Many people have apprehensions about solo travel. I know I did before my first trip traveling solo. But if you take that step into the unknown your next adventure will be so much better! On one trip in the south of France I canceled the next leg of my French exploration to instead fly to Barcelona on a last-minute whim. “The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.” – Henry David Thoreau
1) GO AT YOUR OWN PACE
When you travel alone you get to explore on your schedule. No need to feel guilty for taking too long to look at a painting or explore a historic site. You’re the boss of your travel schedule. Without having to focus on others you can really make the most out of the destination. Plus if you make a mistake it’s between you and you alone, no disappointing someone else or wasting their money as well. Basically it’s travel guilt free. Added bonus: you get to eat where and whenever you want!
2) GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Donald Walsch
It’s healthy to get out of your comfort zone from time to time. When you travel on your own you experience new things and must adapt to them. I was feeling very homesick two weeks into a solo trip once. This feeling is what drove me to make new friends everywhere I went.
3) GET TO KNOW YOURSELF
On the road you will have a lot of time to reflect on life and yourself. You’re able to slow down and focus on what really matters. Something that is hard to do when surrounded by friends and the
day-to-day monotony of you’re routine.
4) YOU’RE NEVER TRULY ON YOUR OWN
If you are traveling by yourself you can choose to remain on your own doing your own thing but you’ll often quickly make new friends. New friends can be found anywhere from where you’re staying to what activities and sites you’re seeing. Making friends with other travelers and locals is a great way to find things to see. Added bonus: possible new lifelong friendships!
5) YOU WILL COME BACK A DIFFERENT PERSON
Your perspective of the world will change. You will see it as a much smaller and less scary. After a solo trip you will return much more confident and able to figure things out on your own.
6) TRAVELING ALONE IS MUCH LESS SCARY THAN YOU THINK
If you get stuck on all the what-ifs in life you’ll never accomplish anything. What you’ve seen in movies is fiction and other people’s horror stories are outliers. Once you get out there and experience the world you will fall in love with travel.
7) OPENS YOUR TRAVEL HORIZONS
The biggest thing I took away from solo travel was the desire and realization of seeing every country. Once I knew I could make it on my own I realized I wasn’t dependent on someone else to go with me. In my quest to go everywhere I will be going to countries most of my friends and family wouldn’t dare go.
Traveling alone may not be for you but it’s worth trying out. You never know if you don’t try. For me solo travel opened my eyes to the world. It helped me connect to myself and find true happiness while traveling. Without having to focus on someone else I was able to better embrace the new cultures and customs of my destinations. I have traveled solo, with friends, family and with tour groups and solo travel has stood out to me as my preferred way to see this beautiful world. Now solo travel may not be for you but it is something you should definitely give a shot. You never know what you will learn about yourself or what friends you may make simply by throwing yourself out there alone!
Leave a comment to share your solo travel stories.
Also if you want to know when you should travel read that here