Have you ever booked a trip to a foreign country that you’ve never visited before and are forced to travel there alone when your friend drops out at the last minute? Featured writer, Toni Rollins, gives the rundown on her unplanned solo trip to Nairobi, Kenya and how it was an adventure of a lifetime!
“I decided I would conquer my fear of solo international travel or die trying…”
“So, I went to Nairobi…Solo! This may or may not be a big deal to the world travelers out there, but I know the afraid-of-everything-especially-terrorism-and-solo-travel folks out there are collectively gasping. Yes, despite my nerves and U.S. government travel warnings, I packed my bags and set off to see my first African country.
Full disclosure, I was never completely sold on visiting Kenya. A friend encouraged me to visit the country with her when she found an awesome travel deal: $500 round trip! I reluctantly purchased my ticket after downing two sangrias at happy hour.
“When am I ever going to get another chance to see Kenya for only $500?” I asked myself. “Plus, I’m going with a friend—I’ll be fine.”
Well, the “going with a friend” thing never happened. She backed out of the trip and forced me to make a big decision: do I chicken out or woman up and finally travel solo?
After much deliberation, which involved some tough talk and encouragement from friends, I decided I would conquer my fear of solo international travel or die trying (yes, death made an appearance on my worst-case-scenario list). With my boarding passes in my hand and an irrational fear in my heart, I hopped on a plane and took off for new territory.
So, how did my first solo international trip go? Well, not only did I survive—I had an amazing time and met wonderful people at every turn. I even survived my taxi breaking down on the side of a busy Abu Dhabi highway during my 23-hour layover.
I had an adventure of a lifetime, but do you know what’s better than playing with rambunctious baby elephants, starting your days sipping Kenyan tea, kissing a giraffe, having a Zen moment by a waterfall, seeing a lioness prowl and overlooking Nairobi’s busy streets from twenty-eight stories above? Conquering your fear and not letting it stop you from experiencing the wonders of the world. That, my friends, is the real gift of solo travel.”
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