This might be the most boring story i ever written here. You know that all things in life has two sides, right? Not all my travel was fun. In here, i was a bit sick and most of things i did was actually sleeping and resting. The touristy things i did was visiting the Cologne Cathedral, Christmas Market in front of it, sitting in Starbucks Hauptbahnhof, and visiting stores nearby that area. Boring? Yeah, but it was necessary.
So, instead writing more boring things, allow me to give you some tips in (solo) traveling.
1. Google Offline Maps
The how to use Google Offline Maps can be found here. I recommend to open Google Maps before you need to use its offline functionality. It gives you a current online position and established your geo-location as a start point of offline map.
2. Safety (including wallet and things)
Always put your very valuables (money, passport, valid ID) in your deep pockets (on your bags). For day to day expense, prepare some money on your pocket. This is to minimise the risk of pickpockets knowing where your valuable is and to lose all of your very valuables at once.
3. Money – Currency
This advise is more applicable for Indonesians – as i am not really aware on other country bank system. Avoid to have double currency exchange, for example IDR to USD and USD to EUR. You will lose a LOT. If you need more than 1 currency, for example, i need Czech koruna in Prague, i withdraw money from ATM in Czech koruna currency using Cirrus/Maestro or VISA/Mastercard networks. Cirrus/Maestro networks are embedded in Indonesian’s back such as BCA, BRI, Danamon, etc. And VISA/Mastercards can be found with Bank Mandiri, Bank CIMB Niaga, etc. There is a small fee for withdrawal (around 1.5 Euro for each), but usually only need to withdraw once.
4. Get to know people
Usually its easier to know new people when you are traveling solo and the other one also traveling solo, since one-to-one approach is more effective to get to know people. Don’t be shy to say hi first when you meet someone in your hostel. Ask them questions that you find interesting, like where they come from, why they travel, why this city, why traveling alone, what do they do as a job, where they have been, what is their plan after this city, and many more. When usually when you find something you “click” on, the conversation will just flow like a water in the river. Smooth.
5. Don’t forget to have fun!
Cautiously have fun! maybe the right words for this. There is nothing wrong to be always careful, but don’t let it make you defensive and unapproachable. Always open to new people, new places, new conversations, new topics, and you will find yourself more refreshing!