By Lachlan Itter
I've done a lot of solo travelling during the filming of Sightsee TV, but my recent trip to Tasmania was different - it was the first time that I have planned, booked and completed a week long holiday alone.
Now that the dust has settled and I've had the chance to look back on my trip, I've realised that travelling alone gives you a different perspective on your journey, and changes the way you think about travel.
So what did I learn when travelling alone?
No trip is complete without music - it's amazing how some upbeat music can turn a long drive into an epic adventure. The thing that makes music so great on a trip is the memories associated with it.
For example, this tune by Robin Schultz became the soundtrack of my trip, and now whenever I hear it, I'm taken back to Tasmania.
Technology for Company
It's tempting to go somewhere for dinner, but let's face it - I'm not going to eat in a restaurant alone. This means that you spend most nights in the hotel, and that's where things like TV, computers and the internet become your best friend. I spent most evenings posting pics on Facebook, editing the footage and watching TV, so technology is really important for making you feel connected to the rest of the world.
I want to say straight off the bat that I am totally against selfies, but during my trip, I took my first one. It's the only way you can capture the memories and avoid returning home with 400 scenic photos, and making the TV show takes this to another level because you're setting up the camera on a tripod and talking to it - and that's terrifying! I also found myself doing selfies with a small video camera when travelling between destinations to stop myself from unpacking the boot to get the big camera.
Book Hotels Wisely!
The original plan for this trip was to camp out in a swag, but given the snow that wasn't going to happen. I booked all of my hotels through an online booking site, and never paid more than $85 per night. This served me quite well, but I did learn that you can't blindly trust online reviews - one of the places I was booked to stay in had excellent reviews, but looked terrible and had only been operating for a few weeks so it's fair to say that the online reviews were fake, or at the very least, misleading.
I found Facebook pages to be a better resource because you can see the accommodation from all angles and importantly, get an idea of the personality of the owners. This served me particularly well when booking a stay at the Wintersun Gardens Motel in Bicheno.
The Road Less Travelled
Travelling alone means you take the time to visit places that you would otherwise drive past. When heading to Launceston, I left bright and early so decided to stop off at every town along the way and this paid off! I stumbled across Evandale, a beautiful heritage village 18km south of the city. I also found myself (by accident) taking the back roads between towns, where there'd be no other cars, and it was along one of these roads that I discovered Helleyer Gorge (pictured above). Take the time to stop off anything that sounds like it could be interesting!
The best thing about travelling alone would be the feeling of freedom you get by not having to rely on anyone or anything. Each day, all you need to do is arrive at the motel by nightfall, and everything up until then is unplanned, and that's an incredibly addictive feeling. During the trip, I just felt light - there was nothing to think about, it was all about being in the journey and taking in the amazing island that is Tasmania.