If you’re reading this and you follow me on IG, you may already know that I am a huge proponent of solo travel — I genuinely believe every person should go on at least one solo trip in their lifetime (once per year, if possible). But, I didn’t always used to be like that.
I wasn’t scared of solo travel particularly because I had never even heard of solo traveling. I honestly don’t think I knew a single person that had ever traveled solo until I got to college — and even then, the people I knew who traveled solo were going to their study abroad programs, and then traveling with the new friends they met there. I wasn’t planning to be the first of my friends to go on a solo trip either... so let’s get into this story of how I ended up alllllll the way in Melbourne, Australia alone.
Flashback to October or November of 2017. I was sitting in one of my Urban Studies courses and it had been a pretty tough semester. My group was presenting today, so we were all standing in front in front of the class. Randomly enough, I was driving the slides so I got to stand behind the podium. (For context, it was less than 30 people in this class and my prof didn’t allow us to use our phones during class). After I finish my speaking part, I sneak and put my phone on the podium so I can scroll without my teacher noticing.
As I’m standing in front of my class and multi-tasking, I see an Error Fare notification. The notification says “Dallas, TX to Melbourne, Australia for $124 USD RT”. Y’all... that price is UNBELIEVABLE!! Literally unheard of, some might say impossible. It was at that time I said, “Deja, we’re going to Australia!” because the deal was entirely too good to pass up. I texted one of my besties (and the mother of my adorable God-children) and said “Let’s go to Australia.” She immediately responds “Ok sure, when”. So I pick some dates that work for the error fare rate and book our tickets for the following February — all as I’m standing behind the podium in front of my class.
So now, let’s fast forward to late January of 2018. Me and my bestie are getting excited. I’ve looked up a billion things for us to do and places we can stay and everything. I did research on how much we could expect to spend and how soon our electronic visa would be processed. I mean.. who would’ve thought I would ever be going to Australia, ESPECIALLY at this price!!
Then about a week before the trip, we get some bad news 😭. My bestie has been diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum and her doctor has said he is not giving her the clearance to go on a 14 hour plane ride. Of course I was worried about her health, but selfishly I was more worried about having to cancel the trip of a lifetime! I knew I would never be able to go from the States to Australia for that cheap ever in my life.
Then I had some thinking to do.. and after a few days of talking to my trusted sources, I ultimately decided to go on the trip anyways. I knew my parents weren’t going to want me to go that far alone, so to avoid too much negative energy, I just didn’t tell them lol. My connection for the trip was in LA, and I legit didn’t tell them my bestie wasn’t going until about 20 minutes before I was set to board the plane to Melbourne. They were PISSED (to say the very least), and they didn’t support it at all. But I assured them that I would be fine and that I would call them when we landed.
That flight was the longest flight I had ever been on at that point. And Melbourne would’ve been only the 5th stamp on my passport and the only one outside of the Caribbean (If they weren’t already doing digital stamps only smh - I’m still salty about that). I made it there safely and had the greatest time of my life. I will write another post soon about what I actually did on the trip and what activities I would recommend if you’re planning a trip to Melbourne once their borders open up again.
That trip was truly life-changing. The entire time there, I felt so free and invigorated. Even when I lost one of my credit cards, I didn’t panic and everything worked out fine. I got to experience a completely new place on the other side of the world, and I was able to learn many new things about myself. To this day, that is a top 5 trip and I am SO glad I decided to go on my own (instead of canceling my trip). It was sad that I didn’t get to go with my bestie, but the experience i had solo was one that I will NEVER EVER forget. And since then, I have been to more than 10 countries alone, and I know there will be many more in the future.
If you were looking for a sign to book a solo trip, here it is. Book the trip sis (or dude). Just book it. You won’t regret it. Stay tuned for more of my travel stories, and let me know what kinds of things you all want to read about in the comment below!
Ciao for now,
P.S. If you’re looking for help planning your first solo trip (or next trip in general), be sure to hit up TGSOTravel! Get up to $10 off a service by mentioning this blog post!