Solo Travel vs Traveling With Friends | ZULA ChickChats | EP 81

His, his room inside right, Came out this red light. Then i was like wait wait wait, who in the world would have a red light in their room? Honestly think about it, red light looks very dubious right? Hi, I’m Rainier! Hi, I’m Mars! Hi, I’m Adria! Hi, I’m Leah! And this is ZULA ChickChats! Okay, so in this episode of ChickChats, what are we talking about? We’re talking about travelling, and we’re gonna be talking about travelling alone. So I would assume all of you guys have travelled alone before right? Yes! Okay, please tell me about your first travelling alone experiences. I decided to be the brave soul- when I was like, in 2014. I think I was 21 years old, I decided to go to Paris. By myself. Oh shit that is damn scary. It’s like people will say you should take baby steps right, no man I decided to just go for it I just took a sprint. For mine was 2016, 2017? It was during my school summer programme. I travelled quite a lot, like I think 17 cities. Wow. What the shit? What? Wow. You know when you said 17 cities, I imagined the $100 Nomad Challenge in my head. Yeah 17 cities. Yeah, wait what? Under $100. One man. A $100 budget. I went to Rome, then Florence, then Milan, then Venice, Interlaken, Zurich, Krakow in Poland. I went to Berlin in Germany. I went to London, Scotland also, Spain… and I went to Ibiza. I went to watch Hardwell in Ibiza. This is your… This is your first solo trip? Yeah! Okay for me right, it’s because like, er, I literally couldn’t find anyone else- to go on a grad trip with me. Oh noooo. So I was like, walao eh, I studied like 20+ years of my life , I deserve a damn good grad trip. I embarked on a solo trip- to Europe too! Because okay, I have like, family in Denmark right, so it was planned around visiting them la, so obviously at that part I visited family, but the rest of the parts I like, travelled around alone. So I did London, Denmark, then after that, Kreuzberg in Germany , Berlin, and then Prague. Then the funniest thing is right, because I was like, wah I’m alone eh, so I need to find a country or a city whatever, with only one airport. Because I damn scared I find wrongly. So I go and search and I was like, oh damn, Germany has many airports, Frankfurt and stuff. Then I was like, later I cannot find. Then I was like, let me go and search, which other place only got one airport. Then I realised, oh I think Prague- only got one international airport. I think I’m gonna leave from Prague. Maybe y’all wanna talk about like, what is your most memorable experience, or what was something that you will remember- for the rest of your life that happened to you? So I think mine was more of a bad experience. Oh no what happened? So basically right, I was in Berlin. So I was like, okay maybe I’ll get an Airbnb, but like the private room kind. So then this… This host right, she was female. Then she was like, “Okay so all settled in… checked in and stuff and everything right?” Then she suddenly said, “I’ll be going on a work trip.” Then I was like, oh okay… then I thought, oh maybe I’ll be- in her home alone. Then she was like, “Oh but it’s okay, I’ll leave you in the trusty hands- of my… housemate.” Then I was like, wait… who is this housemate? Then it was like a… A guy. Then I was like… Oh shit. Oh my god, I did not sign up for this. Like for three, four nights right, I overthink so much that… Because my room door didn’t have a lock. What?????!!!! Okay then the first night I came back, I accidentally came back a bit too late, like 12 midnight. And I was like shit… you know. Then when I reached home I was like, okay where’s the guy??? Must take note of his whereabouts. Then guess what, guess what? his room inside right, came out this red light. Then I was like wait wait wait, who in the world would have a red light in their room? Honestly think about it, red light looks very dubious right? Then I like go back to my room and I closed the door. So I imagined the worst that could have happened to me. Like- robbed, raped, attacked. Oh god. Then I was thinking how many… how many luggages I should put at the door, in case someone burst in right, still need to go through one heavy luggage. Then I would have time to wake up, and think of kicking someone’s balls or something. Yeah I felt like that was quite traumatic. Thankfully, everything was well because like, in the end when I spoke to him on the third night, I realised that all my fears were damn lame. He was actually quite nice, and he really is the housemate. And I think sometimes Westerners are a bit more open minded, like she thinks leaving me with her housemate is probably okay. Right? So then I was like, maybe I’m just being too Asian. But I think better be safe than sorry la. True true! Yeah I feel like you will always remember, like, the more rabak ones right? Share share share! Please share, everyone wants to know. The more rabak the better. So like, there was once I decided to go to Belgium by myself. So on this trip I had no data, Oh shit, Mars, why?! And my credit card doesn’t work in Europe! What!!! Okay this is when reality starts to hit. I realised that I had to make my way to the hostel. And when I went to the train station to buy the ticket right, I realised this one thing la, a lot of their trains, they only accept coins or credit card. Oh my god yeah. So like the notes are completely useless. So I had no coins, I also had no freaking credit card. Firstly I don’t know where my hostel is, I just remember the station where I have to get off at. But then a lot of Welsh words, they look super similar. So like I actually thought I was supposed to stop at this particular station, but I realised the letter was just one different letter, That means the stations were at 2 different parts of the town. Oh shit. So I got off at the wrong station, Oh my god I would die. Okay wait sorry continue! It’s like you go… you want to go to Boon Keng but you’re at Boon Lay. Yeah! That’s exactly what happened! So I looked at the map, then I realised that, okay it’s a bit far but I know the general direction I should head towards. So imagine I have no data right, mine is offline maps, so you just like, plot, you know what I mean. Then after that the next block I saw this little bar. So then I just thought, okay I’m just gonna go in and ask for directions. Then I open the door right, then the bartender — she’s this really really tall lady, she’s like 1.85m. She easily towered over me, she stared like that and she was like, “Yes can I help you?” Then I was like “Er I’m a lost cat, can you just help me get to my hostel?” After that she… She just asked me, “Where’s your hostel?” Then I tried to show her. Then she was like I dont have my glasses, then she tapped one of the regular customers, “Can you help this girl?” Then they all started taking out their coins. So everybody put together to change back 20 Euros for me in coins. Wah so nice!!!! Yeah so that I could take the train. After that whole experience right, I really thought that I might end up sleeping on the streets in Brussels. Ohhh… And thankfully I didn’t, but I feel that, that night really restored my faith in humanity. And then so when I wrote a really long Instagram post about it right, the first thing my friend said, “Eh, please ah tomorrow I don’t want to open the news and see like Singaporean girl dead in a ditch.” Oh my god!!!!! Mars’ story was about her almost sleeping on the streets, my story is I sleep on the streets. Oh my god!!!! Because I watch a lot of TV, so I wanna explore what it’s like to be a hobo. I literally was like okay, I’m not gonna book an Airbnb for this date, and then what happened was when… I was trying to plan for the bus routes and everything. So… the bus, it was supposed to reach in like 5 hours, but it reached in 3. And this is even way earlier and like, there’s no place to go. I was stuck in the bus station and it was like, the most ulu place but there were people who drink and everything and they were on the floor. So I was like okay I’m gonna sleep, then I took my sleeping bag, then I slept beside the hobo man. And then when we woke up right, like the sunrise and everything already right, then I took out my sandwich. Then we – I share — You share the sandwich with him?
Yeah! Aww! Then he also wake up, then I like… I don’t know what language, I don’t know what language, then I just like Then we like, imagine the scene just the 2 of us sitting at the train station. Oh my god! So we’ve talked about travelling alone right, so can you all share the differences between travelling alone versus in a group of friends? Because I think a lot of people travel with their friends then they wanna know the pros and cons of each before making a decision. I think traveling alone right, you don’t have that… peer pressure to go to a certain place that you really don’t want. If you don’t wanna go, just don’t go la! You know, all the planning is done by you. I just like, want to see things myself… In fact I’m not even, I don’t even like, really take out my phone much, because I’ll be like, “Oh I really want to experience the sunset, or like I want to people-watch.” Right? Or something like that. And I think I do a lot more observing when I’m solo travelling. Yup yup for sure. But I do really enjoy like if, let’s say I’ve got a few days to myself right, I enjoy the time alone because I think in my life, I tend to surround myself with a lot of people. Yeah so I need some time alone to just reflect and think about things, without worrying too much about stuff. Based on costing-wise right, the reason why I got to travel so cheap, is because I was alone. I saved a lot on accommodation. Sometimes I can just sleep on somebody’s couch. Yeah but I think groups also the good thing is the company, the entertainment. Like if you’re going to a fun country that you’ve been before, you just want to like, have fun with your friends, then yeah for sure. I think maybe group travel is very functional as well. So when you take very long trips and when you have to drive super long, it just wouldn’t be safe as well for you to drive the whole journey That’s true la. As much as I love travelling by myself, I do enjoy the company of my friends as well. Yeah!! So, the common misconception is that you know if- you go alone, then it’s very easy to be like a target for people. Because you’re alone and then people will come harass you and stuff like that, or maybe you get very bored? Like can you imagine you go on a solo trip for 2 weeks then like, “Oh my god what if I run out of people to talk to or like I’m alone?” I feel like that’s some of my concerns also. I don’t agree with the going solo travel right, will be having you a bigger target. because I do have friends who come in like, seven… Seven people. Seven grown men got cheated by this little lady, when they were going to Disneyland in Paris. Huh serious? Yeah!! So like um… they just gave the money to the lady, then the lady will take the tickets from the machine la, but she already has tickets then she will swap. Yeah, so like, the tickets she has is probably not valid. You can enter, but then when you exit at Disneyland, you cannot come out. Huh! Because the ticket is not valid anymore. Oh my god. Oh shit. Then how? It’s like expired or something. So then how did they come out? They must pay lor I think. Yeah they have to pay the full price. So they paid double. I think it’s fair that people say that they don’t like to be alone, eat alone, or be afraid that they will feel lonely la right, Actually I don’t think that’s one of the biggest concerns because you can always plan what. I dont think you will run out of things to do, I think things to do confirm have, like go to museum lor, if not go to the park lor. I feel like if you decide to embark on it right, then probably like, just have a more open mindset lor. Yup! Like there was this once right, I didn’t even plan on meeting anybody, but then I was literally looking at some sign thinking, “Oh my god am I supposed to stand here to wait for the bus?” that kind of thing. Then I saw this other guy who was also solo travelling la, also looking at the sign looking very confused. At first I thought he was a local, so I was like, “Oh hey um, is it like, is this the bus stop to go to this place?” Then he was like, “Oh actually I also don’t know.” Then I was like, “Oh you also don’t know?” Yeah then we make friends then we sat on the bus together then even till today we’re still friends! Ohhhhhh right! So that’s why this kind of thing you don’t actually plan for it to happen, but I think when it happens, just have an open mind and like just go with the flow I think. I think like, even if if you are solo right, I would say this ah, You will never walk alone. Wow Liverpool!!! Liverpool~ There are multiple people doing the solo trip with you also, Yeah you really never walk alone. I would say like, if you want to maybe hope to meet someone or at least make a new friend right, I think staying at hostels is quite good. Social hostels especially! Yeah then they will have this common area where you can like, either… I don’t know… got pool table. Some hostels la. Or TV and stuff like that. Usually that’s where I get to like randomly know people, but some cities have like free walking tours. Oh my god yes the best catch ever. Then after that like, usually I will meet some friends there also. Because a lot of people who are solo travelling sign up for these experiences. I think like, when you are going to a specific country right, try to learn a bit of the language. Oh okay okay.
For sure yeah. Just because the signs will not be in English, like most of the time. I think like, it’s very normal to feel lonely. When I travelled to Europe for 6 weeks, naturally right, you will definitely have days where you just don’t feel like doing anything Mmmmm So like, I remember there was one night like, everyone was watching the World Cup, Ohhhh. And then like, my hostel had a TV inside the room. All I did was just climb into bed right, then from my bed I just watch the World Cup. Then I heard everybody cheering outside in the bars around me, then I just like, enjoyed my alone time in my hostel room- Okay okay nice.
-by myself, because like, it was just what I needed la, at that time. Yeah I think it’s really self care, i think it’s that perception, that mindset shift, that will help you then realise that being alone right, is not necessarily a bad thing. Yeah, and I also think like, don’t need to have the mindset of like, I die-die must do something every day. Yes!! I was gonna say this.
Oh my god, yes!! Once you have the mindset like every day is a day that I spent money on this trip, so I need to do something today. Yeah…
Then it’s like you will spoil your trip la. That makes you very stressed. Yeah I think sometimes you just go out sit down and chill for 3 hours at a random park or something like that also nice not bad. That kind of thing… You don’t have to walk walk walk, need to see this need to see that. That’s what actually… that’s what I do on my solo days. I just sit at a random cafe, like read a book, watch a show Yeah that’s nice man.
Walk around, do my own shopping. Yeah or just slow down a bit la. I think maybe my takeaway from the solo travelling thing right, is more so like even though I never really do it as extensively as you all, the important things to take note of are: Transport, I think that’s a very important thing. Data, please be available. You know, everybody, you know to stay safe, always have data or connection to someone. Or at least have someone know where you are. Correct. Okay so we talked about solo travels, and the biggest takeaway is, you just have to go only. Yeah. just go! YOLO!!! So if you guys have any experiences solo travelling, feel free to leave it in the comments below or any tips please inform all our viewers here. And also let us know what else to talk about next time. And dont forget to like, share and subscribe! Byeeeeeee! Okay I go and book flight now. Byeee I also, get on a plane tomorrow!

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