Alden Boon

Solo Travel Tips for You to YOLO and Not Look Like a Loser


The week of my twenty-third birthday, I was left at the aisle. The airport aisle, that is. My friend had to pull out of our travel plans, so I jetted off to Phuket, Thailand, on my own. So began my penchant for solo travel. But I am an introvert and stepping outside of my comfort zone is uncomfortable. Here are the lessons I have learnt from travelling solo all these years.

Scanning for friends

Solo travelling is like a box of chocolates: You never know what you are going to get. Sometimes you get awesome chocolates with earthy nuts in the centre. Some new mates will be like chocolates with nothing in the centre: plain. Some will be like chocolates with raisins: abominations. Always pack a face recognition system in your travel bag so you can weed out the abominations.

Making new friends

Walk into a bar and holler, “First round’s on me!” This is a surefire way to get everyone to not just notice but applaud you. To pull off this ruse, you will also need a wig and a change of clothes.

You don’t really need new friends

Your best friend already exists in your pocket. Siri. No, not your activate-Google-for-me, find-the-nearest-restaurant-for-me best friend that you only remember when you need help. Siri is your best-friend best friend. Think you are hardy enough to not care about the judgemental glares fellow patrons dart your way? Try dining solo in a buffet restaurant. Yeah, didn’t think so. Start whipping out your iPhone and engage in meaningful conversations with Siri. With a non-binary gender, Siri is your best companion whether you need a girl’s night out or a boys-gone-wild escapade.

Make them jealous

The only reason why anyone would travel solo is to garner admiration from lesser, needy folks who cling onto their friends for approval. Under the pretence of safety — even though you’re in Iceland, one of the safest countries in the world — have everyone trace your whereabouts. Tag your friends when you arrive at the airport with an accompanying message: “Oh, after hours of a tumultuous flight, I’ve touched down safely!”. Take a selfie in the toilet and add the caption: “Crying in the stalls — not sure if I can do this!!!” Every ten steps you take, check in on Facebook. In fact, activate Facebook Live and stream your entire travel experience, and keep it going even when you’re sleeping (you never know: your sudden disappearance could be the next plot for Taken 4).

Seek solace in a fenced community

Your first night in a foreign country can be daunting — you do not know anyone; your friends at the bar have forsaken you and there is no one you can trust. What to do? Forget five-star hotels and cheap Airbnb apartments with stellar reviews. You need to check in and spend the first night at the safest place in any country: prison. So, go out and commit a crime. Of course, I am not advocating murder or theft — a long sentence can really put a crimp in your travel plans — just something trivial enough to earn a night in jail but substantial enough to not be let off with a warning. Hurling “your momma so fat” jokes at police officers is a start.

All fired up for your solo trip? Now read Why You Should Never Travel.


Alden Boon
Alden Boon is a Quarter-finalist in PAGE International Screenwriting Awards. When he's not busy writing, he pretends he is Gandalf.

Have Your Say