travel

Insights into the world of solo traveller tribes

It has been several months since the launch of Tribd on the App Store and with over 3000 users of the app, we thought we’d put together some interesting travel trends and tell you more about solo traveller tribes using the App.

We are growing our community of solo adventure travellers and many of our users are not the first-time travellers.

Trekking Photo by Evan Kirby via Unsplash

Trekking Photo by Evan Kirby via Unsplash

If you are using Tribd, we hope you will find these insights useful in planning your trips and connecting with adventure travel buddies through our platform. If you aren’t, it is still interesting to see the world of solo adventure travel.

According to the latest report by Adventure Travel Trends Association one in four people take solo trips. It is estimated, that by 2020, 148 million people will take solo trips every year and that number will continue to increase. [1]

Solo travellers don’t do typical sun and sand holidays in Costa Blanca, but travel to places such as Sri Lanka, Costa Rica or Nicaragua and make own travel plans and decisions, often pursuing “off the beaten path destinations”, seeking authentic experiences and blending with local cultures.

Travelling nowadays is easier than ever and our behaviours are different to those from years ago, as our society and demographic change. Millennials are the largest demographic in travel today and it is no surprise, that majority of Tribd users are 18-34 years old. But we also have plenty of people in their 40s on the App, and as we have learned, the age is the least important factor when selecting compatible partner.

Majority of solo travellers using Tribd come from the United Kingdom, Germany, USA, Australia, Canada and The Netherlands. Interestingly, whilst many Tribd users are based in different towns and cities, London is the city where we have the largest number of solo adventure travellers per city.

At the moment, majority of Tribd users are male, but the gender demographics on Tribd tend to vary from month to month, as new people join the platform every day.

Actually, women travelling solo are driving the solo travel boom and according to the World Tourism Organisation, the latest gender demographic in solo travel today skew slightly female (53% to 47%)[2].

For many women, having a travel companion is quite important while taking solo trips, especially if going for the first time on a solo adventure and without booking with a travel company.

Tribd allows users to select their travel destination using Google Maps and we have applied special filtering for selecting the destination, aligned to the decision-making patterns of travellers, so they are not limited to specific countries alone, but can choose Australia’s Gold Coast, Alps or Bali to find a travel buddy. This is also a part of our matching algorithm.

Even though, the choices are plenty, for now, the vast majority of our users plan trips to specific countries or cities, and we can already see, which countries and destinations are winning in popularity contest. Australia and Bali are fighting for top spot in destination popularity contest since the release of Tribd in the summer last year, followed by Europe, Thailand and Portugal.

Many solo travellers are planning trips to Europe, USA or Australia and within those regions, we can see that Spain, Portugal, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Sydney, California and Australia’s Gold Coast are the most popular areas and countries they want to visit.

Interestingly, we also see truer “off the beaten track” destinations, such as Uruguay, Namibia, Tibet, or Sint Maarten. As our user base grows, it will be interesting to see, which more unique countries and destinations are on the rise.

Our tribe also plans city breaks and currently Barcelona, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Lisbon and Berlin are top cities, which solo travellers want to visit.

World Map of Top Travel Destinations on Tribd.png

But since Tribd is also a platform for adventure sports enthusiasts, helping them to find adventure buddies, our early adopters’ community are surfers, scuba divers, snowboarders, as well as people in the pursuit of hiking trips, volunteering or travelling to learn a new language.

Activity Ranking on Tribd.JPG

We have compiled the ranking of the most popular activities on Tribd App.

What is also interesting about this particular trend, is that when looking at combination of destinations and activities, we can also identify destinations, which according to people on Tribd, offer the most diverse adventure type opportunities.

We can also see which destinations are the most popular for different adventure types.

For example, Australia, Thailand and USA are top three backpacking destinations. Surfers also want to travel to Spain, Portugal and Indonesia, whilst Canada is popular for those into hiking, skiing or kayaking. Those into spirituality and yoga are looking at Indonesia, Australia or Sri Lanka.

And lastly, whilst many solo travellers plan trips throughout the 2019 already, there are plenty, who have no fixed dates yet and are flexible on time.

Spontaneity in this case has its advantages, as those solo travellers can browse through the App and have more options to match, chat and get to know their tribe better, before deciding who they would like to travel with, or meet at their next destination.

Tribd App Screenshot

It is interesting to see the world of solo traveller tribes through our platform and we hope to help our tribes in their travel decisions by not only publishing about travel trends but providing this information within the app.

If you enjoyed reading this, have comments or are interested in anything else that is happening in our world, please do not hesitate to comment or feel free reach out to us on contact.us@tribdapp.com and subscribe to our newsletter through the website.

If you love travel and adventure and would like to meet other like-minded people for your next trip, download Tribd on iOS. Tribd helps you find travel buddies with similar travel plans and interests. 

Have you taken any trips with your adventure buddy met on Tribd App yet? We would love to feature stories from our community, so please reach out to us through e-mail or social media!

Follow @tribdapp on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for stories and travel inspiration.

#findyourtribe

[1] United Nations World Tourism Organisation 2017 Report (international travel trends) and Millward Brown, Visa Global Travel Intentions Study 2015 (solo travel trends)

[2] World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Global Report on Adventure Tourism, 2014

 
 

Surfing will steal your soul and you will be happy to give it away

Photo by  Oliver Sjöström  via Unsplash.  https://ollivves.com

Photo by Oliver Sjöström via Unsplash. https://ollivves.com

A state of intense happiness, sometimes more than is reasonable in a particular situation. This is how many dictionaries define the word ‘euphoria’. Ask any surfer why they surf, and what they feel while surfing and the chances are, that you will hear many different responses resembling that definition. There must be a reason, why so many people pursue this physically challenging sport, often frustrating, exhausting and sometimes even dangerous.

Most people who have tried it once, are hooked for life. If you are one of the lucky ones, born or living near the waves and the surf culture, that probably is your life already. If, like me, you have learned to surf as an adult, suddenly your life and holiday planning is often consumed by an itch of catching waves again. Your sun and sand holidays and pleasures of walking the streets of Rome or Barcelona, are replaced by chasing your next surf destination, which often is not as glamorous. Your five-star hotels are replaced by surf camps and hostels and you trade the comfort and pampering, for shared rooms, 6 AM wake up calls for sunrise surf, exhaustion, frustration, sunburn, blisters, bruises, scratches or worse, if you happen to hit the reef with your back or bum. Yet, instead of complaining, you come home happy, content and already planning your next surf trip.

Why?

Because regardless of all the frustrations, the fear and discomfort you will endure; the inner peace, the feeling of achievement; the mindlessness you experience waiting and riding waves, outweighs everything else.

I started surfing much later than most people, even though I had my first encounter in Bali many years ago, which didn’t end well. I hurt my leg after the first hour and defeated carried my massive board back to the rental place. I gave it another go years after and learned to surf in Lanzarote, where I had the time of my life and many blisters from a warm water and soft board combination. Since then, I traded the pleasures of beautiful hotels for less beautiful surf hostels, but in equally beautiful destinations.

My surf trips are like waves, some are disasters, some are amazing. Sometimes I’m ecstatic with the progress I’ve made, sometimes I’m the biggest kook out there. But it doesn’t matter, because now I’ve got the bug. Surfing may not have changed my life, but it has definitely opened my mind into many different dimensions. There are experiences I’ve had in life, that I wouldn’t have, if it wasn’t for surfing; people I wouldn’t have met and things I wouldn’t have known about myself. For instance, that I can hold my breath, for much longer than I thought…

If you haven’t tried surfing and think it’s as effortless as it looks, you couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s physically challenging and exhausting. Try to paddle a few days in a row, battle with waves to get out of the impact zone, or fall when you think you just caught the wave … Only to start the battle all over again to get back out there and do it again.

Photo by Teddy Kelley via Unsplash

Photo by Teddy Kelley via Unsplash

But when you get to ride that wave, you and your surfboard carried by the enormous energy of the water - the magic happens. The feeling you haven’t experienced before. It’s just you and the monster of a wave… or sometimes a little monster. At that moment of time, nothing else matters and nothing else exists. Your only focus is riding that wave. For the next 10-20 seconds… Because that’s how long it is likely to be. Your mind is free of every other thought or emotion and that is a definition of zen.

The time you spend in the water paddling, wrestling, surfing, or just sitting quietly on a flat surface of the ocean and waiting for waves, is the time, when nothing else matters or exists. Whatever problems, worries, insecurities you have, they are left at the shore. Or if you lucky, they are left far away - at home. Quite often you feel stocked long after your surf session ended and way too happy to think about anything else. All you are interested in, is sharing surf stories with your surf mates at dinner.

Surfing is challenging for your body, it’s a real cardiovascular exercise and you spend about 54% of your time paddling, 28% waiting for waves and only 8% surfing.[1]

Sometimes it’s dangerous. There are rip currents, there is your surfboard which may land somewhere else than the water surface, there are rocks or reef, there are waves that look bigger when you are lying on the surfboard, then from the shore; and stronger, when they actually break over your head and heat you with their power. If you have been hit, or fallen and went down the whirlpool, you will have the powerful force testing your breath holding skills. At times, you may have a thought of your life coming to an end. Even if you are after only a four foot wave and your chances of survival are pretty high. You quickly start to appreciate the nature more. And you start to appreciate your fragility too.

Still, you are unfazed by any of this. You take the challenge, you learn, you adapt, and you know how to deal with it better next time. Because the joy of riding waves is bigger than the challenges you will face. And actually, depending on where you are in the world and what the nature has to offer, it’s not always as dramatic as that. There are places with an easy paddle and beautiful mellow waves breaking gently, where riding them feels like a fairy tale. Places with a crystal blue water, blue sky and a coconut the size of your head waiting for you when you finally had enough, and the skin starts peeling off your ears. It’s good to experience the good, the bad and the ugly, to fully appreciate the joy of surfing and all the different conditions the world’s oceans have to offer. Not only through surfing, but through travelling, blending and experiencing with local cultures and experiencing new things in life. Because you are likely to want to discover new destinations, each of them offering something different and unique.

Surfing is gaining popularity these days, some sources even state, that there are 35 million people around the world experiencing the joy of riding waves. If you have tried, you may have said it’s not for you. But more often, those who started surfing can’t imagine not to do it again. And it doesn’t matter if you are any good. Yes, it’s frustrating when you suck at it and see others doing better than you. Of course, you want to be better. But like yoga, surfing is not a competition. It takes years and many, many surf trips to be really good at it. Unless you are a surf babe or a surf dude born in Hawaii, Australia’s Gold Coast, Indonesia or any other surfable place in the world... Lucky you…

Otherwise, just give it a try and you may get hooked like 35 million of others.

“The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun.” – Phil Edwards

If you are a surfer reading this, I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please leave comments here, or on our social media @tribdapp. If you haven’t tried surfing yet, you might be tempted to try and see if what you have read here, resonates with you.

If like me, you love travel, surf and adventure and would like to meet other like-minded people for your next trip, download Tribd on iOS. Tribd helps you find travel buddies with similar travel plans and interests. 

Follow @tribdapp on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for stories and travel inspiration and join our group of solo travellers on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/Tribdapp/ 

#findyourtribe

[1] The Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand (SPRINZ)

Photo by  Jeremy Bishop  via Unsplash.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop via Unsplash.

 

How travelling helps us to rediscover ourselves

This post is a little bit more philosophical in nature, but comes from the experiences of our guest blogger Mirka, who left the comfort of the London life and her career, to travel the world. After months of travelling around South East Asia, she came back to London, but only lasted a year in her old ways of living. She and her boyfriend caught the travel bug, so they decided to leave for good. Their life is split between India, Indonesia, Thailand, other South East Asian countries and occasionally Europe. Read How travelling helps us to rediscover ourselves by Mirka Duchnovic.

Annapurna Trek, Nepal

Annapurna Trek, Nepal

What drives us to leave the comfort of our life and go travelling?

People have been travelling since their existence on this planet. Some have been doing it out of necessity, others out of curiosity.

Since I adopted the travelling lifestyle, I have been thinking about what drives us to leave the comfort of a modern life and take on travelling. Through my travels, personal experiences and exchanging views with fellow travellers, I have come to see how travel changes us and possible reasons why.

It usually starts this way…

At certain point of their life, some people feel that the space in which they live, becomes too small and shallow for their needs and dreams.

When the opportunity arises, they take a chance to travel, explore the world and rediscover themselves. It might require some courage to decide and stick to it. But once it’s done, it seems to be quite a natural process and one of the easiest things to do.

By jumping into the unknown, people thrive to discover new possibilities. Some of us find new ways, others come back to the old ways and the life they had. However, the time taken for discovering new avenues is never wasted. Because through travelling experience, something else happens - the expansion of mind.

There are many people, who managed to redirect their lives completely through travel, especially solo travel. Every place I have been to, I have met at least few people who have taken the journey to the unknown. Those who came back home, are not the same anymore, a new view of the world and expansion of mindset has changed them.

Do we need to prepare for our travels?

Logically thinking, yes. We should at least have an idea where and why we are going. But it is not necessary to plan it any further.

If we leave our page blank and venture into an unknown, we experience more and give the opportunity for expansion to occur. No matter how well prepared we are for our travels, there is no way to anticipate everything. Thus, the less prepared we are, the more flexible we become. Things which usually have annoyed us, suddenly become “no problem”.

By doing so, we are stepping out of our comfort zone. But why would we put ourselves through an uncomfortable situation? The answer is quite simple. Whatever our internal reason for travel is; subconsciously we do so to expand our mind. For that expansion to take place, we must first experience the unknown, which is often associated with discomfort. That doesn’t mean putting ourselves in a horrible situation, but the situation we haven’t experienced before. Diving into unknown, with no fixed plan or schedule might feel uncomfortable at first.

By being in uncomfortable situations, we learn to exist in them, often experiencing new thoughts and emotions, leading to a new space opening within us. Suddenly we have new ideas or have better understanding of ourselves.

The change we experience through travel

The process of change we experience through traveling is gradual and happens silently, without our mind permission. As we digest new experiences, meet new people, experience new cultures, we transform our mindset into a new space. Often, only realizing that we have changed, once the process of change has occurred.

Why people subconsciously or consciously look for that expansion to take place?

In my humble and not scientific opinion, it happens because people are creative creatures. The life patterns we nowadays follow, greatly suppresses our natural ability to express ourselves with ease. That new space within us helps connect to that creativity, eventually giving us a feeling of contentment, because it allows us to be ourselves. Eventually, the creativity helps us to rediscover and understand our unique nature. But we need to undergo the transformation, first. Once we connect to our creative force it will never leave us. It’s like a tattoo, letting us to experience much more than mundane routine, in which we are all caught.

Above thoughts have been taken from personal travelling experiences. There is no scientific proof of any kind. I am just sharing and hoping to encourage people to discover themselves through travelling. If you feel, that the space around you is too shallow to satisfy your inner needs, allow yourself to step out of the comfort zone and bring new ways to your life.

I would be happy to hear your stories of how travelling has changed or changing yourself. Please share them in the comments.

If you would like to meet other people whilst travelling, download Tribd on iOS. Tribd helps you to find travel buddies and connect with other solo travellers who have similar travel plans. 

Follow @tribdapp on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for stories and travel inspiration and join our group of solo travellers on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/Tribdapp/ 

#findyourtribe

Mirka and her partner in Indian Himalayas

Mirka and her partner in Indian Himalayas