Traveling solo – yet not alone

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On my recent trip to Bali I had a realisation. Not one of these groundbreaking, life-changing ones – but a quite interesting one for myself: I love traveling on my own, but I don’t like to be alone… and yes, that makes perfectly sense for me.

Actually I should have known that… I generally like to be surrounded by people. The more the merrier! That’s also the reason I never lived alone. I would go mad if I come home every night to an empty flat – in Berlin I live(d) in a shared with 4 other people, here in Melbourne at the moment with 2 flatmates. However, I just hate being alone for a longer time. But I did travel on my own before: some solo-trips to cities within Europe and also a couple of language courses in New York, Sydney and Barcelona. But the thing is, I never actually stayed alone. The best thing about traveling alone is, that you meet so many people!

Sometimes it just happens and sometimes I force myself to talked to people. The first step is always that little hurdle you have to come over, from there most of the time it just ‘flows’ – and even if not – fair enough. Then you happened to talk to a stranger who stays a stranger. But how great is it, when a stranger instead becomes a travel friend (and maybe then even a friend of life…)! You never know – and that’s part of the adventure.

On Bali I met some great people! During the first days it was one coincidence after another that led me to know a bunch of travelers –  one came to another and it just worked out somehow. When I after some days felt the first time a bit lonely, I helped it a bit via social media – et voila… I met new great people. Here are my (travel) friends from Bali – each with their own story:

Jimmy

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I met this cool Australian surfer-dude on the plane from Melbourne to Bali… okay – I kinda forced him to talk to me because I was reeeeallyy bored during the flight and everyone else around me slept or worked or something… So I went to him and sat on the free seat next to him. We found out that we are both studying in Melbourne and had a nice chat for the remaining hour. We both had no accommodation booked but he knew a hostel in Kuta and I then decided to go there as well. We had a beer in Kuta (I told you about this Saturday night madness there…) and on the next day during breakfast we discovered that we also have the same flight back… and guess what?! We both had already checked in before – and had the seats next to each other. Crazy! So we said – see you in 10 days and he went surfing with his friends while I was starting my exploration trip as well.

Yannik, Miro, Mike & Boris

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I got to know this Swiss quartet on my first morning – while having breakfast in a little restaurant in Kuta. I – pretty overwhelmed and hungry – was happy that I found this place which was recommended to me at the beach, I sat down at a free table and suddenly I heard a weirdly familiar language from the table next to me – but without understanding one word. I took a quick glance at them but none of them noted me. So I started the offensive: ‘Ahhh – are you from switzerland?’ – and see… I set the ball rolling. We have a little conversation, Boris saved me with Google Maps (I would have never found the way back to my hostel) and then they tell me about their plan to go to Uluwatu later in the day. Wait! That was on my to-do-list as well… so the guys kindly invite me to come with them and just some hours later us 5 sitting in a cab to Uluwatu beach. That was a great day there and an even more amazing evening – with a sundowner at the open-air-club ‘Single Fin’.

Mary & Cadda

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Those two girls were the only people who were no strangers to me – I know Mary for some years already as we both live in Berlin and I met her friend Cadda on a festival before as well. When I saw on Facebook that Mary is on Bali too I wrote her and on my second day on the island it worked out that we were in the same place – so we met up, did a great little scooter trip with fantastic lunch and little stop for shopping and later that night had a walk trough the quieter part of Kuta with a delicious pizza. I stayed at their place and on the next morning Mary was (sadly) going back to Germany again and later that day I left Kuta to go to Canggu.

Anina & Lukas

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Those two lovely Swiss I got to know on the evening at ‘Single Fin’ with the other Swiss as they knew each other from back home. I had a little chat with Anina who I sympathized with from the first second – she is just such a sweetheart. When she wrote me two days after that she and her boyfriend Lukas are staying in a wonderful hostel in Canggu I decided to go their and meet up with them. Shortly after I arrived we went together to see the sunset a nearby temple Tanah Lot and had a drink afterwards. On the next day we met for pancake-breakfast and Anina and I did a really nice Yoga class together. Then it was time to say goodbye already again – we took a quick foto and then I went to Ubud and they were traveling further as well.

Charlotte

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When I arrived in Ubud I did a little stroll through the city and I really liked it, but after those great days with fantastic people, that was the moment when I felt a little lonely. So I decided to put a little post on a Facebook group for solo-travelers in Indonesia if someone wants to meet up for a drink that night. And then it was Charlotte who responded! She is also from Berlin and arrived a few days before in Ubud as she wants to do a volunteer job there. We got along very well so we also did something together the next days (like a crazy scooter ride to the other side of the island) and even shared hotelrooms for a couple of nights in Ubud and Legian – which saved us both a lot of money!

Marianne

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This lovely french girl I talked to while having breakfast in the first hostel I stayed in Ubud. As she was also traveling alone and had nearly the same plans for the day, we decided to go together to the monkey forest. We also went together to a dance show and did a crazy sunrise-hiking tour on a volcano. She traveled to New Zealand afterwards where I maybe meet her again when I go there!

Eva & Timothy

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I ran into Eva on my second day in Ubud – we stayed at the same hostel and after a minute of talking we found out that we are actually from the same hometown in Germany! She was on her way to another hostel where some friends of here stayed and she spontaneously invited me to come with her. As I had a little time before my next plans I said yes and we went to this gorgeous hostel with an amazing chilled pool area. That’s where I met Timothy, also German, and a big wanderluster who spends every semester break far far away from Germany. We had a cool and inspirational talk about dreams and visions and his start-up plans – and then everyone went his/her ways again… That coming together was so unexpected and entertaining that we didn’t even make a picture – therefore I can just show you the nice scenery wherein I met those lovely Germans.

Alice & Quirine

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When Charlotte and I were getting back to Kuta we took a long walk at the beach and when she decided to jump into the water I saw these two girls from Germany and the Netherlands (and with them another Estonian girl) – so I decided to go there and sit with them in the meanwhile. That spontaneous meeting was pretty fun so we exchanged Facebook contacts and tried to meet up later for dinner. Some striking wifi connection hindered that but we finally met one night later for a drink in the fancy beach club ‘Potato Head’. I also shared a dinner with them shortly before I had to go to the airport on my last day. This German-Dutch-Girl-Power-Connection was such a nice company!
So I met 13 new and 2 old friends within 10 days… THAT’S WHAT I LOVE LOVE LOVE ABOUT TRAVELING!! There is no need to spend time alone somewhere as there are likeminded people all around. Sometimes it just needs a litte courage to find and talk to them.

Thank you guys for making my Bali trip even more special!!! ❤

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