When my semester in Australia ended it was nearly July. I had watched all of my USC classmates get out of school a month earlier and was ready for summertime fun. I decided to take a solo backpacking trip through various countries in Southeast Asia. I was planning on traveling for four weeks with nothing but my backpack to places I had never been. My destinations were Bali, Singapore, and Thailand. The solo travel experience was life-changing because it gave me a new sense of independence, allowed me to go with the flow and experience things that might have not happened when traveling with a group. I want to answer the most common questions I’ve got about the trip and clear away some of the misconceptions about going overseas. I hope this helps encourage someone to go anywhere by themselves, whether it is to the movies or another country, and try something new.

Where I stayed: HOSTELS. Think of it like paying for a bed to sleep on instead of a hotel room. The hostel experience is like a college dorm: multiple beds, roommates, shared bathrooms. I used an app called Hostelworld to find and book places to stay, with prices being anywhere from $5-$20/night. Most hostels offer male/female rooms or female only rooms, I did both and felt safe both ways.

How I found places to go: Google. Google. Google. “10 days in Bali” or “two weeks in Thailand” will give you a sense of what to do or what route to take. Leave room to change your plans and ask other travelers and locals for recommendations along the way!

Making friends or being alone: I was almost always with other people. I met other travelers at hostels and went to various places with them, or I would spend the day sightseeing with new friends! Even if you are more shy, it is easy to sit around a common space in a hostel and wait for a conversation to find you. Likewise, it was easy to be alone if I wanted to be! I spent an entire day by myself in Bangkok reading a good book.

I could talk about this all day but Amelia Earhart once said the best way to do it, is to do it. Give it a try! Good luck on all future adventures.

Miranda Jernberg

Miranda Jernberg

MAJOR: Chemical Engineering YEAR: Class of 2021 HOMETOWN: Aurora, Colorado PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @_mirandajay On campus, I am involved with Greek Life, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and USC's Latin fusion dance team called Break on 2.