How did you get started traveling?
I started traveling in the 80’s, when I was a student in UK and in Vienna. Getting to see my surroundings and new places as a student was the best reward I could ever get. Traveling then became my favorite hobby and I can say that I am addicted to solo travel. In fact I have been doing it for over 25 years by now.
Why did you decide to take a solo trip to Australia?
Australia had been on my list for over ten years but due to work commitments I kept postponing until 2004 when I could take my first gap year. This marked the start of my adventure with solo travel in Australia. The main reason behind was the need for having time for myself where nothing else but me was in the equation. I wanted to unwind and free my mind from clutter and find a bit of clarity. I must say that I couldn’t have picked a better destination as Australia is very relaxing place for solo travelers. From that Trip I fell in love in Australia, the rest is history.
Tell us about your experience with solo travel in Australia.
I loved every minute of it, from the big expanses, to the buzzing cities, roaming from A to B completely on my own in Australia was very much liberating and revitalizing my body and soul. I went on a 2, 5 months solo trip and traveled mostly by bus and stayed in Australian hostels.
What recommendations do you have for solo travelers in Australia?
Over 12 years of solo travels in Oz I have tried out all kind of accommodation from dorms in hostels, to Airbnb hosts and female travel couchsurfing, to housesitting. I would suggest hostels or Airbnb to start with as this type of accommodation is the quickest way to create connection and engage with locals. Getting to know Aussies is the best way to get advice and tips about a place.
Eating out in Australia can be expensive so I’d recommend cooking your own food if you are on a long-term travel or using bowls clubs where you get good food at reasonable prices. If you feel comfortable, rent a car and set off on solo road trips, in my opinion the best part of solo travel in Australia.
What is the best part of solo travel in Australia?
Being able to explore places completely on my own without having to compromise or please someone else was the best part of the trip. And the freedom of wandering around with no fix plans, that’s priceless. Furthermore if you are alone in Australia it’s very easy to strike up a conversation with strangers and make friends with the locals. I found this was the best part of my trips, got to know so many lovely people, and with some I have developed long-lasting friendships.
What was the worst part of the trip?
Probably the long travel distances in Australia are not ideal for those who love to travel solo. You are bound to be alone on the road for long hours, days and nights. When I am on the road traveling in a car, at times I wish I had a companion to share the drive and help me with some things.
Are there any safety concerns for women traveling alone in Australia?
I wouldn’t really say there are safety concerns as long as you use common sense and be aware of your surroundings, don’t get drunk in a public places, Australia is a safe place for women traveling alone. I actually would place Australia among the top five friendliest countries for women travelers.
What advice do you have for women who are traveling alone?
If you are a beginner, start with short trips, stick to cities and their surroundings because these areas are easy for solo travel. When you get more confidence to step out of your comfort zone, then venture out in road trips on your own. It’s all about feeling safe and comfortable in your own skin, and find the right balance. If you feel it’s too much for you or don’t feel good, then just don’t do it or find a companion to go places or join a group, if that makes you feel comfortable. Solo travel can be daunting at times, so take it little by little and see how you go. It’s not a race nor a competition, you want to feel good and the purpose of every solo trip is finally to improve your self.
Do you have anything else to add to inspire women solo travelers?
Solo Travel is an amazing way of exploring the world and every trip you undertake on your own is a free journey within yourself, this is a huge benefit. It many sounds scaring to some but the truth is that it’s easier than what you think. It’s not boring at all, on the contrary is very invigorating and challenging too. Once you get started, you will ask yourself: why did I wait so long? Traveling alone will open a world of opportunities and no matter how your experience will be, it will be liberating.
Michela is an experienced traveler, blogger, social media manager and book author. She loves traveling alone and over the years has learnt how to travel in a frugal and smarter way. She loves to inspire women to travel alone but also to do it in a healthier way. With nearly 100K km travelled down under her belt she is an expert on Australia and loves to share her knowledge and travel stories through her Rocky Travel Blog and books. For more of her solo travel tips for Australia, purchase her Australia Travel Itinerary book. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About Women Who Travel Solo
Women Who Travel Solo is a weekly column that shares the stories of women’s solo travel adventures in hopes of spreading the message that traveling alone is not only safe, but wildly rewarding. Inspire other women to travel solo by sharing your story with Something In Her Ramblings. Email Lauren at firstname.lastname@example.org.