Solo female travel Q&A, new on Traveling Titas & Co.
Intrepid traveler, photographer, writer and program manager of a major TV network, Ian Rica Roxas shares the ins and outs of solo female travel.
Q: When did you begin to travel solo?
A: I had my first taste of traveling solo in 2010, when I visited Italy for 14 days. I went there on my own, but stayed with relatives in Rome for a few nights before going off to Venice, Cinque Terre in Liguria, and Florence on my own.
This was my first time to try organising a trip abroad on my own — from researching about where to go and how to get around. Luckily, I stumbled upon a website (italylogue.com) and I used it as reference to prepare my itinerary.
Since it was my first trip out of the Philippines alone, having relatives in the same country gave me some security.
Q: When and where was your first real solo trip?
A: After that trip to Italy, I planned my first real full solo trip to a place I had always wanted to see — Japan. I arranged for 13-day trip at the end of March in 2012, in time to see the cherry blossoms. I had also just started studying Japanese, so it was doubly exciting for me. When looking for accommodation in Kyoto, I specifically looked for a guesthouse whose proprietors could not speak English. This gave me an excuse to speak in my very broken Japanese. I am also a student of the Japanese language, and each trip to Japan is an opportunity to make a fool of myself!
Q: What is the best thing about traveling solo?
A: What I love about traveling solo is that I control the time I spend in each place I visit. I am very slow traveler; I can spend a lot of time just watching things go by. I try not to fill my itinerary with things to do, so I can spend time on a park bench or somewhere where I can read or doodle in my journal, or just take photos. I can imagine many people would find this a very boring way to travel! So, traveling alone keeps off the pressure to run from one activity to the next.
Aside from that, traveling solo gives me more opportunities to engage with locals. I am generally an introverted person, but on such trips, I become a bit more willing, even eager, to talk to people.
Q: What’s the downside of traveling solo?
A: The absolute worst thing about traveling solo is that you can’t try a lot of food! In this case, group travel has the advantage; each person gets to try a little bit of someone else’s order.
Q: Where is your next adventure?
A: I don’t know yet, but I’m looking into Bhutan and Taiwan for now. We’ll see.