Solo Travel Tips, Safety Advice, and Stories

We’re bringing you the 11 best solo travel for women tips from the expert herself. Zeina spent her early 20s traveling through Europe and living in Lebanon and is bringing you stories from her adventures, solo female travel safety tips, advice on how to make friends while traveling solo, and answer all your questions on the things you must and must not do to make this the ultimate guide to solo female travel.

Ultimate Female Solo Travel Guide – Episode Transcript

2 (55s):
Welcome to this week’s episode of the Travel Squad Podcast, your ultimate guide to solo female travel.

1 (1m 2s):
I have done a lot of traveling, but only with family and friends. So I’m super excited to hear all about this episode, Dana, because I’m sure I’ll be inspired to take a solo trip in the future.

3 (1m 12s):
This is definitely a different kind of episode. Usually we’re talking squad trips, couples trips, different group trips, but Zeina is the only one that’s taken a solo trip here. I’ve always wanted to take one. I kind of took a semi half solo road trip to the Sedona yoga festival, but I met up with someone there. So it didn’t technically count. And you guys don’t even know this, but I am sort of starting to plan a solo trip out to St. Pete Tampa, Florida. Oh, wow. After talking to my coworker, who’s from there and she was really hyping it up. So I’m considering that for April, but that’s perfect time for this episode. I can’t wait to hear all your tips.

2 (1m 48s):
Yeah. And actually real quick, PIM correction, you said that same as the only one who’s taken a solo trip. I have actually traveled many, many, many times solo. All right.

4 (1m 58s):
Well, I did kind of know about your trip, Kim, because I saw on Twitter recently, you said that you wanted to take a solo trip. I needed recommendations and I was racking my brain around commenting back to you. But I got distracted at work. I didn’t know it was going to be Tampa and St. Petersburg in Florida. And apparently Brittany is going to be going on one because we just heard how excited she is to really leave me behind and go on her own. But I am really excited about this episode also, because more specifically, we are going to be focusing on Zena’s solo travels when she was younger, like right out of high school. And I remember living at home when she was gone and she would just save all her money, then go on trips and be gone for like three months, two years at a time, quite literally spend it all, come back, work, save that money and do it.

4 (2m 47s):
And so I’m very fortunate with the travel that I’ve been able to do with you guys as a squad and Brittany solo. But I always am jealous of hearing Zeno’s solo travel stories. I want to do the same thing. And if Brittany is going to leave me behind, I’m about to go leave Brittany behind. I’m going to go do something crazy. I don’t know what Solos Ana. This is the whole episode solo,

1 (3m 10s):
A men’s solo travel guide.

3 (3m 14s):
Oh gosh. I can’t wait for that line.

4 (3m 16s):
It’ll be a good one. I’ll make it a good one for you guys. I can go hard when I need to go hard and I’ll go,

2 (3m 21s):
Ah, there you go. You know what, Kim, I fully support you on that solo trip. I’m so excited. I know you almost had a solo trip, but it ended up being with another person, which is great, but I really encourage you. You too, as well. Brittany, I think solo female travel is the ultimate self-esteem builder.

4 (3m 39s):
No encouragement on my end though. You just encouraged Brittany, but not me. I heard that. I’m just kidding. I know, I know I’m kidding around,

2 (3m 48s):
But I do think you should travel by yourself.

1 (3m 50s):
Susanna, why don’t you start us off with some tips?

2 (3m 52s):
So the first thing that I’m going to say is trust your instincts and your instincts is coming from within you. It knows what’s going on. Trust it. You can trust yourself. The second one is, tell your banks where you’re going to be. I learned that one the hard way. So when you are traveling overseas,

1 (4m 10s):
It’s just a good tip in general for everyone. Yeah.

4 (4m 13s):
Yeah. I was going to say, I don’t even think that needs to be solo. We’ve talked about that. And just regular tips and planning for trips, but solo that’s definitely very important. Especially back in the day. I remember one time I remember hearing it from dad, he was like, oh, I had to send Zayna money because they denied her pulling money from the ATM. Cause she didn’t tell him where she was going to be or something that they thought it was fraud. So yeah, that’s a real, that happens.

2 (4m 35s):
Well, you know, I’ve been traveling solo since I was 20 years old. Yes. Since I was 20 years old and I didn’t learn that one until I was 24. So

4 (4m 42s):
You still don’t remember a lot of stuff that we hammer onto Zana because you’re the most unprepared, but I’ll give you this though. When it comes to solo travel minus mishaps and things you’ve learned along the way, you are very capable of doing it yourself. Just when we’re as the squad, you feel like, oh, everyone else is going to do it. So you just show up.

2 (5m 1s):
Exactly. Yeah. And you know, when I need to be responsible, I am responsible. Otherwise I fall back on Jamal and Brittany

3 (5m 7s):
We’ll show you how much you’re actually capable of doing and how smart you really are.

2 (5m 12s):
Exactly. Yeah. There’s going to be a lot of points in this episode where we’ll hit home on that one. But the other thing too is just make sure that you have travel insurance, medical wise, not talking about trip insurance that you, I mean you could have, but I really want to hit home on the medical cause you never know what’s going to happen. Another one too is making copies of your ID and passport and any medical stuff that you need. Just make sure that you have copies nowadays. You can just save a copy on your phone or maybe even, I don’t know, maybe your phone might get stolen, but,

4 (5m 44s):
But see, even I do this though and a good tip for solo travel, but whenever we travel internationally, I always print out those documents, reservations to hotels, my travel medical insurance, which I want to go back to if is going international these days and the days of COVID, we do have a link on our website where you can purchase your travel medical insurance. So do go to Travel Squad, Podcast dot com and get it there as well. But I think printing out your stuff, whether it be the itinerary or your IDs of sorts, don’t just rely on the digital copy. It’s good to have, but you should,

3 (6m 22s):
To your point, what you just said earlier, a lot of countries are even requiring you have Travel medical insurance, so used to be optional, but now it’s becoming more required

4 (6m 31s):
Travel medical. That specifically covers COVID and the link on our website does cover COVID. So don’t bother looking anywhere else. Check out Travel Squad, Podcast dot com.

1 (6m 41s):
And speaking of COVID in the future, you may have to actually make a copy of your vaccination card to be able to travel

3 (6m 47s):
Vaccine passport.

4 (6m 49s):
It’s common.

3 (6m 51s):
Anything else? Any other tips?

2 (6m 53s):
Two more things that I want to say. Number one is make sure that you have more than one bank card. You never know one, if one is going to be stolen or two, if it’s just not accepted at a specific bank.

3 (7m 5s):
Didn’t I just tell you guys how my wallet got lost on my trip. And we were stuck on the road with no gas, no money, and had to ask strangers if they would lend us money. And if we been mowed them,

4 (7m 15s):

3 (7m 17s):
Two bank cards

1 (7m 19s):
And don’t put them in the same wallet.

3 (7m 20s):
That’s a great tip.

2 (7m 22s):
And the second one is, make sure that you give your family and friends a copy of your itinerary.

1 (7m 30s):
And I’m just going to add mild tip in and it’s going to be to download offline maps, which is what I always say in like every single episode. And it works internationally. So it’s such a great tip and hack.

3 (7m 41s):
And we’ve gotten a question about this before. So to clarify, it’s Google maps app on your phone and the offline maps feature.

4 (7m 49s):
Yeah. So you can download a specific section city area of a state area of a country. And if you are offline, have no data, no wifi. You can navigate as if you actually have service. So perfect. Like Brittany said for regular travel as the squad, as groups, but definitely as solo, especially if your language barrier is difficult, depending on where you’re going. Good to have the offline maps.

2 (8m 14s):
So getting right into the ultimate guide, we’re going to give you 11 pointers here. So number one is don’t wait for others. The reason why I have done so much travel on my own at such a young age was because I didn’t wait for anyone else. So first off, I just want to go through fears of why you can’t, what I’ve actually heard it from. Other people saying one is, I’ve never done it. Two, I’m going to be all alone. I’m going to be so lonely three. It’s not safe for I’m going to be so lonely. I realized I just said that. So

3 (8m 50s):
I want to ask you about that because that’s actually one concern I have is being lonely on a trip or not having that person there to like, I dunno, cheers with or share like, look at that sign, look at this mural or you know, whatever. So did you ever feel lonely on a solo trip?

2 (9m 7s):
I mean, you know, I think the thing about solo trips that is, I don’t want to say difficult. I can’t find the right word, but it is interesting because you go off and you have these amazing experiences and you have these amazing memories and then you come back and you tell people, but you can’t necessarily relate with them because they weren’t, there there’s a difference, right? Like you had to be there kind of stories. Right? So there is that sense of loneliness, but you do feel it like when you do get back, but when you’re on the road and if you are a social person and we’re going to get into ways and how you can actually meet people, so you aren’t alone. I really don’t feel like that.

3 (9m 42s):

2 (9m 43s):
Think you always, like, at some point you will feel lonely, but you are going to be around people. And so you can create that connection if you’re willing to step outside of your comfort zone to create those connections with other people. Yeah.

3 (9m 55s):
Yeah. And I guess it backs up your point of not waiting for others. If people don’t want to take that trip. And you’re the only one that wants to go, you either feel maybe lonely sometimes or don’t go.

2 (10m 5s):
Yeah. I mean, like I’ve lived overseas and I’ve traveled to quite like the majority of the, well, no, that’s not true now, but like at one point the majority of the travel that I did was before I even turned 25. And the reason was is that I just didn’t wait for anyone. Everyone said that they were too busy, it was too expensive. And I was like, okay, peace out. And so I got to see the world at a young age because I worked saved, traveled, came back, worked, save traveled. And yeah.

3 (10m 31s):
So I want to ask another question. I’m going to have a lot of questions in this episode because I think I’m the most interested in taking a solo trip, but you said most of your solo travel was done before the age of 25. And I think stereotypically that’s when people consider solo travel, traveled the world, backpacking extended vacations like that to be for younger people. I’m 31 years young. And what do you think now about being in your thirties or even forties, fifties, whatever, traveling solo.

2 (11m 1s):
I mean, I still think that you should, I mean, you know, at the very beginning I said that it’s a great self-esteem builder, so I’m not saying that if you don’t have self-esteem you should go travel. I think that you can have very good self-esteem right now and go travel. Right. But the type of experiences and situations that you’re going to experience, it just really helps build that confidence in terms of what you really have the capacity to handle and move through and just connect with people. Like I do think that you should, but it’s interesting you say that because I was living in Lebanon when I was 24 and I came back two weeks before I turned 25. And when I came back, then I moved to San Diego because Nicole or my friend in Mexico city, the Mexican wedding beliefs that Nicole, Nicole, Hey Nicole, she was living in San Diego at the time.

2 (11m 51s):
And she said, why don’t you move to San Diego? So I was like, oh, okay, cool. So I moved to San Diego because I didn’t know what else to do. And I’m glad that I did. And I felt like I was behind because in my experience, most people in the United States do not travel. It’s more of a European and Australian thing. And so here I was in San Diego, I just turned 25. Everyone has these resumes, everyone’s making good money. And I’m just like, I have only like my, my resume included working at a dry, cleaner and working at a deli.

3 (12m 23s):
Yeah. And then you think back about it now, like thinking that you’re behind when you’re 25 and your leg in hindsight, you’re not behind.

2 (12m 31s):
Go ahead now because I traveled because I just like, it made me feel better about myself. And I also thought that that was going to make me really attractive to guys because I had really bad self esteem. And now it’s so off putting when I meet someone and they’re like, oh my God, that’s so cool. I would never be able to travel. I don’t know who I would travel with. You know, like they’re telling me all the excuses that I busted through. And so, yeah, I was a little bit behind in salary at 25. Yeah. I didn’t have a car when I was 25. Yeah. I didn’t really have a resume when I was 25, but I have that now. And what I also have is what they don’t have, which is the experience of travel under my belt.

2 (13m 11s):
And I’m not saying that in a more like Heidi tidy, like I’m better.

4 (13m 16s):
Well, it’s not even in a sense of travel. It’s a life experience type thing, you know, living in other cultures, being amongst other people, experiencing different things and

3 (13m 26s):

4 (13m 26s):
And to go to what you were saying, asking Zane originally like, oh, like, what do you think in your thirties and 31 years young. I just want to say hiking came. You’re not 30 and young anymore, but you know,

3 (13m 36s):

4 (13m 36s):
Know, I know. I don’t know. I just want to say in hiking, but another stuff. Yes. 31 years young for you. However, I think now you do have the resume. You do have the car, you do have a place to stay. I think a lot of things, especially with COVID now going like remote, you can do that. Solo travel. Even a lot of employers are looking at like, oh, gap year, whatever, you know? I mean, some people don’t like that or some businesses I should say. Right, right. But I think in general, like now, even in the thirties, it’s a good time just with how the whole economy is going. Even in a sense to do

3 (14m 9s):
It’s true. Like in your twenties, your, you don’t have typically a ton of money. So you’re going super low budget on your travels

4 (14m 17s):
Hostels all the time. Yeah.

2 (14m 19s):
Just say about that. And another one of our 10, not

3 (14m 22s):
That you wouldn’t stay in hostels in your thirties doing this, but in your thirties, you’d actually have ideally in a perfect world, more budget in your thirties to take these solo trips in an Aaron really enjoy the trip.

4 (14m 33s):
But I want to say though, yes. Maybe going as a group or with a couple, you wouldn’t want to be in a hostile now in your thirties, but if you’re going alone, maybe that would be fun because that goes to the point what you were saying of did you feel lonely? That’s a great place to meet people with like-minded interests to do the stuff you want to

3 (14m 49s):
Do. If there are hostile specifically for people 30 and above or 30 to 40, cause I know they have under 30,

4 (14m 57s):
We’re about to create Travel Squad Podcast, hostels for 30 and above all over the world right here. That CIM has inspired us.

2 (15m 4s):
Well, I, you know what, just one more point to it to put it into perspective. Cause Kim was like, you know, being 31, is it too old? Okay. One day, God willing, you’re going to be 41 and you’re going to look back and you’re going to be like, holy shit. Why didn’t I do it when I was 31? And you’re going to realize how young 31 is. I mean, I turned 35 recently, maybe like

5 (15m 27s):
Four or

2 (15m 28s):
Five months ago recently. And let me tell you, 35 is a lot different than early thirties. Like I can’t even tell you how young I still think that I’m young. I don’t feel like I’m old, but I can’t tell you how young 31 is.

3 (15m 41s):
I feel it.

4 (15m 42s):
Yes. And it’s almost like she’s more than halfway to Medicare. So

3 (15m 47s):
You actually qualify for ARP being 35. No.

4 (15m 54s):
35 35 is ARP now. No joke.

2 (15m 57s):

3 (15m 58s):
All right, let’s go to number two.

2 (16m 2s):
So number two, we’re going to talk specifically about finding places to meet people which hits on Kim’s point about being lonely. So I have a lot to say about this now when I was younger, I couch surfed. So that was like a huge way that you can meet people. So what is couch surfing? And I think nowadays, you know, we have Airbnb, which did not exist when I was in my early twenties, but couch surfing still does exist. And what that is is people open up their homes and the idea was, they’ll let you sleep on their couch for free. And so, I mean, it really depends on the person, right? Maybe you’ll be on a couch. Maybe you’ll be, they’ll have a spare bedroom, but it’s basically Airbnb for free in another person’s home.

4 (16m 41s):
But like Mo was sorry, Kim, but like-minded people because people who do that know that they’re probably going to do the same thing somewhere else. So they’re already in that same like-minded mindset.

3 (16m 52s):
I have two questions go for it. When you did couch surfing, were you always on a couch?

2 (16m 58s):
No, that’s actually a really good question. Okay. So I have couch surfed in Denmark and I didn’t even stay with someone. What it was was I went to Denmark because I had a good friend who lived in Brandy Denmark, which is a very tiny town. And Copenhagen is about three hours away. And when I was going to go to Copenhagen, my friend could not go with me. So I went on couch surfing to find locals in Copenhagen. And I met someone who basically, I hit him up saying that I’m going to be in Copenhagen. Do you want to like hang out? And he was like, oh, okay, cool. And so this person was just like the nicest person ever. He met me at a specific spot in Copenhagen and we spent like three or four hours together and he just took me around to the city.

2 (17m 43s):
So I didn’t even sleep. I was about to say, I didn’t even sleep with him. Exactly. I didn’t even sleep with him at his place,

3 (17m 51s):
But not with him.

2 (17m 55s):
But I went to Copenhagen and he was, again, it goes back to like-minded people. I wasn’t lonely. I wasn’t by myself. And it was so nice because he took me all around because he’s a like-minded person he’s on the website and you know, he was available and willing to do that. So that was really nice. I’ve also done it here in San Diego. So it was a TA, an Italian guy who was going to be in San Diego. And I remember he had like, like, I felt so bad for the guy. He was going to go on vacation with his friends, but he had this girlfriend in LA who said, come visit me. And he’s like, are you sure you want me to come visit you? And she’s like, yeah. And then as soon as she got there, she was completely cold to him and said, I don’t want to visit with you anymore. That’s sad.

2 (18m 35s):
I know. So he came to San Diego, he found me on a couch surfing and I walked all around the Hoya with him and we were commiserating in stories about past relationships.

3 (18m 44s):
Nice. So did you ever stay with anybody?

2 (18m 46s):
I did. And then, and cause I’ve also okay. Real quick. I also met up with someone in Beirut. Didn’t stay with them, but met up with them. But in Italy I did sleep at someone’s house and I did sleep on his couch. We ended up sharing a bottle of wine that night and it was just really nice and it was free, you know? So that was super nice. And then the other place that I stayed with, someone was in whatever we Brussels, I stayed at his place. I think it was his couch.

1 (19m 16s):
So you’ve never not slept on a couch. Like you’ve never stayed in a spare bedroom or bed

2 (19m 21s):
Now that I recount it. Yeah, you’re right.

4 (19m 24s):
And I want to, I don’t want to say that again. Haven’t done it myself, but I just want to throw out where she’s talking about is in Europe where homes and apartments are smaller. So they may not have had the spare bedroom to just be like, Yeah. Yeah. But I just want to throw that out.

3 (19m 39s):
And then my second question was the people that you met up with on couch surfing, were they in your same age range or what was that like? Can you search for people based on age or,

2 (19m 50s):
I mean, I was in my early twenties and I think the majority, like no one was over 30 now. I like when I was in Brussels, I was 24. I think the guy was probably like 29 or something like that. And you know, you do rate people on couch surfing as well. So you’re able to, you know, see other people’s experiences with them. But yeah, it was a really good experience. I mean, I remember the guy in Brussels was super funny because he was a huge couch surfer. So he welcomed a lot of people into his home. And he said that, you know, every morning I take people to this coffee place around the corner from my place. And it’s funny because this guy sees me walk into this coffee shop every single morning with a different girl. And I think he thinks that like I’m a stud or whatnot.

2 (20m 31s):
I was like, yeah,

4 (20m 32s):
Well, I’ll tell you what Kim for your solo travel to St. Petersburg and to Tampa do some couch surfing. You tell us if they’re over 30 and the age and what you can do,

2 (20m 42s):
Let’s go on couch surfing now. And if you feel like volunteering time, there’s people who come to San Diego who are looking for not even opening up your couch, but like the way that other people did just meeting up with me in San Diego and taking them out and showing them around. That’s great. And then you have a connection when you go there.

4 (20m 59s):
Tell us a little bit about hostels though. Cause we spent a lot of time here on couch surfing, which is fascinating and great. But what about the hostel experience when you’re young and staying there?

2 (21m 9s):
Yeah. You know, even if you’re not staying at a hostel, go into hostels and ask if they have activities. Cause you can always check in on that. But yeah, for the most part it was, I mean, I guess this is a little bit of a biased answer because I was in my early twenties. And so I wasn’t checking ages because I didn’t fall outside of the age. The majority of them are.

4 (21m 29s):
Right. But we’re still talking about like how to meet people to do things with while traveling. So I feel like hostels, yes. You’re having a lot of people who are having that same shared experience of like, I’m just here passing through traveling, enjoying the culture, enjoying the experience. So how was your meeting people and maybe doing things with them while in hostels versus couch surfing.

2 (21m 50s):
Yeah, because I mean, if you’re sharing a room with other people, then you’re going to be, I mean, you would think at least talking with them

4 (21m 57s):
Or wanting to see the same sites within that city.

2 (21m 59s):
Exactly. And I think I’ve mentioned it on another podcast episode when I was in Paris, I was in a six bedroom room. They put me in that bedroom because there was one open bed because it was five Polish girls who were exploring Paris. And I immediately bonded with them and they asked me out many times, but I was meeting up with another friend there. So I didn’t have the ability or, you know, just the availability otherwise I would have. But because we were in the same shared room, it was really easy to connect with them.

3 (22m 29s):
What you just said about your solo trip. You’re meeting up with a friend in Paris, which I think sometimes when you think solo trip, it has to be all on your own. But I love the idea of a solo trip where at some point in that trip, you’re meeting up with somebody, you actually know

2 (22m 43s):
She didn’t even live in Paris. She just happened to be in Paris. So I’ll get more into that into the next, you know, tip that we give. But yeah, she, she was in Paris and we were able to connect and we saw the entire city together. I mean, that was the second time that I was there. But,

4 (22m 58s):
But even to Kim’s point, just say like here in San Diego, yeah. You don’t want to open your home to have somebody stay, but you show them around San Diego. Maybe they live somewhere in Europe or south America or somewhere cool in Africa where you’re going to go. And then it’s meeting up with that person. Right. Because now you have a connection in another place

3 (23m 17s):
Gives you a few hours with someone that you’re familiar with.

2 (23m 20s):
Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. So that’s for hostels. And then in terms of meetups, they do have a lot of meetups in different places. So one nomadic, Matt, I’m sure if you’re listening to this, you know who he is, he’s huge in the travel space. He does organize meetups. I know that we’re in COVID right now. And this is actually before. I mean, he didn’t have this when I, when I was traveling by myself in my early twenties, but I know that they do now have those meetups. What they did have, I was in my early twenties was couch surfing meetups. So even if you’re not meeting up with someone in the city to go around, even if you’re not spending the night at someone’s place, they do have events. I’ve met a lot of people at the events, the guy in Belgium, huge in the couch surfing world, which I can’t even like, I was like amazed,

4 (24m 4s):

3 (24m 6s):
Surfing, famous.

2 (24m 7s):
You knew all about them. And so he took me to an event there in Brussels to make sure that I was able to meet people in case I wanted to connect with anyone else. So he was a really, really, really great host, also free walking tours throughout the city.

3 (24m 20s):
I think that one’s great for introverted people.

4 (24m 24s):
Well, not only that we know Kim meets people at free walking tour, so that’s definitely a good place to meet up people. So you’re not so lonely

3 (24m 33s):
Hosts are very friendly, usually

1 (24m 35s):
A little too friendly,

4 (24m 37s):
Go back to our Cusco Peru episode. If you want more details on what we’re talking about. But Kim loves the walking tour meetups

2 (24m 44s):
Apart from meeting guys and walking doors, you can also meet girls too. When I was in Rome, I was a part of a free walking tour and there was another girl who was traveling solo. So of course we immediately connected. And then after that, we ended up exploring Rome together, which was really nice to be able to have someone with me. I mean, obviously I was going to explore by myself, but to be able to meet someone like-minded my age, connect with her and see everything. It was just really, really nice.

1 (25m 14s):
You know, every time we’ve gone on a gate, one tour, there has been at least one solo female traveler on the group and you know, they’re interacting with everyone else. But yeah, at the end of the day, they get to have their own room, their own space, which is really nice, but they still are very interactive with everyone else. And I think

3 (25m 31s):
It’s a good point. I don’t know if this is on your list because you’re talking about your experiences in your early twenties, but organized tours like gate one are perfect for solo travelers

1 (25m 41s):
Because there’s already an itinerary. There’s already the transportation and there’s already the guaranteed people to be there in the crunch to be there. And so when, when you were asking him like 31, is this too old to do this? How old were the people that

3 (25m 54s):
Did definitely 56

1 (25m 55s):
Times. Exactly. I don’t think it’s ever, you’re going to ever be too old to really do that.

4 (25m 59s):
And I think that’s a good way to dip your toes into the water too. If you want to do solo traveling, I didn’t even think about it until you said it. And it’s actually makes a whole lot of sense. You know, if you want to go places on your own, but are still kind of timid, maybe in the organized tour, fashion would be a good way to do maybe your first one, maybe a second. And then from there, just build that content. Be like, oh, all right, well now I can do this on my own. Yeah.

3 (26m 20s):
That’s my grandma’s best friend. Kathy actually did this. She did a bunch of gate, one tours, maybe one or two or three to Spain. And then she started going to Spain on her own.

4 (26m 31s):
I don’t mean to cut you off.

3 (26m 32s):
That’s how I discovered gate one. Her lucky one. Hell. Yeah. And so she did one, one, or maybe multiple gate, one tours, the Spain. Then she started going to Spain on her own made friends in Spain. Wants to, to Spain. Yeah. And she’s I think in her sixties.

2 (26m 46s):
Good for her.

3 (26m 47s):

2 (26m 48s):
Nice. Yeah. I mean, you know, the other thing too is you’ll always meet people in real life. Like when I was in Beirut, I was out at a coffee shop and someone came up to me and she had a question for me when she found out that I was American and I spoke English, she like sat down and she’s like, oh my God, can I ask you a few questions? And I was like, yeah, of course. You know, and I ended up becoming really good friends with her. So on the 4th of July that Jamal had that wild rage and party at my parents’ house.

4 (27m 17s):
And dad don’t know that I have that. Now

3 (27m 19s):
That was a fun.

4 (27m 20s):
Yeah. That one was a ranger. We had crazy jello shots and a whole bunch of other shit, but that’s neither here nor there.

2 (27m 27s):
Well, I just want to say on that 4th of July, I was at that friend’s house that I met at the cafe with ICL and we were partying there at her house. So, you know, again, like in real life, you never know when you’re in places and you’re putting yourself into the culture. People will come up to you. You never know who you’re going to meet. You never know who you’re going to vibe with.

4 (27m 48s):
Well, I was going to say, I think that’s a real perfect segue into what I’m seeing here as number three on one of the tips that you want to talk about is talking about inner circle. Because from what I’m seeing here, these seem to be people that you’ve met in travel. And now when you’re going someplace, they’ve been there and have recommendations on things for you to do or give you advice. Right?

2 (28m 7s):
Exactly. Yeah. That’s exactly it. Tell your inner circle where you’re going, ask them, do you know anyone there and can they recommend anything and reach out to anyone that you know, that might be in that place. So just as an example, Nicole, again, our favorite Nicole,

4 (28m 26s):
I’m going to say it again.

2 (28m 27s):
We love Nicole. She went to Beirut and I was so sad that she finally made it to Beirut when I wasn’t there,

4 (28m 35s):

2 (28m 35s):
Was so sad, but you know what? I knew people in Beirut and I hit up one of my friends and I said, Hey, and his name is Michael. And I was like, Nicole is going to be in Beirut with two of her friends. Like I would love, you know, like for her to be able to meet you. And he’s like, oh my God, if she’s a friend of yours, she’s a friend of mine. She’s staying at my place. And I’m like, wait a minute. She has two friends. I don’t care. She’s a friend of yours. She’s a friend of mine. Nicole stayed with him. He took him all day. He took them all over Beirut. And I was just like, you are so sweet.

3 (29m 5s):
I know the Lebanese are so hospitable and welcoming and proud to share their city.

2 (29m 11s):
He’s actually from Kentucky, Originally Syrian, Lebanese. No, he’s actually, I think he’s half Lebanese, half Syrian, but he grew up in Kentucky and went to the American university of big routes to do his masters. But

4 (29m 25s):
It’s that middle Eastern hospitality

2 (29m 28s):
Really? Cause I mean, he had a Lebanese roommate and so his Lebanese roommate was like super into it too. And helping them like out and whatnot. But like, I really appreciate the fact that he didn’t have to do that. And he opened his doors to let them stay with them. Another example is when I went to Amsterdam, Jamal and I have a family friend loudoh who lives in Amsterdam. And so I hit her up and I was like, Hey, I’m going to Amsterdam. Do you have any time to meet up? And I was just thinking, oh my goodness, I’m going to be able to see her. And I’m super excited to see her. And she reaches out and she’s like, oh my gosh, I manage this apartment. And people have to book it for a minimum of three days. And so someone does have it booked, but it’s two days after another person.

2 (30m 10s):
So since you have to do a three-day minimum, no one can book for those two days. So let me put you up in that place. Do you have a place yet? And I was like, well actually, no I don’t. I was just going to get a hostel and she’s like, don’t get a place. I’m going to put you up there. Nice. I didn’t even ask, you know, people want to take care of you. People want to help you. So don’t be shy to reach out just to say that you’re going to be there and be surprised when people want to do more for you.

3 (30m 35s):
I’m looking at your notes right here. A number four actually says people want to help. So don’t be afraid of fast.

2 (30m 43s):
Oh wait, wait. Real quickly. Real quickly. I just want to say that when I was in Lebanon, there’s another girl named Sarah who was from , which is all the way in north bay route or an all, excuse me, all the way in north Lebanon, which is about an hour and a half away.

4 (30m 56s):
It’s for reference, I was thinking troubles blows with big blows. And that’s why going back to previous episodes, I thought it was too far and too much to do. Cause it was on the complete north end of the country. Just saving face for myself because that was reality. Getting back to this episode, no more discussion on it.

2 (31m 13s):
Well, you guys are going to love this story. Okay. So Sarah, I was never friends with her. I was acquaintances with her through another friend. So I’ve never actually hung out with her. But you know, when I went back to Beirut, I hit up every single person that I know who’s going to be in Beirut. Do you want to do lunch? Do you want to have coffee? Just for the like, thought that I could meet up with people. And she was like, oh my God, you’re in Beirut. You need to come to so you can stay at my place. We’ll do this. We’ll do that. Like totally unexpected. And I was like, what? And she’s like, yeah. So she was in Beirut. She got on a bus with me. She took me to her family’s house. We went to the beach and then I didn’t realize that we were going to go out later that night.

2 (31m 55s):
So I wore my bathing suit under my clothes. So later that night we ended up hiking to the top of a mountain and I didn’t have any underwear because my bathing suit bottoms.

4 (32m 4s):
She blames it on the bathing suit, but Zeina never wears underwear. I mean, it’s ridiculous. Anyway,

2 (32m 10s):
Anyways, I thought you guys would appreciate that. But it was funny because I have this dress, but I didn’t have a sweater. So I’m like wearing this bright pink sweater on top of this black dress and it didn’t really go, but it was super funny, but like just the hospitality about that also. Do you guys know how I met? I sell. Does anyone actually know that story for all the times? We’ve spoken about I sell?

4 (32m 27s):

2 (32m 28s):

4 (32m 28s):
Had, she went to AUB. She

2 (32m 30s):
Did, but I didn’t know her. I was visiting in Beirut and I hit up my friend, Danny and I told her, do you know anyone who needs a friend to out with, because I’m here. So I’d love to see you. But if you know anyone and she’s like, actually, you know what I know, meet me for coffee. And I’m like, like, I’m excited to see you and

3 (32m 51s):
Real quick, what you just said, you offered yourself to someone, even though you were the one visiting there and versus what you were saying earlier, the other way around, reaching out to see if anyone would be willing to entertain you. You’re like, I’m here. I’m willing to entertain someone that needs it. So it can go both ways.

2 (33m 8s):
Yeah, that’s true. That’s true. Cause I didn’t know the city, I just needed a friend.

3 (33m 13s):
Now you can go on,

2 (33m 14s):
Has available as me anyways. I met up with Danny and I sell was there and that’s how I met. I saw perfect. Yeah. But yeah, into the next segway of, don’t be afraid to ask for help. People want to help.

4 (33m 27s):
So tell us a little bit about that because even just in everyday life, like, I don’t want to say I’m scared to ask for help, but I just know, even in my travels, sometimes if there’s language barrier or something, you just don’t want to ask because you’re just scared of the response or maybe the language barrier. So tell us a little bit about your experience in that and why it’s not so difficult to really do.

2 (33m 47s):
Yeah. Do you want to hear about the first time I ever went to ?

4 (33m 50s):
I mean, I just brought up, my blows might as well hear about are now. I mean, I don’t know why not and I, I do too. And I just thought it was problems by the way.

2 (33m 58s):
Do you love it? Do you

4 (34m 1s):
Pay a little bit close?

2 (34m 5s):
I love it. Not

3 (34m 6s):
Even in Arabic.

4 (34m 7s):

2 (34m 9s):

4 (34m 9s):
So I, by the way I said, I love you big lows. It is real. It’s not, I love the, I love you. Biblical is what I say.

3 (34m 17s):
I love biblical

4 (34m 19s):
OB blows.

2 (34m 20s):
I think it’s say ammo.

3 (34m 21s):

4 (34m 22s):
See. That’s how bad my Spanish is, but let’s, we’re getting sidetracked here. Let’s continue on and not focus on my terrible .

2 (34m 30s):
Okay. So in Lebanon, the bus, I was by myself. I would, I didn’t have anyone that was able to go with me to blows. So of course that’s not going to stop me. I want to go to and I want to see it. So I know where the bus station is and I was able to get on a bus, but once you actually get on a bus, there’s no bus stops like they do have here in the United States. So you just have to tell them when you want to get off.

4 (34m 52s):
It’s the same thing when Brittany and I are in the Philippines instead of buses, their Jeep knees, I think we talked a little bit about that in our Philippine episode, but same way, a lot of places in other countries, they aren’t set bus stops. It’s a specific route and way. And you just tell them when you want to stop.

2 (35m 8s):
Exactly. Yeah. And so for someone who’s never been to Biblios I had no idea when to get off. So I got on the bus and I do speak Arabic. So like that was, you know, on my side, but I told the bus driver, I want to go to I’ve never been there before. So can you tell me when I actually want to get off to be able to get to and he’s like, oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, sure, sure, sure. So I sat at the front of the bus and so anyways, there there’s that, but you know what I mean? Like don’t be afraid to ask for that help once I was in Croatia and Brittany just going to absolutely laugh at this story. I rented no, I mean, it was on Hostelworld I think it was. Yeah. Cause it wasn’t Airbnb. I paid for the place. So the chick picks me up in front of the address of where I rented it from and she gave me a business card and she said, I know that you’ve rented this address, but it’s actually at a different location.

2 (35m 58s):
So let me give you this card. So, you know, to go to this address and not come back to this one and I was like, oh, okay, cool. So then she took me to that location and it was a beautiful, oh my God. Overlooking Dubrovnik. And so later that evening, after exploring Dubrovnik, I needed to go back and I couldn’t find the place because I went back to the address in the email confirmation that I had. And I forgot about the business card.

4 (36m 24s):
Maybe he’s had a few drinks because the ones they ended for good stuff like that. I mean, she just straight up told you, don’t go back here. Here’s this, if you went,

2 (36m 31s):
Well, I didn’t drink, but I

4 (36m 34s):
Got St as ill preparedness, it

2 (36m 36s):
Was, it was my own preparedness. So it’s 11 o’clock at night. And I’m crying, sitting on a bench, not figuring out like, where the hell am I? So I called her since I had her number. And she’s like, no, you need to go to the other place. She literally came out of her house at 11 o’clock at night, picked me up and drove me to the location that I needed to be at, which was really nice of her. It was

3 (36m 60s):
That you had this in your notes to talk about, but I do want to point out that even on solo trips, you can expect travel mishaps will happen.

2 (37m 8s):

3 (37m 9s):
And you’re all on your own, you know, on a solo trip, there may be someone there to help you. There may not be, but even when those travel mishaps come up, you’re going to get through it. You’re going to be just fine. And you’re going to have a good trip. Even giving that

2 (37m 24s):
You bring me to the perfect next one too. Because when I was in Stuttgart, Germany, long story short, I was supposed to meet a friend. She canceled on me last minute. I just made the comment to her. Hey, I’m nearby. I hope all is well. And she’s the one who invited me there on my way there. She said, nevermind, actually I’m busy and long story short. And it was actually a little bit worse than that. I’m sugarcoating it, but I got to Stuttgart Germany and I’m just like, shit, what am I going to do? And when I got there, no one spoke English. And the train station that I got off at that I needed to get off at all the machines to buy tickets was in German. And I went to every single place that I could asking someone if they spoke English and no one spoke English.

2 (38m 7s):
And I was like, I don’t even know how to fucking get out of here. And so I literally went into every single bakery, every single store, asking someone if they spoke English

3 (38m 15s):
And you didn’t have a phone either like we do now, that can translate for you.

2 (38m 19s):
No one spoke English. So finally defeated Lee. I went back to the train station and every time someone went to the machine, I asked them like, do you speak English? And so finally, like I just wrote down where I want to go. And I like held up that paper to someone and I was like Tears in my eyes. And they were, I would assume that the ticket that they just helped to be purchased is for what I said that I wanted. And so I was like, so grateful. I got on the train and I was just like, here we go. I hope this works. And it caught me. It really was. It got me to where I needed to go. So I’m very grateful for those people, but don’t be afraid to ask for help, no matter how many people are unable to,

4 (38m 57s):
Even if you have to make a makeshift sign and put tears in your eyes, you’ll get your health.

3 (39m 3s):
But they know you’ve told me many stories of your trips before we’re even recording this. And it sounded like a roller coaster of ups and downs and you still speak so highly of those experiences.

2 (39m 15s):
Those are the stories that make me so interesting. You know, like those are the stories that also like when I meet someone, I feel like, look how much shit I’m bringing to the table. Now, your turn to entertain me. Although What did I tell you about the time that I, this, you know what I have to tell this story before we move on. When I got lost in the Denmark snow storm, I was on my way to meet Martin in Denmark. I’ve already mentioned that I had a friend in Denmark. Okay. So Martin and Brandy and I was going from Copenhagen to Brandy. So I’m at the train station and I let the lady know that I want to go to Brandy. So she gave me two choices. One was to go direct to Brandy, which is going to be more expensive or another one is change trains, and then get on another train to get to Brandy, which was going to be cheaper.

2 (40m 2s):
And I asked her, is that going to be easy? And I remember I said yes to the changing of the trains because it was cheaper because she looked at me and she said, I think it’s very easy. And I was like sold. It was not fucking easy at all. I can’t tell you how many trains I got on and off on like my tip. No. I mean like it was

4 (40m 23s):
Syrian workers. So maybe she’s horses

3 (40m 25s):
Flourish on the direct,

2 (40m 27s):
Get the fucking direct because every time I got off the train, someone told me a different train. Like someone even told me to get on a train. And once I got on the train, I got kicked off because that train wasn’t going anywhere. You know? Like it was so crazy. And so in the end, my phone ended up dying even because what was supposed to be a three-hour journey was now at like the six hour mark. And at the same time, we’re in the biggest snow storm that day, that was hitting Denmark. So before my phone died, he was saying, I’m really worried because I want you to get here before the train stop, because otherwise you’re going to be like lost, you know?

2 (41m 7s):
Or like you weren’t going to be able to get here. And I even met two guys. They were brothers from Japan who the exact same thing happened to them. And I remember making friends with them. I’m still friends with them on Facebook to this day. But they were like, oh man, that sucks because you know, me and my brother were blaming each other, but you only have yourself to blame.

3 (41m 26s):
I know what I was. I wasn’t on a solo trip. I was with my ex-boyfriend in Italy. And we had the same where we had to switch trains and our itinerary did not stick to it. They’re like, just get on the next train we got on the next train. It wasn’t the right train. They wanted us to pay more. It was a mess. So don’t get a connecting train Walgett.

4 (41m 47s):
The same thing real quick happened to Brittany and I, when we were going to Shawmanee one of my favorite places in Europe and if not the world, and we bought our tickets had a specific time. And yet they changed the seasonal times and we were like, oh shit. Like we literally boarded a train that was going nowhere in the station. And we had to wait and get on the next one because it wasn’t moving anywhere. So these things that goes back to your mishaps, Kim, they will definitely happen, but you just gotta be prepared for them and just understand, like, that’s the reality, you know, if you’re going on your own and aren’t really on time to straight roll with the punches.

2 (42m 22s):
Exactly. Yeah. No. Well, anyways, by the time I finally got to the train station that I needed to get off on, I hugged my new Japanese brother friends. They wished me luck. They said, we’re going to send you a message. Once we get to our place, send us a message. Like everyone was worried about everyone because no one knew ever anyone was going, oh, that’s nice. It really was. And so I get off small, small town. The train station is closed at this point. Like no one was there. There’s no whites. And the snow, the biggest snow storm of the season that year, that day is up to my knees. So I’m like, oh my God. So Martin had no idea when I was actually going to get there and my phone has died. I didn’t know how to communicate with him. So I left my luggage there and I literally ran through the streets in the snow, up to my knees, because at this point it’s like 10 o’clock at night.

2 (43m 10s):
They’re not going to blaze, you know, like clear the roads until the next day. So

3 (43m 14s):
That’s the road

2 (43m 15s):
I like, I am literally in the middle of nowhere. It is pitch black. I don’t know where I’m going. So finally I see someone and I’m crying and I asked him for help. And he’s like, oh, okay, come, come, come. You know? Cause I did write down Martin’s phone number. He took me to his house, but the phone was all the way in a back room. And I was like, oh my God, please do not kill me. Oh my God. But I have no other choice. I go, I call Martin. He’s like, oh my God. I’ve been so worried about you. Do you know where the train station is? And I was like, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So he’s like, go back there and I’m going to meet you. Oh, that’s good. So he met me and then I was so hungry. Cause I hadn’t eaten that day. He’s all. Well, I feel so bad. There’s only one place open right now. And it’s a pizza place. Is that okay? And I was like, I’ll eat anything.

2 (43m 55s):
So he takes me to the pizza place and the guy turns around to take my order. And it’s the exact same guy who let me use his phone in his house. And he’s like, you found your friend. And I was like, I found my friend

3 (44m 8s):
That is a miracle that, that worked out like that.

2 (44m 11s):
It really was. So don’t be afraid to ask for it.

3 (44m 15s):
And it also is worth saying that people are actually a lot better than we think they are. We, we see the worst of the worst of people on the news, on social media and all of that. But every time I’ve been traveling and needed help, there have been really helpful, really nice people. Yeah.

2 (44m 32s):
People do want to help you.

1 (44m 33s):
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2 (45m 58s):
Moving along to number five is you don’t have to have everything planned. Now what I mean by that is that, you know, have someplace to sleep at when you first arrive, but everything else can be spontaneous. Now I know this goes against everything. Brittany preaches.

4 (46m 16s):
Well, that’s when we’re going as a group and we have an idea, but solo, it’s a different ball game though, right?

2 (46m 22s):
It really is. Now I give you an example because when I was in Rome, Italy, I met that chick in the free walking tour and we were able to go around together. Had I actually had everything planned out in stone, tickets booked and all of that stuff. Then we wouldn’t have been able to merge our plans. So I had an outline of what I wanted to do and you know, she knew what she wanted to do, things aligned and we were able to do it, but because things weren’t made in stone, it was able to like really easily merge with another person and be able to do everything that we wanted to do.

4 (46m 51s):
I think we’ve even mentioned this before in past episodes of trying to recollect which one it was. And I really don’t remember, but we’ve said the same thing and you, you mentioned Brittany and yes, we always do have a plan, but we’ve also said leave space for adjustments of what the plan is because you may go somewhere, talk to somebody and they’re like, oh, like this is a hidden gym. It’s not one of the main things that you would think about, but it’s definitely a must do. So I really do appreciate that aspect of what you’re saying is like, you know, yes. Have a place to stay and know that at the bare minimum and go from there and just explore.

2 (47m 27s):
Exactly. Well, the other thing too is, you know, the, I think this is like the third time that I went to Europe, I only bought a one-way ticket. And all I knew was that my end goal was reaching Beirut. So I landed in Dublin and I thought, okay, I’m going to go west to east to hit bay roux. So I had no idea how long I was going to spend in Europe. And I had no idea where I was going to go, but as the trip was unfolding, the next thing appeared. If that makes sense, like it just unfolded as it went versus having everything in stone. And I was able to experience it the way that I did, because it wasn’t in

4 (47m 60s):
Stone. It was an operation. It just became like, so

3 (48m 2s):
I would love to take a trip like that, where he just buy the ticket and then know around this time I want to come back, but I don’t know what I’m doing between.

2 (48m 9s):
I mean, I ended up in Rome for a second time because I met a guy and went back long story short. It sucked,

3 (48m 16s):
But don’t let that keep you from doing it again.

2 (48m 18s):
I was about to say, it’s a great story.

4 (48m 20s):
Don’t trust the dudes,

3 (48m 22s):

2 (48m 25s):
Anyways, enjoy, Enjoy the journey. It’s going to work out also quick tip. Don’t worry about the last minute prices for last minute changes in the grand scheme of things. When you’re 41 versus 31, it’s not going to make a difference. If you had to pay an extra 300 or $400 to change something last minute,

3 (48m 43s):
Love that tip.

2 (48m 45s):
Moving along to the next. This is going to be a super quick one. Write down important information like phone numbers or directions in case your phone dies or is stolen. Allah, me getting to Martin in Denmark.

4 (48m 56s):
I was just going to say the exact same thing. We just talked about it a few seconds ago about you having the number for Martin. So that’s a great, great point, real simple, but that goes back to what we were saying earlier, where you were saying, keep things on your phone. Even when we travel as groups or Brittany and I solo, it’s definitely good to have the physical copies, whether it be copies of your credit cards, copies of your passport copies of your actual itinerary, physical copies or phone numbers, or great.

3 (49m 20s):
Let me ask you a quick question and then you can say what you’re going to say Britt. Sorry. How many phone numbers do you have memorized?

2 (49m 27s):
I have my parents. I have Jamal cell at my sister’s cell.

3 (49m 32s):
I know Brittany’s I

1 (49m 33s):
Don’t have

3 (49m 34s):
Brittany. I know my grandpa’s.

1 (49m 36s):
I think I know enough important one.

4 (49m 38s):
I know like about minus my immediate family on top of that, maybe four numbers.

3 (49m 44s):
So point blank. Write them down. Not on your phone. Good

2 (49m 48s):

1 (49m 49s):
And I was just about to say too, didn’t your aunt and uncle, aunt, Betty and uncle Truman. Didn’t they get their passport stolen from them once.

4 (49m 57s):
That was a long time ago, like in the seventies or eighties, they immediately landed in Rome and in the airport, my aunt Betty got her purse jacked and they lost their passports, their money. And they didn’t even get to go on the trip. They were going with my uncle, my mom’s brother. And they weren’t able to continue on with that trip. The moment they landed in Europe, they had to go back home because they had no money and no passport

1 (50m 21s):
Physical copies.

4 (50m 23s):
Sure. But we’re talking seventies or eighties. And like what was their copier? Yes, yes, yes. Very good point. Yes. If they had a copy, they could have made things work. I’m sure of it. Yes.

2 (50m 35s):
Yeah. And you know, even like when I was going to see Martin in 2010, this is like, I didn’t even have a smartphone. I mean, this is the phone that you could play snake on only

4 (50m 43s):
God bless Nokia’s. They’re like bricks the last through anything they’re like cockroaches they’ll survive a nuclear explosion.

3 (50m 53s):
Zeina I have a question for you. I think as a woman traveling as a woman in general, but especially traveling on a solo trip. Safety is the biggest concern. Have you ever experienced any unsafe situations or what tip do you have for that?

2 (51m 8s):
Okay, so you actually lead us right into the next one and that is, don’t be afraid to make a scene if you’re being harassed

4 (51m 16s):
Number seven,

2 (51m 17s):
Number seven. Okay. So once upon a time I was in Mexico city and I was with Nicole, our beloved Nicole,

3 (51m 25s):

2 (51m 31s):
Seriously. So I was visiting her. This is the first time I was ever in Mexico city. And basically Nicole and I have one more stop to go. And I feel someone touching the back of my leg because I was wearing a skirt and I was like, okay, you’re getting off at the next stop. Like just, just you’re getting off at the next stop. But then I feel someone touched my leg again and I’m like, oh my God, I’m getting off. I’m getting off. It’s okay. It’s okay. It’s okay. Not that it’s okay. But you know what I mean? So the doors open and as I start to walk off, I get shoved very violently. And as I’m being shoved, my skirt is lifted and my phone is being snapped.

3 (52m 7s):
You had a thong on, I had

2 (52m 9s):

4 (52m 11s):
That’s the most shocking part of the story right now is that saying I had underwear on,

2 (52m 16s):
I had underwear on. So I’ve, I’ve been shoved, like basically it all happened. And then I was shoved, like it was so quickly. So essentially as I’m being shoved onto the platform, like I can’t pull them down my skirt, I can’t pull my underwear back to where it needs to be. Like, my ass is exposed to everyone. So as soon as I land on the platform, I turn around and I see the guy who was right behind me. And now I know this guy was right behind me because he told me and Nicole, we can like stand there because he knew that we were getting off. So I turn around, I see him there. And without thinking, I punched the guy And I love that, you know, like I was so violated, you know, like it was a lot worse than it even sounds.

2 (53m 2s):
And I feel like it sounds pretty bad. So I punch him and I start to scream at him and he says, it wasn’t me. And then he says, I don’t speak English. And I was like, no problem. I speak Spanish. And so then I started to scream at him in Spanish. He started to run and I chased him out of there. So don’t be afraid to make a scene. And in case you’re wondering, yes, it was him because no male would allow me to punch him. And just simply there saying it wasn’t me. He accepted the fact that he deserved to be a,

3 (53m 31s):
This isn’t about travel, but I saw a girl posted something on, on a Facebook group. I’m a part of about a situation where this guy was stalking her a little bit around a store. And then she was walking out to her car and he was following her. So she went back into the store and he followed her back there. So she finally yelled, why are you following me? And that yells scared him enough to run away. And then she was able to be safe. So again, the scene

2 (53m 56s):
That happened to me in Lebanon, I was up in trial blow switch. The trial blows up in the morning. And I noticed that it was a kid. He had to have been like 16 years old and he was following me around. So I went into a restaurant and I went to the restroom to lose him. And I stayed in there for like a good 10 minutes. I’m like this kid, isn’t going to be waiting for me when I get out. So I leave the restaurant and he’s still waiting for me. And I’m like, okay, like, he’s not going to follow me anymore. I’m just going to quickly like leave this area. So I left the area, but he’s still trailing me. Yeah. And so then he like comes up right behind me and he screams, you have a nice ass, but I mean, he barely speaks English also at the same time.

2 (54m 36s):
Right. So I’m just like, oh my God. So I immediately start screaming at the top of my lungs. I’m very lucky that I speak Arabic. So I screamed in Arabic, help me. And there were like women nearby. And so like they came running and it scared the shit out of him. And he ran away. But like I screamed many times help

8 (54m 52s):
Me, help me, help

2 (54m 54s):
Me. And he fucking got

3 (54m 56s):
Scared. I would come running here

2 (54m 58s):
Finding like I scream when I scream and that kid, I hope he shit, his pants.

3 (55m 3s):
I remember when we were in Mexico city as a squad and the, and I was wearing shorts in Mexico city don’t do that because all these guys were hollering and going crazy. And Zeina was just like yelling at him.

9 (55m 16s):
Did you talk to your mother this way? Why don’t you talk to your sisters have some respect.

2 (55m 22s):
And I told the kid in Trav close to

1 (55m 27s):
Yeah. The speech guys.

2 (55m 31s):
So don’t be afraid to make a, see. I have many other stories too, but I mean, like, we don’t need to go into all of those, but don’t be afraid to make a scene. People will come to your rescue.

4 (55m 41s):
So I’m seeing what’s next here on the list for you to talk about Zeina and it’s something you know all about, because I want to say you are the worst packer I’ve ever seen in my life. I’m just throwing this out there. Well, she’s pretty up there at Kim. I mean, you’ve given her a little bit more clutter than she deserves. She’s pretty bad on it. I mean, my God, she didn’t bring clubs to the fucking Andy’s. I mean, I don’t know what more to say than that, but you have pack light listed on here, but tell us how, in terms of solo travel, that has been officials and up.

2 (56m 11s):
So you’re going to be carrying all your stuff. Okay. So the first time I ever went to Europe, I took two suitcases, big mistake. You don’t need two suitcases pack light. It’s going to be heavy. It’s going to be clunky. You’re going to be on a lot of trains. You’re going to be, have to carry in like all of that stuff, pack light. Even when I left Denmark, I flew out of the Brandy airport or the airport nearby. And I literally dumped clothes out of my luggage because at that point I had accumulated enough stuff to where I was overweight with the luggage. And I’m like, I’m not paying for all of this. I’m not even wearing half the clothes that I brought. And like, I literally dumped a lot of clothes there at the airport.

1 (56m 51s):
And this is just a good travel tip. In general. I know in Europe, a lot of places have a ton of stairs and not a lot of elevators or escalators

3 (56m 59s):
Or they’re tiny elevators,

1 (57m 1s):
Really, really small. So Jamal and I learned this too. The first time we went to Europe, we both brought a large luggage and then a carry on. And it was just a lot to lug with us constantly and like having to haul up all of these stairs all of the time. So now we trust, try to minimize what we pack and just pack pretty much the bare minimum.

2 (57m 21s):
I’ve dumped out enough stuff to where I came back with an entirely new wardrobe before.

4 (57m 25s):
And I was going to say the Brittany’s point too, especially if you’re in Europe and a lot of other places going on the trains, that’s the main way of transportation, which is really counterintuitive to what we think here in the United States, but over in a lot of places it’s train. And so there’s a specific area for you to leave your luggage on the train, but sometimes there’s not a lot of space. So if you have multiple pieces of luggage, like a full-size carry on, it makes it really difficult. So packing light is really going to be good and you know, really figuring out what it is you actually need for the trip. Because even in regular trips, people overpack all the time. So packing light in general is good.

1 (58m 1s):
And have you seen like Europeans, they have really cute small suitcases only here in America. Do I see these, a huge luggages that people are hauling with them?

2 (58m 9s):
I mean, I sell from Germany, came to Cuba with a big ass luggage, but that’s neither here nor there.

3 (58m 17s):
My mom brought the biggest luggage on the cruise that we went on. I had a carry on, she had a, such a big one. She had to pay a hundred dollars extra for the weight of her luggage.

1 (58m 28s):
And an American will do we’re

3 (58m 29s):
In a cruise cabin. Her luggage was bigger than the bed.

2 (58m 35s):
Yeah. Seriously pack light, buy clothes as you need them. Like you don’t need as much as you think that you’re actually gonna need.

3 (58m 41s):
So Dana number nine on your list is to put your phone down. And it’s funny because when you did a lot of your solo trips, it was before smartphones had your entire life on it. So we all can say that. Now put your phone down. Don’t waste your time taking pictures. And especially don’t be on social media while you’re in an experience. But what about when you’re on your solo trips? How does that play into your experience?

2 (59m 3s):
Yeah, you know, now when I was doing the, the majority of my solo travel was before the smartphones existed. And so the reason why I was able to meet so many people was because I didn’t have my phone in my face. So when you’re going to restaurants, I know it’s tempting, especially if you were by yourself and like, it’s just second nature to look at your phone or plan something next, but actually put it down and eat, pay attention to your surroundings. You’re going to be a lot more approachable when you have it down and you weren’t like into something else, right? Like just pay attention to your surroundings. That’s how people are going to meet you. That’s how you’re going to be approachable. If you need to figure something out, take the time to figure something out, but make that time and that space to do that.

2 (59m 44s):
And when you’re actually in a moment, be in that moment. So other people know that they can approach you. And so you can see other people too, if you need to say hi and what I mean by if you need to say hi is I remember being with ICL someplace in Lebanon, we were at harissa and we were like walking around. We were waiting in line for the tele freaks to get to the top. And we kept passing these three people. And every time we pass these three people, I would say, hi, hi, hi. You know, to the point where we kept passing them, that every time we pass them, it was just like, hi. So when we left, I sell and I were like, oh, we’re going to have to like go to the highway, flag down a bus, jump on a bus. And so as we were walking to the highway, those three people that I kept saying hi to that entire trip, all of a sudden, they pull up next to us in their car.

2 (1h 0m 34s):
And they’re like, we’ll give you a little ride. And we’re like, oh my God, we’re so excited. Thank you so much. And they weren’t even going back to Beirut. They went out of their way to get us to Beirut in order to give us a ride. Just because of how many times I said hi, and they felt connected to us. So put down your phone, pay attention to people say hi, and you never know what’s going to happen. Moving into the next one. Another really quick one is that for women wear a ring on your wedding finger, and you’re going to be glad that you did, because sometimes it also helps guard off the unwanted advances. Super simple, super quick.

4 (1h 1m 12s):
You know, when I first saw this on your list, Santa, I thought it was in case you had to punch somebody. You had something sharp to cut their base when you hit them with it or backhanded that bitch. Huh? But no, that’s a to keep on wanted advances, but you know, some people, I feel like that may still not bother them at all because some people don’t care if people are married. However, though, yes, yes, yes. That’s. I was going to say,

3 (1h 1m 37s):
As a woman, I can tell you, even in San Diego, walking down the street, getting hit on. I always say, even when I was single, I have a boyfriend and that will deter at least half of the people. So where the ring,

4 (1h 1m 50s):
But there’s still half that it don’t deter. I know. And that’s

3 (1h 1m 52s):

2 (1h 1m 55s):
Bitch slap.

4 (1h 1m 56s):
And if that can, that bitch cut his face.

2 (1h 1m 60s):
So, and finally rounding out your entire experience have planned check-ins with a loved one. And so I’m not talking about like, necessarily like, oh, I’m going to call you at 6:00 PM, but like, or text you at 6:00 PM. But just at least within 24 hours send a loved one to know I made it to my next spot. Or I hear like, just make sure that someone is actually hearing from you within a certain time span. So they know that you’re okay now it doesn’t need to be specific. It doesn’t need to be specific times, but just let them know that you’re okay.

1 (1h 2m 33s):
And I think that every time you move from location to location, that’s a really good time to check in with them because then they know, okay, she’s not in this area anymore. She’s moved to this area. So it also helps them follow your itinerary. You’re kind of put down where you’re going to be next.

4 (1h 2m 47s):
Well, yeah, it goes back to the tip where we’re saying, share your itinerary with loved ones. And it also gives you that sense of safety. Like, okay, now people who I know at home know where I’m am. So God forbid something happened. They have a frame of reference. So it all kind of ties together in that sense.

2 (1h 3m 2s):
Yeah. And even when I say share your itinerary again, it doesn’t have to be an itinerary set in stone, but like at least the bones of the plan.

4 (1h 3m 10s):
So I see something listed on here, Zana that you wanted to talk about, but I’m going to intro it. And because Brittany and I do this with ourselves,

2 (1h 3m 20s):
But make sure you give credit to the person who gave you this idea.

4 (1h 3m 23s):
I don’t know if you gave us the idea. We did it ourselves.

1 (1h 3m 30s):
Go ahead and say Zaina absolutely did give us this idea.

4 (1h 3m 34s):
I, well, I don’t we’ll see. I don’t remember, but Brittany

3 (1h 3m 37s):
Tells me

4 (1h 3m 38s):
No I don’t, but Brittany tells me all the time. She’ll tell me something and then I just don’t process it. Like I, I listen, I don’t process that’s my problem. But point being circling back around, moving on, send yourself postcards so that you can remember the trip and the experience. I think that would be great for solo travel obviously. But one of my favorite things about when Brittany and I travel is we will write ourselves a postcard and will clearly be home before we get the postcard. But it’s so fun to actually just perceive that, remember your trip. And every so often, quite honestly, Brittany and I would go to our little box that’s in our closet, that houses all our cards that we’ve written to each other and our postcards.

4 (1h 4m 19s):
And we’ll reread through our trips, like on a daily itinerary, like, oh, we did this, we did that. And then we remember all these fucking fun things that we did. And I think that’s a real solid little bonus in there. Send yourself a postcard

2 (1h 4m 31s):
Five and traveling solo since 2005. Jamal. You’re welcome because I’ve been sending postcards to myself though.

4 (1h 4m 36s):
Brittany listened to you. Apparently I didn’t listen to you if that was really your deal.

2 (1h 4m 40s):
Yeah. Mom used to get offended because I would send postcards home and she’d be like, why you didn’t send us anything. And then I’d come home to like a stack of postcards on my bed.

4 (1h 4m 48s):
So you send them home. She yourself. And not the moment that I

2 (1h 4m 51s):

3 (1h 4m 52s):
That’s a really, really great list about solo travel. And I can’t wait to take my first trip.

2 (1h 4m 57s):
I can’t wait to hear all about your first.

4 (1h 4m 59s):
Well, even though this was, I guess, geared towards more females, I’m excited to leave Brittany behind, go on my own journey. Maybe meet some ladies somewhere. I don’t know. I won’t tell Brittany about that when it happens, but maybe that’ll happen. I just don’t know.

2 (1h 5m 13s):
Well, Brittany, how excited are for you for your next solo trip to meet a whole bunch of men? Tell them about Jamal. I mean, like, I don’t know if you’re going to do that though.

4 (1h 5m 21s):
She doesn’t even where she’s not even gonna follow your tip cause she doesn’t even wear her rings in general. So I sure as hell no, she ain’t taken them on the trip. Solo wearing her wedding rings.

3 (1h 5m 31s):
You got to get a C, you got to get a special travel ring. That’s not valued as a wedding ring.

1 (1h 5m 37s):
Well, here’s the thing, guys is my everyday job. As a nurse, I am constantly putting my hands and things. I don’t want to talk about Ooh,

4 (1h 5m 46s):
Excuses from Brittany. Don’t want to wear the rings. I got her

1 (1h 5m 49s):
Basis. I don’t wear my wedding ring. And I think that’s pretty common for people that do that are nurses or even like firefighters are in a lot of industries like that. So I do need to get one that is, I know they have like silicone bands and things like that. So maybe I should get that, especially for travel because you know, I do value my rings and I would hate to leave them

3 (1h 6m 10s):
Or just get like a fake one. Yeah.

4 (1h 6m 12s):
Yeah. I’m just giving Brittany a hard time.

2 (1h 6m 15s):
Yeah. But I mean, that is a good point. When you go back to that tip is obviously you don’t get like a really fucking nice, right. Just get a ring to ward them off, but still we haven’t hit up on Brittany though. I want to hear about Brittany being excited to play on her own trip. What do you think Brittany?

1 (1h 6m 30s):
I am so fucking excited to plan my own trip. Jamal is going to be crying here at home, petting the cat. And I’m just going to have the fucking time of my life.

4 (1h 6m 40s):
Sorry. We’ve been talking about getting divorced anyway. So

3 (1h 6m 45s):
All right guys. So we’re almost out of time for this episode, but I have one question of the

4 (1h 6m 51s):
Week questions of the week

3 (1h 7m 1s):
And this question is coming from Matt, Jay from NYC. He is asking, does solo travel only mean backpacking?

2 (1h 7m 10s):

3 (1h 7m 11s):
As someone that isn’t super excited about backpacking, I have to say you can take a solo trip with a suitcase and not have it be a backpacking trip.

4 (1h 7m 20s):
Yeah. Just want to hear solo trips at guess back in the day when I was younger, that came to mind, but it doesn’t anymore. And especially with what Brittany was talking about earlier, too, about dipping your toes in the water. Well, that was my phrase. Dipping your toes in the water, but talking about going on a guided tour as a solo trip, right. That’s not a backpacking experience. And I think definitely not. Right. Would you agree with Diana? I mean, I know you said that vigorous and ferocious. No, but right. No.

2 (1h 7m 48s):
I mean, Matt, the clothes that I dumped at the Denmark airport was out of a big ass luggage. So no, it does not mean backpacking only. It means whatever you want it to be really

3 (1h 7m 59s):
Great. I love that we’re ending on that point. Your solo trip means whatever you want it to be.

2 (1h 8m 4s):
Go out, find yourself, enjoy yourself and create memories and experiences that will truly, truly, truly last and transcend a lifetime.

3 (1h 8m 15s):
All right, that’s all we have for you this week. Thank you so much for tuning in. Please keep the adventures going with us by following us on Instagram and YouTube at Travel Squad Podcast, we now have the Travel Squad Podcast. Hashtag if you tag your photos with that, we will share them on our profile and please send us in those questions.

2 (1h 8m 33s):
And if you found the information in this episode to be useful for, if you thought you were just playing funny, please make sure to share it with a friend that would enjoy it too.

4 (1h 8m 40s):
And as always guys, please subscribe, rate and review our podcast and tune in every travel Tuesday for new episodes,

1 (1h 8m 47s):
Stay tuned for next week’s episode, you have some more amazing adventures and tips in store for you.

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