So You Think You Can Solo Travel? A Handy Quiz For the Would-Be Adventurer



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1)    Okay explorers! Let’s start simple! What is your main reason for solo travelling? 

A)    I want to see the world on my own! Yeah!
B)    I want to discover more about myself! Awesome!
C)    I want to meet awesome new people! Totally!
D)    The dark, crushing weight of “Jesus Christ, what am I doing with my life, nothing has meaning, I will die alone, the everpresent existential void I find myself staring into has started staring back, also holy wow am I ever single” suddenly became too much for you to handle, and you snapped and bought a one-way ticket to Romania and now you can’t take it back because it was a one-time deal, and it’s fine, I mean, like, you can’t really afford it, but if you stay home you might stab someone at your work so at this point what do you have to lose, right? Right?!?

2) You arrive at a hostel in your destination of choice, only to find out there are no beds available.

 A)    No sweat. You came prepared with your Lonely Planet. You head on over to the next hostel it recommends. Problem: solved.
B)    Use your charm! You chat with the friendly receptionist and convince them to let you sleep in the hostel common room for the night. It's cramped and you might get puked on, but what else are hostels for? 
C)    You book for the next night and resign yourself to sleeping in a nearby airport/bus station/train station. It’s not glamourous, but at least there’s a roof! 
D)    You wander aimlessly, terrified of the growing darkness of the unfamiliar city and the seemingly endless packs of roving feral dogs within it, until you find a shady-looking hotel with a vacancy. There is no receptionist. The receptionist is probably dead. You feel like you’re living in a horror movie.  You proceed to barricade yourself in the room, cry, and use the last of your burner phone’s meagre minutes to call your parents before the call cuts out unexpectedly because you ran out of time. They will remind you of the panic this caused them for years after. Years. 

3) A man who just took your picture for you in front of the Eiffel Tower now has requested you pose with him for a similar picture, probably to pretend you are his attractive foreign girlfriend. How do you respond? 

A)    Politely decline, explaining that you don’t know him and thus wouldn’t feel comfortable doing so.
B)    Pretend not to speak French and gtfo of there as quickly as your stupid flip flops will take you. 
C)    Agree, but only if you and he can do some cool pose where you both try to be punching the Eiffel Tower in the face. 
D)    Your brain melts a little bit, you forget how to communicate with humans, and end up standing next to him like the Goddess of Awkwardness, all the while secretly knowing he will treasure this picture a little too much, ifyaknowwhatImean (2).

4) You have gotten hopelessly lost on a bike trek in the endlessly rolling fields of Ireland. So endless they are. So rolling. How do you find your way back to the hostel by yourself? 

A)    You pull out the topographical map you bought of the area and navigate your way back home. Preparedness is key! 
B)    You find a delightful woman walking her cows on the side of the road and ask her for directions. New friends! 
C)    You give up on finding your way back, locate the nearest town and head to the pub. You’ll figure the rest out when you’re good and ready, and possibly drunk.
D)    You cycle around completely disoriented, getting more and more lost until you run into two elderly farmers. You wave at them, and they wave back, gesturing you over. Salvation! BUT, plot twist: one of them looks at you and then gestures to his friend and yells “Hello there lass! My friend here just got out of prison! Don’t trust him! Ha ha!” You cycle quickly away, deciding that being lost isn’t that bad, really, and anyway, you didn’t ever need to find your hostel again, you can start a new life in the nearest town as long as the ex-convicts do not reside there. You change your identity. You forget the old ways. You never trust farmers again. 

5) You have been cornered by a Wild Hostel Bro. He wants to know if you have a boyfriend back home. What is your response? 

A)    Recite your carefully crafted and time-tested speech about how you do not, but you’re not looking for anything, thank you very much, have a great night, and exit the common room a-s-a-f-p.
B)    Laugh like the sexy sexy travel goddess you are and say no, do you want to grab a drink at the bar? 
C)    Tell him you don’t, but you’re just here for the life experiences, you know? Proceed to swap travel stories for the next hour before never seeing each other again because he’s making out with your roommate. 
D)    You tell him you absolutely do not, and you are absolutely not looking. When he proceeds to continue hitting on you, you will start spinning him wildly elaborate tales about your extensive training in Krav Maga, your obsession with taxidermy, and how you have the faces of all your previous boyfriends in your freezer back home. Wonder why you remain perpetually single, and chalk it up to bad luck. 

6) You’re feeling particularly lonely today. How do you get yourself out of this common solo travel funk?

A)    Go skydiving, or ATVing, or something you’ve never done before. Excitement is a loneliness killer!
B)    Go for a drink at the local bar, and proceed to meet amazing strangers from all over the world. Boom: funk destroyed.
C)    Chat with a friend from home over Facebook, or call your family back home.
D)    Hang out in the hostel common room, lurking on your fellow travellers like a creepy stalker with zero social skills, until you hone in on the lone person who just happens to be catching up on the latest Game of Thrones episode on their iPad. Immediately decide to be best friends with this person, regardless of whether or not they feel the same. Invite yourself into their life. Insist that you two are soulmates because of your nerdy obsessions. Do not take no for an answer. Do not. Take no. For an answer. 

7) You have eaten nothing but gelato for the last day and a half  because there has been no one around to stop you. How are you feeling?

A)    Bad. You promised yourself when you left that you would maintain a balanced diet. Go for a run to feel better about yourself. 
B)    A little guilty. Resign yourself to eat vegetables for your next meal.
C)    Fine, because you’re on vacation and you’re allowed to go a bit crazy! 
D)    Black out temporarily and wake up next to a entire carton of melon gelato. Accept that this is your life now. Roll your bloated form ten feet down the street to the next shop and shove more of that sweet, sweet frozen treat in your face, you gluttonous gelato whore, because this is all you deserve.

8) You decide to set out on an epic mountain trek, before realizing you have very little proper epic mountain trekking equipment. Do you: 

A)    Bite the bullet and buy the necessary gear. 
B)    Decide that maybe hiking isn’t your strong point, and do something else instead.
C)    Join a group hiking tour to make sure you get where you’re going safely, with a guide who knows what she’s doing.
D)    Say “Eh, fuck it, it’ll be fine probably”, and proceed to hike through boggy mountains for six hours, destroying your shoes, back and will to live in the process. Barely make it to the road alive; definitely don’t make it to the road with sanity intact. Realize you were two seconds from dying alone the entire time, and contemplate all of your life choices so far. Conclusion: they were all bad.

9) Oh dear- you’ve slipped and fallen, completely naked, out of your tiny hostel shower, face-first onto the floor. (3) What is your immediate reaction?

A)    Cry. 
B)    Be thankful you landed an inch from the toilet and not ON the toilet.
C)    Maintain your dignity as much as humanly possible and move on with your life.
D)    Bellow “My dignity is broken!” at the door because your three English teenage roommates heard the squeal and the thud and became understandably concerned for your wellbeing. Lie on the ground dimly wondering how you came to be at a particular point in your life where you are lying naked on a foreign bathroom floor with shampoo slowly leaking from your hair. Resolve to never shower again, for showers are dark and full of terrors, APPARENTLY. 

10) You are now being followed around the streets of Paris by a dude who approached you in a coffee shop. He tells you his name is Claude and that he is an accountant and that you should have a drink with him that night. He refuses to take no for an answer. You tell him: 

A)    You’re busy. Busy not going for a drink with him. 
B)    You’d love to, really, but unfortunately you’re leaving the country in a few hours. 
C)    You are allergic to him. It is a confusing answer, which will leave you space to flee as he tries to figure it out. 
D)    Nothing, because you are too preoccupied on contemplating pushing him in front of an oncoming car, but then realize you’re not really sure how well that would go down with the local gendarmerie. You will end up walking with him for five minutes as he tries to convince you of all the delightful reasons you should date him, simply because you can’t think of a single way to make him leave short of pushing him into traffic, which, as we just established, is generally regarded as a “bad thing to do”. You walk away from the encounter with his business card and a newfound desire to research less overt ways to kill pesky strangers (4).

11) Every traveller’s nightmare: your passport has been stolen! Sadface emoji! How do you deal with this awful scenario?

A)    Immediately go to your country’s consult and get it figured out. 
B)    Cry. Cry some more. 
C)    Call your parents, because you are an adult and as such are free to make adult choices such as calling your parents in times of crises in which they are physically incapable of helping you. 
D)    Go full "Taken" on the passport thieves. Call their friends and family and leave threatening messages. Learn multiple martial arts, weapons handling and interrogation tactics. Infiltrate their organization; learn their ways; gain their trust. And then, wipe them all out in one swift, deadly stroke, because by now you have actually become Liam Neeson. Get your daughter- I mean, your passport- back.  

12) You find yourself on a bus, confronted by the majesty of the Scottish Highlands for the first time. Do you:

A)    Start a conversation with your neighbour about how pretty the hills are, and have they been to Scotland before?
B)    Remain unfazed. It’s just a bunch of hills, what’s the big deal? 
C)    Take some pictures from the window and sit in quiet appreciation. 
D)    Immediately start quietly sobbing because they’re just so beautiful, oh my god, I have never been so overwhelmed by the extraordinarily powerful beauty of a landscape before and oh no those high school kids in front of me are staring now oh Jesus stop stop stop abort why can’t I stop crying stop it tears but it’s just SO BEAUTIFUL I just want to hug it and take it home in my suitcase-

13) Your hostel bunk mate is snoring louder than an malfunctioning airplane engine for the third night in a row. What is the proper way to handle this?

A)    It’s never been a problem, because you came prepared with ear plugs. You’re so ahead of the game. You wrote the game.
B)    You talk to the receptionist the next morning and get put into another room.
C)    You deal with it, uncomplaining. It’s part of the Hostel Experience, you know?
D)    You lie there, staring at the top bunk, seething with impotent fury, contemplating why capital punishment was ever abolished because dagummit if it were still around, you KNOW this guy would have been guillotined right quick. You lapse into an exhausted daze until you suddenly snap and punch him in the face. Can’t snore if you don’t have a NOSE ANYMORE, ASSHOLE, THAT’S WHAT YOU GIT, YOU DISRESPECTFUL NASAL-BREATHING PIECE OF SHI-(5)

14) You’re in a really cool place and have no friends to take a picture of you there! What’s your solution?

A)    Obviously you’ve packed a selfie stick, duh. This ain’t your first rodeo.
B)    Approach a friendly looking couple and ask them to snap your pic. 
C)    Take a few pictures of the scenery and don’t worry too much about it. There will be other cool places! 
D)    Stand there with your camera in a social-anxiety ridden panicfog before giving up and devising embarrassing and convoluted ways to use your camera’s self-timer to take theatrical poses of yourself in the ten second spaces when no one is around to witness you. Ignore the fact that all this could be avoided if you just, you know, asked someone, but no, NO, they’ll probably steal your camera or take a bad picture or judge your kickass poses and you’re probably just better off doing it yourself. End up with ridiculous series of self-taken images of yourself cavorting around an Italian prison. 

15) Oh no! You appear to have blacked out, and when you come to, the body of the last man to say “A pretty girl like you shouldn’t be travelling on her own!” is lying dead at your feet!  How awkward! How do you deal with this unfortunate turn of events?

A) Ha ha ha, friend, this was a trick question. The only right answer is “You celebrate, for the world is now a better place.” Ex-President Obama shows up and gives you the Medal of Freedom, for truly, you have made the world Freer. 

16) Bonus question: no one has asked you about your cat in a really long time (6). What do you do? 

A)    Nothing. Your cat is fine. You are busy actually doing fun life things, because you are a normal, chill person.
B)    You befriend the hostel cats in the vain hope that they can fill the void in your heart. The void remains, but they are delightful and fluffy, so there's that, I guess.  
C)    You troll your catsitter’s Instagram account for pictures of your baby.
D)    You start rambling about your cat Gandalf to literally anyone and everyone who will listen, like an insane person. Show them pictures. Extol his virtues. Bonus points if that person is in customer service and can’t run away! Extra bonus points if they ask you how your cat is doing the next time you go into their Gyros shop.
E)    B-D. (7) 


If you answered mostly A-C: Congratulations, you are a mentally balanced, competent human! You are smart, prepared, and totally ready to set sail for the world on your own. Godspeed, you triumph in human form! The gods prostrate themselves at your feet! Your travels will be blessed; your Instagram, glorious!

If you answered mostly D: Holy christ, you are me, apparently. How…how have you survived in life this far? Where are your parents? Are you lost? No no no, wait- listen. This is important. Don’t leave your house, and definitely don’t think about traveling by yourself. Jesus. What is wrong with you. Just…just stay inside with your cat. It’s safer for literally everyone involved. 


1)    Oh, no. NO. Stop right here. This woman is in no way qualified to tell you whether or not you know enough to travel by yourself. She barely knows which way is East. She should not be writing this quiz. Run. Run now. Why aren’t you running.

2) This picture presumably still exists on this man's camera. I stole a look at it before fleeing the premises and oh my god it is more awkward than I could ever illustrate here. If I was supposed to be his pretend hot foreign girlfriend, he's gonna have a doozy of a time trying to explain my facial expression to his friends.

3)    This is a real thing. It is a real thing that happened to me. The bruises may have faded, but the shame remains. The shame remains. 

4)    HAHA, remember in my last post when I said I talk about murdering people a lot on this blog? Jesus. Like, I really consider myself a happy, normal person, but this self-reflection is really starting to make me question that assertion. 

5)    The rest of this rant was cut for time and profanity, because apparently the author was raised in a barn.

6)    So, like, an hour. 

7) Obviously the answer is E. Have you met me?