Solo Travel with O’Leary Travel to Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.
I have been wanting to go to Vietnam for the last few years but for various reasons I found myself without a traveling companion so I decided enough waiting around – I want to do it so I am going to do it solo!
As a female solo traveller I decided the safest and easiest way for me to travel around Asia was on a small group tour. I have been booking them for customers for years and knew which tour company suited me for this trip. I wanted a tour with a very varied age group and different nationalities as I love meeting people from all over the world.
I took my courage in hand and booked 3 weeks starting in Northern Thailand across Laos and from North to South through Vietnam (great honeymoon destinations also incidentally). Once booked, the worries started to creep in – am I mad jetting off to Asia on my own; what if I don’t like the people on the group; what are people going to think of me going solo half way across the world? These doubts are totally natural and I reminded myself that this is on my bucket list, I am not stuck 24/7 with people on the group, I am an independent person. I decided to stop over thinking it – who cares what anyone else thinks!!
One of my favourite feelings in the world is when the door of the plane opens and as you get the first waft of heat. It was no different on this trip and immediately I felt the heat my creeping into the plane all anxiety was gone. I knew I would enjoy every last second. I had pre-booked an arrival transfer – this is something I would always do when are arriving in a city with a different currency after a long-haul flight. You don’t know the currency and it is too easy to be ripped off in a taxi. So when I got to arrivals my driver was waiting with a sign with my name on it.
Thailand is commonly known as the ’Land of Smiles’ and I immediately experienced why, my very friendly driver handed me a banana and a bottle of water with a giant smile and said “for you in case you are hungry and thirsty after your flight”. I was exhausted and delighted with myself for the forethought to book this guy! We headed off through the crazy traffic of Bangkok and to my hotel. I had booked a free day/night in the hotel before joining my tour. After check in and a spot of late lunch in the hotel I enjoyed a Thai massage in the hotel, a swim at the hotel pool and a good nights’ sleep before meeting my group.
It was great to wake up feeling well rested and refreshed and I was ready to start my adventure. Our group had a welcome meeting at our hotel to introduce ourselves and meet our guide. I was eager to meet who I was going to be traveling with the next few weeks. There were 15 people on my tour – this is the maximum size for this type of tour. Out of the 15 people 9 were solo travellers which was great. There were people from Australia, Canada, London, Scotland, Germany and the USA with ages ranging from early 20’s up to early 70’s. I was super delighted with the range of ages and nationalities. After a brief introduction and a run down of the adventure ahead we all went out to dinner together and by the time dinner (and a few drinks) was over I knew I had made the absolute best decision to do this trip.
Fast forward a couple of years and I am now about to head off on my 4th solo trip – these days without the pre- trip anxiety!