6 Things to do Before Your Solo Trip

It feels surreal that I’ll be leaving for my trip of a lifetime in three days. As I’ve mentioned many times before, it’s my first trip alone. I probably should have been a bit smarter and booked a trip somewhere nearer, but I reckon it’s now or never. I’m not going to be 23 and single forever, would I?

So many things are happening this week, both at work and at home. I know that I just need my affairs in order and loads of planning before I take my leave on Saturday. Maybe, I will eventually share why I’m feeling a bit heartbroken and dismayed rather than excitement. Like I said, I have so many reasons for me to leave but I won’t. Not for now, at the very least.

So anyways, I thought I’d share the details of my preparation.

1. Preparing your travel itinerary

The first part of traveling solo is preparing a detailed itinerary of your trip. You don’t have to explicitly list what you will be doing on a day to day basis, but it is important you list the addresses of your accommodation and the dates of arrival in the various cities.

I’m the youngest of the family, and I know my family still babies me. When I announced I’ll be doing this trip my mum pestered me to let her know when and where I’ll be throughout the traveling time.

This booklet will be my Quran (I thought I might get into trouble if I were to use the word ‘bible’ – I kid I kid). And my mother’s. I know that she’s probably going to cross out the days in the calendar. I need to remind myself to whatsapp her everyday.


2. Travel Insurance

I cannot stress this enough – travel insurance is important. Gone are the days I used to travel without any insurance. Well, I was a poor undergraduate (and now I’m a poor graduate) so I had a reason not to insure myself while traveling. Now that I’m earning, insurance is my top priority.

I got myself a policy from Great Eastern. In fact, I took an annual travel insurance policy for only $390. A great deal for someone who travels at least twice a year. If you need to get this, feel free to email me and I’ll hook you up with a friend who is a consultant (doing you a favor Isk!).


3. A backpack

The last thing you want to do while traveling alone is to deal with a crazy luggage while walking up the stairs or dragging a luggage along a cobbled street. Besides, having a bag on your back lessens the threat of losing your things.

4. Get enough rest

You do not want to start your trip with a flu or a runny nose. Start sleeping early, wake up early and get up to do things during the day. There was once, in 2007 when I visited my sister in Detroit I flew off with a runny nose. It became a full blown flu upon my arrival. Not the prettiest sight for my sister who hadn’t seen me in years.

5. Leave with a clean home

We don’t have a helper at home, and I do most of the cleaning since my mum does the cooking. I’ve been cleaning my room progressively this week, and making an extra effort to keep the house spick and span. The only thing I’ve been procrastinating is laundry. I hate doing laundry.

6. Research

Research, research, research. I’ve been reading every travel blog I can get my hands on. Travelettes, Nomadic Matt and many other travel blogs which advocate solo travel will help you get into the zone.

And now, I think I’m in the zone. Time to finish cleaning and packing.

Food, Recipes from the Heart

Pasta ala Vongole


Ibu took a break from the kitchen and I decided to made pasta ala vongole. I can never get a decent plate of pasta with clams anywhere except for my sister’s place. Anyways, I was too hungry and excited to eat, hence it’s only a photo from my phone. Not too wow but I figured I have friends who’d want the recipe!


Pasta ala Vongole

4 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 fresh chillies, chopped

2 tablespoons of chopped Italian parsley

2 whole tomatoes, diced into chunks (you can use cherry tomatoes)

1 chicken stock cube

1 cup water

1kg of clams, scrubbed and cleaned

salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil

200g spaghetti (cooked following instructions on package)

Heat pan and add in olive oil. Sautee garlic, add in chilli and stock cube. Add in water and let it simmer. Once it starts to bubble, add in clams and tomatoes and cover with a lid. Let the clams cook (it takes only about 2-4 minutes for the clams to open), and add in tomatoes. Let tomatoes cook for another minute and turn off the flame. Marry the pasta and clams together, stir in parsley and serve.