For some, embarking on a solo journey requires no second thoughts. For others, it requires a big leap of faith. Making the decision to venture off on your lonesome can seem daunting at first, but there are so many reasons to go ahead and do it!
While I absolutely love going new places with a friend or family member to share the experience with, I can say that, without a doubt, my experiences as a solo traveler have by far been the best! Here is why.
You can focus on your relationship with YOU
I know this might sound corny, but our longest relationship in life is that we have with ourselves, and there is no better way to work on this relationship than by spending time traveling solo. First and foremost, you learn to make decisions for yourself, and trust yourself in making those decisions. I always want to know in life that I am making the best possible choice, and often this means seeking a second opinion. When traveling solo, however, there are so many decisions to be made, both big and small, and there is only one person who can make them: you!
There is also an immense feeling of satisfaction that comes with navigating new territory, or reaching your destination all by yourself. Finding your way from place to place and overcoming those obstacles in the way lead to a serious feeling of achievement! In doing so, you really learn to trust your own abilities and problem solving skills.
Traveling alone doesn’t mean being lonely!
As a solo traveler, you will make a lot of new friends! I always find that others are more likely to approach me as a solo traveler than when I’m traveling in a group. When traveling solo, you automatically become a lot more approachable and open, and people will find you less intimidating to approach. Others are also more likely to invite you to join in on whatever it is they are doing or planning, when they see that you are on your own. In saying this, it goes the other way too. I’m naturally a shy person, but after ten hours on a bus by myself, I’ll make conversation with just about anyone! Sometimes after a long journey or a hard day, you will just want to vent to whoever will listen, and this openness and vulnerability can lead to fast bonding with other travelers.
Be whoever you want to be
Traveling solo really gives you the chance to be whoever you want to be! You don’t have to be the person your friends and family know you to be at home. If you are typically an introvert, try being bubbly for a day. If you typically love being organized and following schedules, try being completely spontaneous. If you typically like stay in your comfort zone, try being a dare devil, and do that bungee jump, or try that exotic new dish. Spending time traveling solo really gives you the chance to experiment, try out a life in the shoes of others and be anyone you want to be.
The world really is YOUR oyster!
When you travel solo, you can be selfish. You can go wherever you want to go, and when you want to. While planning a trip together with someone can be a lot of fun, anyone who has done it before will know that there are a lot of compromises involved. Traveling solo gives you the freedom and luxury to go where you want to, when you want to, and move from place to place at your own speed.
On a similar note, as a solo traveler, you have the luxury to make plans that suit your own budget and traveling style. We all like to travel differently, and some prefer higher levels of comfort than others. Make the most of this opportunity to make decisions for yourself on what level of comfort you would prefer, and how you spend your money.
As a solo traveler, I can assure you that there will be times when you want nothing more than to share an experience with your best friend, have a cuddle with you partner, or just hang out with someone familiar without having to make an effort. But the experiences you have, the friends you gain and the memories you make will be unforgettable. And most of all, you’ll come out of the experience feeling like you’ve gotten to know yourself better than ever before.