If you are one of those whose travel bucket list only comes up during dinner conversations - we get it! Sherie says 'Till a few months ago all I did was talk about my travel dreams and the only that changed in my life was restaurants I discussed then in!' Not
that the intent was weak, but let’s face it - planning a weekend dinner is far easier than planning a holiday – especially when you are a solo woman traveller and your bucket-list includes some place other than Goa! This is why so many single travellers ditch their travel dreams. But Sherie made it happen, here's her story!
Right from planning to researching and
handling all the logistics of where to stay and what to see and do – doing it all by yourself takes up a lot of time and
it's not fun! And if you are a woman - your parents feel insecure about you setting out to some unknown country by yourself - even if you are on the right side of thirty!
It all started with my trip to Morocco. Good luck with trying to convince your friends to come along to any place other than Goa or Phuket. Especially when you like to explore differently. I thrive on getting behind the touristy scene and I wanted to camp out on the silky sands of the Sahara, bite the Atlas
mountains and all that. From being unable to take time off, to budget, to the time of the year somehow I couldn't find any company in my circle of friends. And, let's face it - it can get boring to go on a holiday by yourself, when you have no one to share your jokes and meals with. Imagine contemplating abandoning your travel plans because no one else buys into your dream!
My usual travel consultant suggested that I take one of those coach tours. Honestly? Don't get me wrong, a group of 30 plus companions on a regimented tour is not how I like to explore. Doing it by myself was an option to consider. I started looking for local options but travelling by yourself is not just painful but can also cost you quite a bit.
That's when I stumbled upon small group tours and my search led me to an adventure travel company
that offered over a 1000 trips - no kidding! Right from the start I was dealing with a team who knew what they were talking about and their knowledge and infectious passion gave them a head start with me. Even my Dad felt secure about my decision once I explained that though I was going by myself but I wasn't going to be alone. It was the perfect solution to all
my solo travel woes - a number of departures to choose from, great prices, itineraries with ample free time so I could fit in the things I wanted to do and additional guided excursions that I could add if they interested me - yup not everyone
wants to bite the Atlas! :)
Quasim our local guide, was a like a walking Lonely Planet guide book. I had not even considered the value of someone who has it all etched in his mind and knows secret local spots for everything - mouthwatering local food, sweet shopping spots and the party stops. He truly took away the pain - got us from here to
there, looked into confirmations, transport blah blah. Everything was so convenient and rightly so - after all, a holiday's
gotta be a holiday, right?
But, if I had to pick the best of it all it
would be hanging out with an amazing bunch of fellow travellers – we came from
varied backgrounds, jobs and even nationalities but we were seeking similar outdoorsy, deep and cultural experiences! I shared my room with a 37 year old mother of two who was on her ‘me time’ break while her husband was babysitting. There's so much to be said about spending 8 days of your life with a complete stranger who knows nothing of one's life. Sumptuous food, interesting conversations and laughter under the stars on the limitless sand dunes as we listened to the amazing stories of the locals - how could I ever experience this if I hadn't taken the leap of faith?
I travel to explore and each time I get out I learn and grow; and for that I consider each of my travels a bit of a life changing experience. In this case it has been that exactly because ever since I discovered the joys of small group travel, I have never looked back. Even when I am go solo now, I am never alone. I am saving oodles of time because all I have
to do now is join a trip with Active Holiday Company to one of their hundreds
of destinations. Since the Morocco trip last year, I have been on a sailing trip in Greece
and explored exotic Burma in South East Asia. Next on my radar is
the Inca trail in Peru!
I have simplified my life and I have shared my adventure stories with many. A bunch of my friends have switched too and now over our weekend dinners we have two types of people – one who
are still writing their bucket lists and others who are sharing their travel
postcard collection! Which type are you going to be?
You can continue to waste time snooping around for that awesome trip and travel companions or getting on a wonderful small
group tour designed with people like us in mind. Do the smart thing...
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Check out some of our girly adventures in 2016!