• 22 November 2019

For those who have never done it before, the idea of solo travel can be quite intimidating.

However, once you pluck up the courage and go, it can be one of the best ways to travel! Pat Stott is a 59-year-old librarian from Melbourne who recently completed an Irish Explorer trip with us as a solo traveller – her fourth trip with Expat Explore!

Pat first decided to travel overseas eight years ago. She discovered that solo travel ignited the courage and confidence in her to get up, go out and see more of the world. 

While travelling on your own to a new destination can seem like a monumental task, travelling solo is made so much easier by joining an organised group tour

Pat went ski jumping at Lillehammer
Pat went ski jumping at Lillehammer

An organised tour is a fun, convenient and affordable way to travel with everything being taken care of. “Expat Explore offered the itinerary I wanted,” says Pat.  “You get to see so much more travelling with a group. All the hassle is taken out of trying to get to a place, using public transport or driving, and where to stay.” 

Expat Explore sorts out all of these details – from start to finish including booking, transport, accommodation and all of the great optional activities. 

Showing off her archery skills
Showing off her archery skills

“The guides and the drivers are excellent! The booking process is painless as is the payment plan. The itineraries are varied. You don’t just go to the usual places (Paris, Rome, London) but travel to slightly different spots (Cairo, Budapest, Vienna, St Petersburg),” says Pat.  

She adds that for people travelling alone, it can be stressful getting to and from airports, but that Expat Explore has this sorted out too. In Pat’s experience, “Expat Explore offers airport transfers as well as accommodation before and after your tour. Hotels are also near a major transport hub and are easy to get to.” This means less worry for you, and more time to focus on the excitement of your trip! 

Travelling solo with a group of ‘strangers’ can seem a bit intimidating. Pat describes herself as an introvert so meeting new groups of people is not necessarily her favourite thing. Group travel gives you the chance to share new experiences with a new crowd, “You get to meet people from places you may never have heard of and you get to challenge some preconceived ideas about nationalities,” explains Pat.

It’s true that travel can change you. During her trips, Pat has found that travelling solo has given her much more confidence, she says “I am not afraid to explore on my own in a foreign non-English speaking city especially in Europe where there will always be someone who understands English.” 

The view from the top of Blarney Castle
The view from the top of Blarney Castle

To anyone who has never travelled before, Pat advises “Pluck up the courage and go. Pick a place you have always wanted to see and just do it!” 

The highlights from Pat’s most recent trip include the Giant’s Causeway and the Titanic Museum in Belfast, Northern Ireland. 

Next up for Pat? She is hoping to head out on a tour through South Africa! 

After experiencing a number of trips with Expat Explore as a solo traveller, Pat has some valuable advice for others thinking about travelling overseas by themselves: “Pack light! You are the only one who will have to carry your bags. Join in as many of the optional extras as you can, you will only be there for a short while so make the most of it, but most of all – enjoy the experiences. You may never be able to go back!” 

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