New York City-based blogger, travel agent, and certified meeting planner Sara decided she would book her first solo trip to Greece for her 30th birthday and says the experience she had been putting off for years, ultimately changed her life.
Sara recently spoke to IN+SIGHTS GREECE about her solo travel experience and why she believes Greece is the ideal destination to travel alone.
Why did you decide to make Greece the first place to visit alone?
I have been a lover of Greek history and mythology since I was a little girl. When I was thinking of what to do for my 30th birthday I knew I wanted it to be big and something I did for myself. Choosing Greece was a no brainer for me because of that.
Did you research whether Greece was a safe place to travel as a solo female?
Actually, no. Funny thing is I went in 2015 right during the big economic crisis Greece was facing. The more I overthink something, the more excuses I will make. So, instead, I did basic research, talked to some friends I knew who studied abroad in Greece, and then I just made my way over there.
What did you do to make sure you felt comfortable during your visit?
From the little research, I did I knew that 1. The language barrier would be minimal as many people/guides do speak basic English. 2. The hotels I looked into were well-reviewed. 3. The tour company I worked with to go on excursions and such had a high reputation.
What spots did you see and how long did you stay?
I was there for about ten days and I visited Athens, Nafplion, Olympia, Mycenae, Delphi, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini, and Patmos.
What was your favourite ancient site?
Delphi was my favourite. I love stories about Pythia.
Out of all the places you explored, where would you revisit?
All of them but, I would have loved more time in Mykonos. It is absolutely beautiful.
Would you recommend Greece as a place for solo travellers?
1000% for anyone.
How did you find the locals? Were they helpful and welcoming?
Extremely helpful and friendly. I was never uneasy.
Was there a time when you felt alone or unsafe?
Never, however, I do live in NYC so, I am used to lots of tourists and people. You just always have to trust your gut and be smart in the decisions you make.
Did you meet a lot of people along the way?
Yes, I have made a few lifelong friends whom I met on the tours I joined in on. It was great.
If you could do it all again, would you do anything differently?
What did you love most about your time in Greece?
Walking among streets and sites that were older than anything here in the US. It was magical.
Do you have any tips for anyone planning on travelling to Greece alone?
Do some research on where you want to go and stay- make sure you are comfortable with the locations. Put a plan together – I wouldn’t just “wing it” as there is so much to do and see. I only suggest 2-3 days in Athens. It is not all about the islands – make sure you venture inland and visit Olympia, Delphi, Mycenae, and Nafplion.
Tell us more about your Solo Travel Woman blog.
My father always inspired me to go after my dreams, no matter how crazy they may seem to others. He sadly passed away and that is when I decided to start Solo Travel Woman (STW). I wanted to inspire other women to travel without anything holding them back as he did with me. My goal is to help change the view on solo travel and inspire other women to travel the world without fear or other people holding them back. In May 2020, I expanded to include travel planning services so, I can help others experience the world I have fallen in love with. If you are open-minded, have a passion to explore the world, experience new cultures, and live the life you have always dreamed of without anything holding you back – you are in the right place.
*Images courtesy of STW