Kim is a strategic communications consultant, freelance copywriter and food and wine tour guide. An insatiable traveller, she divides her time between Sydney and Paris.
Solo On Tour: 6 Reasons Why Aussies Make Great Travel Buddies
What’s in store for you when you join Aussie solo travellers? American, Brit, Canadian, or anywhere else outside of Australia? Curious about changing it up, and taking off with some Aussies? Traveling solo, and meeting up with Aussies along the way - you’re in for a unique experience! And, even more, the best tours for solo travellers (when you join in with The Aussies).
Although born in New York, I’ve spent a lot my life exploring the world, including living on three continents and racking up 30 years of solo travel experiences. Often I’ve started out my trips alone, with no idea where I would sleep after the first few nights, or whom I’d meet along the way. Yet no matter which country I landed in, my best travel buddies have almost always turned out to be Australian (including the founder of Encounter Travel, Justine - meeting when I was backpacking solo around Turkey!). A co-incidence? Maybe, but possibly not.
As you’ll discover, traveling with Aussies will give your trip a unique slant. Let’s look at why that might be:
Australians are, by nature, welcoming, friendly and curious about the world and other cultures. An unpretentious bunch, they’ll call a spade a spade and don’t stand on ceremony (when an Australian jokes sarcastically with you – called ‘taking the piss’ – or gives you a nickname, it means you’ve made a friend). This keeps the travel dynamic relaxed and fun.
ROAD WARRIORSAustralia’s proximity, or lack of proximity to anywhere else means that when Aussies travel overseas, they’re up for an adventure. They have to be, because they’ve got some big distances to cover to reach a lot of corners of our globe. They’ll spend at least 14 hours flying to reach the US or 19 hours to Europe. When they finally land, they’re keen to make the most of where they are. Who wouldn’t want to discover a new destination with other solo travellers psyched up for a good time?
NO WORRIESAustralians are famous for their laid back attitude and backed up with an often heard phrase ‘no worries’. Transport strike? Lost luggage? Cancelled flight? Small setbacks rarely ruffle the feathers of the intrepid Aussie traveller (hence the expression ‘she’ll be right’ and ‘no worries’). They have a common and effective solution for road bumps, or unexpected turns – finding the ‘nearest watering hole’, a.k.a, the pub. You’ll notice that Aussies tend to enjoy a drink (or three) and a laugh, especially at the end of a busy travel day.
BEEN THERE, DONE THATAustralians have a well-deserved reputation as great and extensive travellers. After all, this is the country which gave the world Lonely Planet and Google Maps. Encounter Travel is no exception. Founded in 2006, way before solo travel was on trend, pioneering the solo travel group travel options, as a leading solo travel company. And more recently taking out the Global Solo Travel Awards, two times!
Don’t be surprised if your new travel mates have already been to your hometown. Australians tend to travel more often, and for longer periods of time, than people from most other countries. Aussies in their 20s traditionally take a ‘gap year’ to see the world, and nowadays the 40+ crowd is also increasingly likely to quit their jobs to traverse the globe on a career break or sabbatical.
PIONEERING SPIRITPerhaps also because their country is an isolated island on the bottom of the planet, Australians tend to show self-reliance and community spirit. They can look after themselves in most situations, and look after each other too. No room in the bus for the luggage? Tie it on the roof. No corkscrew to open your wine? Push the cork in with your thumb. Not until I watched an Aussie reset his own dislocated finger after falling off a horse, did the full impact of this self-reliance set in.
INTO THE MIXI work as a food tour guide in Paris, and love witnessing my groups of Americans, Canadians, Brits and Australians bond while discovering French wine and cheese together. Their different points of view on everything from pastries to politics liven up the discussion and open minds on all sides. Often people exchange contact details at the end of my tour, and plan to meet again the next day. Traveling with people of diverse nationalities makes the world a smaller, friendlier place. I’ve learned that our best travel memories are often not of the sights we’ve seen, but of the people we meet, learn from, laugh with, and eat and drink with along the way.
If you’re an Aussie reading this… and traveling with adventurous solos from overseas, on any of Encounter Travel’s solo travel tour or cruise groups it’s your chance to shine and show off the Australian spirit from Down Under.
One big advantage of solo travel is that you inevitably meet more new people than you would if traveling with people you know from home. Traveling solo has given me lifelong friendships and filled my address book with places to stay all over the world. When I eventually visited Australia, my travel buddies of past years were excited to welcome me and show me their country. And they sure did a ripper of a job -- I loved it so much, I moved there!
Wherever you’re from, and wherever your travels take you, enjoy your next adventure!
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT JOINING SOLO TRAVEL TOURS WITH AUSSIES
Check out our Solos Only Tour Groups
For a full list of small group tours.
You can avoid dining solo when you join a Cruise Circle for Solos for group, with cruises departing from Australia, or join
Solo Traveller Dining Events
Check out our events in Sydney and then from time to time, other cities in Australia including Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.
Getting Started For The First Time?
Check out my book, How To Travel Solo But Not Alone
Something To Share?
Have you got a story to share? Send us your solo travel story, for inclusion on our blog page. Know anyone that could find some encouraging words from my story? Please share and be a voice for travelling solo.
We've already racked up 13 years of experience creating and delivering the best ever holidays for solo travellers. As a boutique tour operator, we delight in detail, delivering personal service and finding your next best memory.