I think everyone, at some point in their lives, should travel solo.
Not because 9/10 Buzzfeed articles say it will change your life.
Not for the awesome Instagram photos.
Not because it’s an excuse to plan a trip without anyone else’s input or constraints.
Everyone should have at least one opportunity to have an experience that instils a sense of self awareness and reliance you can’t find anywhere else.
Do it before you get bogged down in the daily rut of a 9-5. Do it before you have the obligations of a mortgage and HOA fees. Do it before you have children and have to put your finances towards diapers and pediatrician visits, instead of spontaneous lift tickets to Victoria’s Peak.
Do it to remind yourself that you are your own best friend, partner, and travel buddy. Sure, relationships with other people are great and intrinsically carry value; but I can’t tell you how many people have shared with me that the best relationship you can have in this world is with yourself.
In her new book, Wander Love, travel blogger and photographer Aubrey Daquinag writes a crash course in solo travel and how it’s a journey enveloped in self love, self care, and self worth. She provides lessons, tips, and inspiration she’s picked up along the way as a solo traveler over the last few years.
Aubrey walks readers through everything – from day dreaming about traveling the world, to what to pack in your suitcase, and even city-specific must-see spots and unique accommodation options (like glamping on a Melbourne rooftop at the St Jerome’s Hotel).
I’d recommend this book for the photography alone; but if at all you’re at all curious about how to begin planning a solo adventure, look no further.
Wander Love starts off with an explanation of Aubrey’s “why” and how there are a variety of motivations behind solo travel. Some do it for reasons like the movie, Eat Pray Love, when life gets chaotic and self-discovery becomes a necessity. Others, like myself, do it as an intermezzo between major stages in life. I was twenty when I flew to Europe by myself. I was just about to finish college and unsure of what I wanted to do next, so I booked a flight to Barcelona and spent three weeks adventuring through Western Europe. Some do it because logistics with other people get too complicated and detract from the point of immersing yourself in other cultures. Whatever the reason, solo travel is something that is well-worth the investment (emotionally, financially, etc.).
I really like how Aubrey creates a roadmap readers can follow to create a solo adventure. She discusses important topics, like: the benefits of spontaneity versus booking a trip in advance, how to pack and style a travel wardrobe, and even advice on how to narrow down what kind of souvenirs to pick out.
The book includes a destination guide for the following places:
-Oceania: Melbourne, Australia
-Europe: Barcelona, Spain
-South America: Cartagena, Colombia
-North America: Tulum, Mexico
-Africa: Marrakesh, Morocco
-Asia: Palawan, The Philippines
While certainly not a definitive guide for world travel, these six destinations give the book a very global feel. Each city includes Aubrey’s favorite: places to stay, food and drink recommendations, unique shopping spots, things to do, and location-specific tips on what to pack. It’s here readers will find a mini Yelp-like review on each spot; something I wish more travel books would include.
One of my favorite parts in this book is Chapter 5: The Truth About Travel. Here, Aubrey shares life lessons she’s learned as a solo traveler. Of all of her reflections, my favorite is “when you become comfortable with being uncomfortable, you allow yourself to grow.”
It’s easy to do what you know, whether it’s speak your own language, view life in the framework of your own culture/religion/etc., or simply stick to foods you know (hello, McDonalds chicken nuggets). This isn’t to say traveling solo (or traveling at all) is picture-perfect all the time, but sometimes it’s the tough parts of a trip that make it the most rewarding.
All in all, this is a really well-written travel book. The photographs are stunning, the advice is on-point, and more than anything, Aubrey does an excellent job of celebrating the highs (and the lows) that define a solo travel experience. This would make a great gift for that friend who’s been talking about traveling the world, but hasn’t been able to carve out the time to do it (yet). It’d also be a great title to give someone who is looking for a different kind of adventure.
If you’ve traveled solo, any recommendations or pieces of advice? Would love to share stories!
I received this book complimentary on behalf of the publisher, but all thoughts and opinions in this post are my own. All photography featured in this post is my own unless noted otherwise; please seek permission before copying or reproducing the images.
Purchase this title here.
Book Stats: Wander Love by Aubrey Daquinag
Page Count- 232
Binding- Hardcover with color photography