Solo Travel in the Nordics: Personal experiences and words of wisdom from one of our solo travellers
Ever dreaming of a Scandinavian getaway, but have no one able to come with you? How about taking a leap of faith and embarking on a solo travel adventure in the Nordics?
Ivy interviewed a veteran solo traveller who did a 4-week journey with us into Norway and Finland, experiencing two of our self-guided tours: The innovative Beautiful Norway tour and Endless Summer Days by Lake Saimaa. Here are some of her insights on solo travel in Scandinavia.
1. Have you travelled by yourself before? If so, how do you find the experience?
I had travelled solo to parts of Japan, Cambodia, Central and North West Australia and London prior to my trip to Norway and Finland. Each trip was distinctly different in terms of sights etc. though all had in common the wish to go somewhere and manage my pace, choices and spontaneous whims on my own terms. The fundamental energy to go was derived from an intense fervour to be independent. I do lots of very satisfying travel with my husband, friends of ours and with adult children and grandchildren. Lots of remote camping in Oz. But sometimes a gal requires just her own company; I learnt a lot about myself on this trip!
2. How did traveling independently in Scandinavia feel and compare to other places you've been?
I am 73. This is the oldest I have been when travelling solo. In that way, the Scandinavian journey is unique. The countries were new to me. The locals were sometimes reserved, but not rude or unfriendly. Just different. I handled that reserved manner better than I would have done in say, my fifties. I actually enjoyed their restrained kindness etc. Also, I never felt wary or fearful in these beautiful places. I always felt safe and confident about the folks around me. I travelled more calmly than at other times.
3. What are some of the highlights of solo traveling? Are there any particular moments from your Scandinavian trip that has stayed in your mind? If so, why?
Highlights are easy to list! Water, water, water! Being from Sydney, I am very much attached to the joys of the sea and harbours of my city. I was wonderfully surprised to realise that Scandinavia offers a vast array of waters. I never became blasé about the mists, fiords, bays and lakes, waterfalls and trickling streams. The forests and fields were also magical in their vividness and depths. I felt I was living in such cleanliness and freshness and at the same time there was a wildness and mysteriousness about the landscapes. Just drifting along in a ferry made for a feeling of adventurousness, which clearly made me very proud of my daringness! I cannot recommend it more highly!
50 Degrees North organises escorted group tours and other self-guided tours that are highly suitable for solo travellers. Our innovative tours, such as Beautiful Norway tour and the Western Fjords of Norway, are a particularly good option: The key areas of the itineraries are covered in a minivan which fits up to 12 people and allows for spontaneous photo and food breaks. These tours are a flexible and safe mix of independent travel and group travel - a great option for solo travellers!
*Thank you Robyn for your insights to solo travel in our region. *
Image credits: Visit Sweden, Alexander Hall, Visit Norway - Mattias Fredriksson/Fjord Norway, Bård Basberg/Loen Skylift and Danielle Langedal See Less.