one single experience. It was so liberating, i cannot stop thinking of where to go next alone. 😊

    • Exactly how I felt! I was overthinking everything and was just so anxious when it was my first time. But after that, everything became so easy 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story Ysa!

  2. Wow. Very nice content. So many things were so relatable especially convincing your friends part. Haha. Cant wait for the next part

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