Please don’t feel sorry for us solo travellers – we actually love travelling this way! Here’s why I choose to go it alone.
A dinner date with a dragon
No trip to the Indonesian island of Komodo would be complete without visiting the famous dragons but be warned, when a dragon gets a whiff of its first meal in 3 months you’d better get out of the way!
Apparently, the Komodo dragon only eats once every three months, so there was much excitement when our boat moored at Rinca Island in the Komodo Nationa Park, home to around 1,500 of these monitor lizards, as they were in the middle of a long-awaited meal – a sight that was very rare to see. In fact, we’d already been warned that there was no guarantee of even seeing a dragon, let alone watching them feed, so I was a little unprepared for what I was about to experience.
One night in Bangkok and the world’s your oyster
Actually, it was two, but then I wouldn’t have been able to use the line from that famous 1984 (is it really that old?) song by Murray Head!
This was an obvious starting point for my first trip to Thailand last year and I don’t mind admitting that I was more than a bit nervous about exploring Bangkok alone. I’m from the generation that didn’t really do the whole gap year thing, in fact, I don’t know any of my friends who took time out to travel in our late teens or early twenties. We all finished school went to college or to work and then aspired to get onto the property ladder!
But you hear so much about Bangkok – how it’s full of young backpackers partying up a storm, how unsafe it is, how you can buy or sell anything, and of course about the rather dubious nightlife. Even so, I felt as though I had to take a couple of days to see it even if my expectations were rather low.
But you hear so much about Bangkok. Was it safe for me to explore alone?
Meet Janet Mactavish, a passionate solo traveller who’s now using her knowledge and experience to design luxury personalised travel services for her clients. Here she tells us a little about how she got started, why she always packs a door wedge and why we should all think about a certain poem. Read on to find out why.
Tell us a little about yourself and your mission?
At the grand age of 23, I jacked in my job in the City (London) and moved to Bahrain to become a flight attendant with Gulf Air. The plan (as I told my then boyfriend), was to go for 6 months but, I loved the experience, the freedom, and the lifestyle so much that I stayed, for 12 years! From Bahrain, I moved to Saudi Arabia and worked for a Saudi family on their Private Jet, which was an incredible experience and I met some interesting people, including Hassan Bin Laden. Sadly though, it did not end well and I ran away in the middle of the night… a story for another day I think!
I am now a Private Travel Designer and the owner of Travel Magellan, which I set up in early 2012 to provide a truly personalised travel service.