Travel Tips For First Time or Solo Travelers
Travelling is more than a good time away from home. It will teach you more than books or schools. More importantly, it will teach you about yourself, it will throw daily decisions at you which you must make, you will be placed in new situations constantly which you must adapt to and you will learn about real life, and witness the beauty of life and experiences.
Celina Sky, Igbo girl born in London is a 25-year-old black solo female traveler. She has traveled to over 100 countries over the last 7 years including Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia, North America, South America…
Here is our interview
DANG: Do solo travelers have more fun?
For me, solo travelers have more fun and tales. It is better to travel alone. Currently, I am traveling alone through South America and it’s been amazing. The best thing about traveling alone is that I am more approachable (compared to a couple or group) so locals are very keen to get to welcome me into their world. This is a key aspect of travel because it enables you to understand the locals better and gives you a real insight of where to go and explore to make your trip more effective
DANG: What is it like being a female traveler?
Naturally, women are more welcomed than men because we are seen as less of a threat due to size and other factors so I’ve found that people are mostly very patient, protective and kind to me. Of course, this differs slightly depending on the culture. Some cultures see women as weak prey, and foreign women as easy targets; I’ve been followed, grabbed, shouted at all by men who have a bad idea about foreign women because we don’t conform to their standards in society or religion. Another example is that women in some societies have to cover their hair or can’t drive which is completely alien to me.
Adapting to different cultures and societies is not a problem for me because I understand I am the one who chose to visit these countries so I must adapt to their rules. I must also be treated with respect if anybody in any country treats me like an object we will have a problem. For example, if I am being harassed by somebody I will react loud, make a scene and call the police. (I’ve realised that loud reactions are the best because it shames the victim). Simply put, travelers, men and women must learn to be confident, strong and self-aware to enable us to not let any situation escalate dangerously.
DANG: How do you fund your trip?
I own a small business which I can manage online. The business generates enough income for me to pay staff wages, office costs, business expenses and comfortably travel. The beautiful thing is that I can travel anywhere and work from my phone. I use to work from my laptop but these days I can access everything from my phone like emails and view/edit documents so it is great. The best thing is that I am MINIMAL. I can travel with close to no money and have a very comfortable experience. So even without my business, I will still travel the same way.
DANG: What is it like being a black traveler, do you experience racism?
It is great. I am so proud to be black and I wouldn’t have it any other way. People in other countries are so happy to engage with someone new, they are familiar with the white travel so us black travelers are interesting and fresh. In some cases, I have been the only black person that some people have ever seen in their lives! They are so curious and excited to meet me. Something interesting about being black is that many people find me more relatable to them. I travel in developing worlds such as South America, Asia, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa and people over here relate to ‘the struggle’. So my experience is more real as people open up more. There is no prejudice, or hatred based on predated white colonialism.
DANG: Travel horror stories? Don’t scare potential solo travelers please.
– stranded in Chefchauen, Morocco
– witnessing the Neo-Nazi party in Germany?
– stranded in Moscow at Christmas from China
– sleeping at bus stations
– denied boarding in extreme Islamic country
– witnessing true poverty
– watching a killing in Ivory Coast?
– drugged at a bar?
– hitchhiking nightmare
DANG: Best Travel Experiences
* – Climbing the Atlas Mountain
* – Traveling and attending festivals
* – Santo Antao island in Cape Verde
* – Camping under the stars in the desert
* – Diving in the Red Sea with so many octopus and exotic fish
* – Tribal Celebration in Mali
* – The Western Wall in Jerusalem
DANG: Advice for new travelers
First of all, let go of all your fears and prejudices. Once you decide to travel you must have a clear open mind to new cultures, people and ways of life. Things that are normal to you in your everyday life, might not be normal elsewhere and you will need to bend to your new environment in order to have the optimal experience.
Do like the locals. Locals know best, it’s as simple as that. No travel guides, books or tours will teach you as much as the locals. That being said, you should be very open to socialising with the locals and asking their advice for tips throughout your trip. Locals know the best place to eat, best places to explore, cheapest places…
Plan & research. Use the tools you need to feel comfortable with your trip. For example download maps that can be used offline, book your accommodation in advance, be aware of any local customs so you are not shocked (such as bribes, tips and so on). Learning a few basic words in the language also helps, especially if you have special preferences such as dietary requirements, for example; I am vegan so I have learned how to say ‘No meat, no fish, no dairy, vegetarian’ in all languages
Don’t over plan. Overplanning leads to disaster and disappointment. Things just happen randomly sometimes and will throw your whole travel plan off balance. I suggest to have a loose plan and take each day as it comes. Once your accommodation and transport is sorted you don’t need to worry much about preplanning anything
DANG: Final words?
I hope that you are inspired to travel and off you are, please share your journey with others and encourage them to follow in your footsteps. Read:Cabo Travel Diary day 4: Portuguese Spies Got Me Shook!
Click Here to connect with Celina on instagram.