24 Dec 6 Tips for Semi-Solo Trips
Woah so it has been 5 months since my last post about my trip abroad to Germany, but I have a semi-excuse– Grad school. If you do not know, I am currently pursuing a masters in nonprofit administration after not getting into medical school this year. *sigh* That’s a whole other story. Perhaps I will share that journey with you later, but today I want to write about my semi-solo trip to Georgia in August of 2016.
This was my first trip where I was completely independent during the day, which meant I has a lot of time to explore on my own. I stayed with a family I got to know that used to attend the church I attended in SoCal. I would spend the days exploring and nights in their home. Being mostly introvert, I loved the opportunity to spend days alone. There is something about traveling solo that completely satisfies me. I always return feeling significantly transformed and more of myself. You’ll have a greater understanding of what I mean as I dive into this post and the posts that follow.
I want to provide you with 6 tips for semi-solo trips. These tips are based on my experiences and of course, will vary among individuals, but I think they will be useful to you if you are considering a solo trip or semi-solo trip (and I hope you are at this point!).
Let’s get right to it…here are 6 tips for semi-solo trips:
- Plan. I cannot stress how important this is! If you are going to be traveling to unknown territory, this is a must. Not only will it make your trip run smoother, it will make your trip more productive. I was able to visit a lot of places over a period of 3 days. Here was my itinerary during my trip to Georgia: Day 1: Downtown Atlanta; MLK National Historic Site; Day 2: Arabia Mountain, Austell, GA (Natural Hair Show), Decatur, GA. ; Day 3: Stone Mountain. I was able to explore so many places because I planned weeks ahead. Planning consisted of determining the distance and time from one location to the next, checking the weather in advance and packing accordingly so I had the necessary things I needed for day trips. I spent all of Day 1 in Downtown Atlanta catching the tram to one place to the next. There is a lot to explore in Downtown Atlanta. I am always drawn to downtown areas wherever I go. I did a lot of walking, but I enjoyed it; plus I had my Fitbit so I was able to track my steps. It was very humid while I was in Georgia, but I dressed light and found shade and time to rest when I needed to. The highlight of that day was visiting the MLK National Historic Site. There was so much history there and I felt honored to be able to be in a place that commemorated such a phenomenal leader. On Day 2 I woke up early and went on a hike at Arabia Mountain. I had never been there before, but I enjoy nature so I knew I had to go. I packed a lunch for the day, my phone tripod and a small backpack to take with me on my hike. I arrived and followed signs to the entrance, but then after the entrance it appeared to be open land. Fortunately, there were mounted rocks that served as guides to get you to different locations within Arabia Mountain so that helped a lot. I really enjoyed the silence and I was able to take a lot of self-portraits, some of which are my favorite self-portraits thus far. Following Arabia Mountain, I returned home to the family I was staying with and showered and prepared for the next location-Austell, GA. In Austell I was able to attend a natural hair show I found on Eventbrite prior to my trip . I stayed for less than an hour and researched nearby areas I could visit. In my search I discovered Downtown Decatur and went there to have lunch and explore. On Day 3, I was super excited to be going to Stone Mountain! If you have never been, put it on your bucket list. It was surreal, Google does not do it any justice. I spent the day there walking at the base of the mountain and then I traveled up the mountain. I thought I had an amazing view at the base of the mountain, but the view from the top was even more amazing! I wore sandals, which I would not recommend, but it was still lovely. I spent about an hour at the top taking self-portraits, of course, and then went home. Those 3 days in Georgia were productive and fulfilling because I planned.
- Enjoy your time alone. Spending time alone is the most satisfying thing I have experienced. I enjoy being in my head because I know it is a safe place and I can trust that I will benefit from a lot of deep reflection. But also considering that you will be alone, be aware of your environment: save the location of where you park, do not stay out too late unless you know where you are and commit certain landmarks to your memory to find your way back.
- Be as comfortable as you can be in your new environment. When I told people of my semi-solo trip to Georgia everyone kept telling me to “be safe, there are crazy people out there!” I appreciated everyone’s concern, but I was confident I would be fine because of who I am in Christ. Imagine if I began my trip with fear and let that fear control my trip. I would have not enjoyed my trip, let alone gone to all the places I was able to explore. Be confident in who you are and allow yourself to enjoy your time alone.
- Improvise when necessary. My trip to Decatur, GA was not planned but I improvised and made the most to the rest of the time I had that day. It was within a reasonable distance from where I was staying and the event I was coming from. I couldn’t have imagined returning home mid-day with so much time left to explore.
- Pack accordingly. I packed for my trip so that I was able to pack for my day trips. For my day trips I was sure to pack a portable phone charger, phone USB cord, phone tripod (so you can take lots of photos! I got mine at Walmart) and snacks. Anyone who knows me knows how much I enjoy snacks so I always pack snacks.
- Do not have too many time restrictions. I knew which places I wanted to visit, but I did not set the amount of time I would stay at each location. This allowed me to really enjoy myself and I felt even more free.
So what do you say? Are you ready for your semi-solo trip?! Looking back, I realize my semi-solo trips helped prepare me for my completely solo trips. So if 2018 brings you an opportunity to explore on your own, just remember to plan ahead, allow yourself to enjoy your time alone, improvise when necessary, pack accordingly, and allow yourself to spend as much time as possible at each location you select.
Here are a few photos from my trip:
Day 1: Self portrait in Downtown Atlanta and the MLK National Historical Site
Day 2: Self portrait at Arabia Mountain
Day 3: Self portraits at the base and on top of Stone Mountain.
All photos were shot on an iPhone.
Thank you for being part of my journey. I would love to hear from you! Let’s talk. You can comment below, send me an email or we can connect on my Instagram profile, @kayiadore.
If you were inspired by this post and like this post, please do share. I appreciate it!
“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”
― Robert Louis Stevenson