55 Things I Learned As A Solo Backpacker

  • Never bring more than you alone can carry
  • Invest in a passport cover with pockets
  • Never carry your passport and wallet in the same place unless you want to lose them at the same time
  • You will need that umbrellaIMG_0094
  • Don’t keep perishable food in the communal dorm lockers
  • Spatial awareness can make you the most polite person in the room and you don’t even have to say a word
  • Keep your sharp razor in a spare sock
  • Beware flirty bartenders with nice accents who will charm you into one too many cheap beers
  • Go with the flow, but don’t be too passive. If you don’t want to do it, you don’t have to 
  • Middle seats anywhere suck
  • You don’t need as much food as you think you do
  • Learn to truly enjoy the smalltalk
  • Pack the night before because, 3 jack & cokes later, that’s the last thing you’ll be thinking of
  • Always make your bed as soon as you check in because ditto
  • You’re not going to be as alone as you’re afraid you’ll be
  • In fact, your never truly physically alone when you stay in a 10 bed
  • If your heart says yes, don’t be afraid to follow it for a little while ❤
  • You can’t make memories if you don’t get out of bedIMG_2501
  • Aussies make amazing travel buddies and challenging drinking partners
  • The Kiwis have been everywhere and will go anywhere
  • Not all of the Spanish are amazing kissers
  • French food is alright, but French pastries are out of this world
  • Italians make the best wine
  • There’s no reading in between the lines with the German
  • The British have nothing but lines 
  • If you want to think you’re speaking a different language, argue with a Scot
  • Other solo female Americans are hard (but not impossible) to find
  • The whole world keeps up with American politics
  • Don’t let people define you by your nationality
  • And never define other people by theirs
  • Your head will turn when you hear your own accent in public
  • There’s nothing wrong with gelato for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • You really don’t need much more than your passport, your wallet, your phone, and the clothes on your back
  • Sometimes even the simplest of things will change your world
  • Create a small bucket list, that way you’ll always see more than you thought you would
  • Staying out late and sleeping in are both perfectly acceptable, especially in Budapest
  • Don’t forget to wake up early and go tourist hard
  • Stop for those selfies
  • Buy that once-in-a-lifetime souvenir because you probably won’t be back
  • The world is smaller than you thinkIMG_9724
  • Not everyone will speak English
  • Homesickness begins where curiosity and wonder end
  • You never realize how bad life can be until you see it with your own eyes
  • Cultural barriers are really what set us apart, but drinking is universal
  • Not everyone you meet will be your friend
  • But the friends you do meet will be people you never forgetIMG_2964
  • Like an umbrella, you will need shower shoes
  • No hostel is a bad hostel until you see bugs
  • Facebook and Instagram are the travelers’s address books
  • Eat first and ask questions later
  • When in doubt, bring wine
  • It’s very exhausting and painful to travel if you’re not healthy
  • Find those little moments you’ll remember forever
  • Whatever you’re thinking, or whatever anyone tells you, know you can do it
  • Once you’ve had a taste of the world, you’ll never want to stop




I could go on forever. Traveling is like habit I’ll never be able to break. I wake up every morning itching to pack up my bag and head off again.

It might be cheesy, but traveling changes people. It changes perspective, creates hope, and builds confidence. It’s more engaging than any classroom and the learning and adapting never stops, no matter how experienced you are.

Any other solo travelers out there?? What have you learned?

14 thoughts on “55 Things I Learned As A Solo Backpacker

  1. Love this post. What is the backpacking moment that most changed you (for better or worse?) Mine was learning to navigate safely in the train stations in Rome and Naples. There’s so much to look out for.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks! Yes, I agree – trains (especially in different languages) can be difficult and I didn’t always feel safe. I think what really changed me was just realizing I could do it. I spent the whole night before my first solo trip unable to sleep I was so nervous. I was afraid something would happen I wouldn’t be able to handle, or just being by myself for such a long time was going to be uncomfortable – which neither happened 🙂 I wanted to travel alone, but didn’t think it would be so much fun!


  3. Thank you! I’ve travelled alone before, but only for like a week or two. This helped my nerves for my BIG world tour next year 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s amazing!!! I’ve thought about it too. I’ve met so many people working in Europe on visas …. but sadly Americans don’t get one. But Australia sounds beautiful and I’ll definitely hopefully make it there one day!


  5. Wait you can’t get a European work visa? That’s crazy!!

    I know so many people who have gone there, I’m a little late to the party but I’m doing it 😎


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