Quick. My visa for Australia is expiring in a month, and I have a potential long holiday of about 10 days. Where should I go?
Not another city, I thought. I would have to do something different this time around. Something not a lot of people would do.
My first preference fell to Darwin, and to do a trip through Katherine and Kakadu, ending in Alice Springs. Then I checked the weather forecast and it said, threateningly, thunderstorms. And 38 degrees in Alice Springs. Ok, maybe not that adventurous. Not this time around.
Another interesting itinerary then came up. Around Tasmania, Hobart to Hobart through the many national parks Tasmania has. Weather is temperate or even pleasant.
And so I booked the tour for around Tasmania plus the plane tickets less than one week before the start of tour. Don’t even bother to ask me how expensive the tickets were. Very.
Now, I have travelled solo a few times now and I have this choreographed dance that I bust out every time someone asks me if I’m travelling solo.
Are you just by yourself?
No, I’m meeting a friend here.
For a lot of times, this was actually true. I had been fortunate to have met several friends during my solo trips to Australia and UK. Not this time around though. Nobody I know around Tasmania. This is going to be the real real solo trip. Or so I thought.
For my previous solo trips, I had always made my own itineraries and schedules for the day. You don’t cram 3 attractions in one day without some planning, son. Did I mention that I only planned this trip a week before my holiday time starts though? And that I was so very tired from a big project at work?
Enter: Under Down Under tours. Guided, escorted tour complete with transports and lodging. Dream. Come. True.
And I thought I would go as a solo traveller and come home a solo traveller. But I did not.
Throughout the 6 days touring around Tasmania, I found myself with new friends. Sure, at first, sharing my days and nights with complete strangers was a daunting prospect to my unabashedly introvert being. We all came from very diverse backgrounds and ways. And yet, after all the days, I like to think we all came home with a little more pep in our step because we met each other and we got to see the beautiful Tasmania.
Cheers to a long life filled with travel memories. To travel is to live.
Dedicated to my new found friends that I met in Tasmania. Got any solo travelling stories that turned to be friendship stories? Feel free to respond.