Traveling Solo? Not for long.

Gavyn Valline

Gavyn Valline
Texas Tech University

One day, Gavyn’s dad came home from a trip to Italy and told his son he needed to get over to Europe. Gavyn had never been abroad before, so they went online, found EF College Break, and signed him up for Grand Tour of Europe.

Maria Nardecchia

Maria Nardecchia
Monroe Community College

Maria went on an EF trip in high school. Now in college, she was dying to travel again. She signed up for Spain, France and Italy with her sister, but that wasn’t enough. Costa Rica was calling Maria’s name, so she signed up for that one too as a solo traveler.

Jane Ahn

Jane Ahn
Cornell University

When Jane got to college, she knew it was time to travel. She found EF College Break, signed up for Australia & New Zealand on her own, and before she knew it she was heading Down Under.

It starts on Facebook

GAVYN // Right after I signed up, I went to the group that was specific to my trip. There was already like 45 people on there. I was the only one from Texas Tech, but there were a couple people from Austin that went to UT.

MARIA // We were on Facebook a lot before the trip. Especially for the Costa Rica trip I remember we were trying to plan out a couple things we wanted to do, some places we wanted to go.

Fast friends…

GAVYN // It’s very easy to make new friends on the trip. As soon as I got into London, I went up to my hotel room, and me and my three roommates went down and grabbed a beer and just hung. Then the next night we all went out and just kind of hit it off with everybody.

JANE // The group of people I hung out with the most I actually met at the airport, we were part of the same pickup time slot. And I immediately bonded with my roommate. I had a group of people, there were about six of us, and we kind of stuck together from the very beginning. So from the very start I always felt like I constantly had this group of people to hang out with.

MARIA // On the Costa Rica trip there was only 25 of us, and we all got really close. It’s so easy to make friends. I’m telling you we got off the plane at around one o’clock and we were all having a party by four. We hit it off right away. Right away.

I knew we were really friends when…

MARIA // It was about halfway through the Costa Rica trip and we were in a small town called Monteverde. We were all already friends by then, but this was the first time that we all went out together, and we all stayed out till like four in the morning, drinking, dancing, having a good time. From there on out it was like we were a family.

JANE // One stop on the Australia tour is Coffs Harbour, and I remember all of us thought it was too quiet compared to all the other cities. But we decided to go out anyway, and we found this convenience store not too far from the hotel, and we all got some ice cream. I still remember that moment, just sitting outside the convenience store, having this ice cream, just really enjoying each other’s company. I remember feeling at the time that it’s not really about where you are but who you’re with that matters.

These friendships last.

GAVYN // One of my buddies from the trip I still talk to on a weekly basis. And he went to the same college my best friend goes to, so I’m gonna go up there and we’re gonna meet up and hang out. He went to Penn State. There was two other kids from Penn State on the trip, and they were the ones that I mainly hung out with. I think that’s the best part, I definitely feel like I’ve made a couple lifelong friends.

MARIA // About ten of us are going to Thailand this summer. We’re doing the Exotic Thailand tour, and then a bunch of us that were on the Costa Rica tour are going ahead of the trip to go to Bali, and then we’re staying after to check out some of the islands as well.

JANE // There’s one girl I talk to on a pretty regular basis. She lives in Boston and I’m in New York, so when she came to New York and the one time I went to Boston we met up for coffee.

Going solo or going with friends.
Win-win.

GAVYN // I think going by yourself is the way to do it, especially the first time. It makes things easier, you’re there by yourself, you can kind of pick and choose what you want to do certain days, you’re open to do whatever. There was days when the group of kids I hung out with the most would go off and do something and I was like “eh, I don’t really feel like doing that” so I could easily move and go with a different group.

JANE // Going alone or going with a friend or two, I feel it’ll have no effect on the amount of fun you’ll have on the trip, because if you’re alone you’ll meet people who you connect with, that’s for sure. Every solo traveler, I know they definitely made some connections. And those who went with other people still had an amazing time because they also met new people.