by Joe Jamieson

All Disciplines, All Destinations, Destination Features

TRAVEL

We’re living through strange times.

And it’s in strange times like these that our first instinct is to hit the brakes so we can stop to make sense of what’s going on.

We’re cautious creatures. We like making decisions with all the information at hand, so we pause our plans until we have some level of certainty.

But, at a certain point, waiting for things to blow over stops making sense. Here’s why:

No one has the slightest idea how long COVID is going to be around.

Some experts say months, some experts say years. At some point we’re going to have to accept that this really is — if you’ll excuse the cliché — ‘the new normal’.

But you already know that and it’s why you’re here reading this article.

You’re the kind of person who sees that life is too short to wait it out indoors. When you see an opportunity, you seize it. Even if that means going about it in ways you didn’t expect.

Now is as good a time as any to travel solo

The simple fact is that people are still travelling in spite of everything going on.

Our Instagram feeds are still full of envy-inducing photos of our friends living it up in some beautiful destination halfway around the world.

Okay, so there’s more red tape than before, but travel is still completely possible. And if you want to get things sorted quickly and hassle-free, the best thing you can do is travel solo. 

No fussing with friends over who wants to go where, and when. No drawn out conversations reassuring your mates about concerns you’ve already put to bed.

You have total freedom to create your dream trip without having to compromise with anyone.

And on that point…

Do whatever you want, whenever you want

Pharmacy

Having total control over where you want to go and when is great. But it doesn’t stop there, because you can continue to do whatever you want when you land in the country you’ve chosen.

All the moment-by-moment decisions about what you do are yours (and yours only) to make.

Tired of walking around the city? Want to stop for half an hour to grab a coffee and read your travel guide? Go for it.

Need to get up at 5am to watch the sunrise from the top of the Buddha statue? No one’s stopping you.

Visit whichever beach, take whichever safari, climb whichever mountain you want without getting into a debate about it.

Learn more about who you are and what you want

VILLAGE HEALTHCARE EXPERIENCE

Without getting too philosophical, a stint of solo travel gives you plenty of time for self reflection. It’s a break away from the constant noise of everyday life.

Being unsure what you want from life is a shared human experience. But having a bit of extra room to breathe gives you the headspace you need to start figuring things out.

You won’t get it all mapped, but a trip like this can help you clear the weeds from the path.

By the time you get home, you’ll have developed in ways you might not have imagined.

Strengthen your confidence

Work the World

One area you’re guaranteed to develop in is confidence.

A trip like this helps you get outside your comfort zone. You can push yourself to try new things, and each time you do something new you’ll feel emboldened to go that little bit further next time. It’s like training a muscle.

And yes, you’ll still develop your confidence even if you travel with friends from home. But travelling solo gives you an edge. It shows that you’re willing to step courageously into new experiences under your own steam.

Having said all that, no one wants to spend all their time alone. And that’s the beauty of solo travel — if you want alone time, it’s yours for the taking. But if you’re feeling social, you can meet new people and make new friends.

Jump into new experiences with new friends

Margaret Roth (ROTH25606)

If you travel with friends from home, you’re less likely to branch out. It’s our nature to be comfortable with what’s familiar.

But if you open yourself up to meeting new people, totally new experiences will present themselves to you. You might even make a few lifelong friends along the way.

Undertake your elective with Work the World and you’ll live in a big shared house with students like you from all over the world. They’ll all be healthcare students too, studying everything from medicine to physiotherapy. So even if you travel alone, there will always be people around.

If you’re in a social mood after a day on placement, you and your housemates can head out into whichever city or town you’ve travelled to. Grab something to eat at a local restaurant then hit a local bar for a few drinks.

You have weekends free to do some travelling. So if you want to put on your headphones and go on a solo weekend adventure, that option is open to you. But on another weekend you might choose to organise a big weekend trip to the beach with your new housemates.

Holi Festival of Colours being celebrated in Pokhara

“I was slightly apprehensive about going out. I was going by myself and was planning on doing a little solo travelling after the placement itself. The fact that I was headed to South America — somewhere I’d never been — added another element to it.

But it was fantastic. The Work the World house was brilliant, there were 34 of us in total. I was the only dentist, but the rest were medics and nurses who came from the States, the Netherlands, Australia…  We had this camaraderie that can only be borne of being thrown together like that.” — Jack Slaymaker, Peru

Time to start your journey

So, now you’re armed with information and ready to take the first step in bringing your solo travel adventure into reality.

ILOILO DESTINATION IMAGES - slider image

In light of everything going on, we’ve changed what happens when you register for a placement. Now you’ve got complete flexibility to change your travel dates and destination if your plans change. We’ve made it easy to do and there’s no fee.

Another thing worth noting is that you don’t have to travel in term time. We’re open year-round, so if you need to shift your trip into the summer holiday, no problem.

Still feeling nervous? That’s okay — it just means you’re about to do something worth doing.

SO...

WHERE TO?

Choose from our huge range of destinations below to get started planning the placement of a lifetime.

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