Solo travellers conquer fears and become culture experts
Posted on Thursday 22 November 2012
in Holidays, Japan, Tokyo
By Dylan Thomas
It all starts with an idea. Soon, before Kiwis know it, they have made loose plans to backpack across Europe, escape to a tropical island or spend a month in a foreign city like Tokyo just to add some adventure to their otherwise predictable schedules. Their cultural knowledge will grow exponentially, they'll become more open to taking more risks and they might even conquer some of their fears along the way. No matter where travellers choose to embark on an adventurous, spontaneous journey, they are sure to have an unforgettable experience that may spark significant changes in their everyday lives.
For travellers who want to treat themselves to a risk-taking holiday, here are some tips to make it the trip of a lifetime:
People might advise you away from this tip, but if you're looking to dive headfirst into another culture and embark on an unpredictable, wild ride, then you should make your travel plans solo. Those who explore unknown cities alone are solely responsible for themselves, which can make them more aware of their surroundings, since no one else will carry that responsibility for them.
Being alone in a big, bustling city can make some people feel lonely at times, but it can also help these wanderers overcome this universal fear and ultimately lead to a greater sense of independence. One of the best ways to feel less alone while travelling solo is to make friends with locals who cross your path - you never know when you might stumble upon a lifelong friend.
When in doubt, taste it.
When you venture to an unfamiliar locale, your journey is not officially underway until you've sampled the region's ethnic cuisine. Marketplaces in cities like Tokyo or Paris are a great idea to begin these culinary explorations, as you can try these regional dishes from local growers and chefs who are excited to share their cooking secrets with foodies and tourists alike. If there's a language barrier, globetrotters can look into certain travel apps for their smartphones that help them translate simple phrases and terms that can at least help them carry a brief conversation. As long as you know "please," "thank you" and "how much," you should be able to make your way through bustling market plazas.
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