7 Absolute Reasons Why I Love Solo Travel... and Why You Should Do It.
Updated: Jan 1
Most people know how enjoyable it is to travel with family and friends, especially when exploring new places and trying out new adventures together. So this is why for a lot of people I know, it seems puzzling why some would prefer to travel alone. I’m fully aware that going off on your own seems less fun and less enriching than going with your favorite people.
Trust me on this when I say that solo travel is something that you should experience at least once in your lifetime. Frequent travellers – a lot of them who never thought they would actually enjoy going alone as much – will tell you that it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself. Without further ado, here are my reasons why you should grab the chance to experience traveling alone.
1. I engage more with my surroundings
When I travel alone, I don’t have the safety net of interacting with familiar people. Thus, I am forced to focus more on my destination. I have to engage with where I am instead of who I’m with. It’s one of the reasons why travellers share more vivid memories of their solo vacations compared to their group trips.
2. I’m in complete control of my plans
Travelling with a companion or with a group means considering the preferences of each and every one. While there’s nothing wrong with this, it can sometimes make me compromise my priorities just so that everyone will be satisfied.
When I’m on my own, I can create an itinerary without worrying about the consequences. If things don't go as well as planned, I won’t feel guilty about ruining many people’s day. In this case, I can easily ditch it and just move on to other things to do and other places to go to.
3. I can closely monitor my spending habits
Travelling with a group also means considering other people’s finances. I can’t just blow money on a luxury suite if my companions can’t afford it. If it’s the other way around and I can’t afford to splurge, then my friends have to compromise their comfort and go cheap on accommodations. When I’m travelling solo, I have the power to decide on every cent I spend, even on a whim.
4. I become more confident
Fear is one of the primary reasons why I know a lot of people hesitate to travel solo. It can be scary to be in a strange place all by myself without the comfort and safety of family and friends. I have no one else but myself and the kindness of strangers to turn to if I get lost and get myself in a jam. But once I’ve managed to ditch this fear and go through it, I develop a different kind of confidence that will stay with me even after your vacation is over.
5. I can truly get to know myself
Whenever I’m entirely on my own overseas, I get to know myself on a different level. I have no choice but to face who I am, what I want to do with my time, and what I truly care about. It’s true that when you travel with friends and family, you find fantastic bonding and great friendships, but when I travel alone, I find something more important: myself.
6. I get to acquire new skills
The first time I flew alone was in Berlin. Before this trip, I never once opened the Google Maps app because I often relied on my travel companions to lead the way. While the people in this German city are mostly friendly and helpful when I ask for directions, not all were knowledgeable when I asked the way to my hotel. It was close to night time, and not one person had given me solid directions. Panicked, I had to learn how to quickly work the maps app on my phone on the spot. Fast forward to today, I can proudly say that my navigational skills have been reliable as ever.
7. It toughens me up
Traipsing around a foreign city alone means that no one can look after me but myself. Enjoyable as it is to travel solo, it can’t be denied that a woman walking alone like me – especially in a deserted area – is an easy target for thieves. I learned to think two steps ahead and arm myself with basic self-defense moves to prepare myself for any unfortunate event. These are life skills that I didn't know of having until I started travelling solo.
Don’t let fear rob you of the chance to partake of the enriching experiences that only solo travelling can bring. So book that ticket, pack your bags, and know more about the world and yourself.
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