Travelling alone can seem scary and overwhelming. While many would like to try it, going on that first solo trip can be a daunting experience – what happens when you get lost or start feeling lonely? Yet, solo travel is one of the most rewarding ways to see the world. The freedom that it gives you, things it teaches you and experiences it allows you to have all help transform your travels and maybe even your life!
Here are my top reasons why everyone should experience travelling alone at least once in their life.
8 Reasons Why Travelling Alone Is Good For You
You will meet like-minded people
Ok, let’s get one thing out of the way. Travelling alone doesn’t mean being by yourself 24/7. Sure, you will leave home by yourself and arrive to a new place by yourself (except more tired and sweaty). However, meeting like-minded people on your journey is one of the most exciting things about travelling and something I look forward to every time I leave home. Travelling alone also makes it easier to strike up conversations and makes you more approachable. I’ve met people in airport waiting rooms, coffee shops, tourist boats, in kitchens, on beaches and in campsites. I am pretty outgoing but not massively more so than an average person. I’m just open to meeting new people and try to be as approachable as I can. Honestly, meeting people while travelling quickly becomes second nature!
You can be more flexible
Doing some planning for your trip is important. While leaving home without a plan or itinerary might seem liberating but, usually, isn’t very practical. Having said that, being spontaneous is just as important and can lead to some incredible experiences. Especially when travelling solo. Meeting other travellers can make you want to stay in a place for a few extra days or maybe even change your plans altogether. Build some flexibility into your itinerary and don’t be afraid to change those plans on the fly. It’s liberating, you’ll have heaps of fun and meet some great people!
You can have the freedom to do anything
One of the biggest advantages of travelling solo is the freedom to go wherever you want and do whatever you want. Don’t like the hustle and bustle of the new city you’ve arrived to? Head into the countryside! Loving the people you’ve met at a beachside hostel? Stay a few extra nights! The choice is yours and you do not have to worry about affecting anyone else’s plans. And you don’t need to wait for anyone to get ready in the mornings if, like me, you like getting out and about early.
Travel is great for personal growth
Travelling solo is also great for personal growth – even a few days away by yourself can be a rewarding experience. Travel can help with learning new cultures, languages and even skills – from cooking classes to tango lessons, there is so much to experience around the world! I’ve helped build a house from scratch in Australia, got my diving license in Koh Tao, Thailand and found out I was quite good at whitewater rafting in Wyoming, USA. People who travel also tend to be more tolerant and open-minded and meeting people from all walks of life offers so many opportunities for learning.
Travelling alone will make you more confident
Being by yourself in a new place can do wonders for your confidence and independence. You are looking out for yourself and you’re not relying on friends or partners, forcing you to be resourceful. Finding solutions to problems, such as being lost or booking a train ticket, can prove to be a great confidence boost. Solo travel is also a great way to engage with people – be it other travellers or locals. You can also be anyone you want when you travel alone which is a great way to shape the experience exactly how you like it. Want to talk to everyone and meet new people? Easy! Want to relax for hours by yourself with a book? No problem! No one will judge you either way!
It’s easier to immerse yourself in your destination
If you want to truly get a feel for a place and immerse yourself, travelling alone is perfect. You will notice things that you maybe wouldn’t if chatting with your best friend or partner. Suddenly, unfamiliar sights and sounds start jumping out at you as you explore hidden alleyways and local haunts. Your attention will shift from whoever you would be with to the destination itself. You also become more approachable and can open yourself up to cool local experiences. Finally, it’s a great way of blending in and you can observe local life and people watch – some of my favourite things to do on my travels! My personal highlights include watching a bustling market in Marrakech from a café roof and sharing snacks with hikers on a Korean mountain peak.
It gives you a chance to reflect
This can be one of the most important things about travelling alone. Travel, in general, allows you to be away from your daily pressures and worries and is one of the best ways to reflect on things. I enjoy travelling solo as it gives me time to think and helps me “reset”. You know that feeling of being refreshed after a great trip? It can be a powerful thing – after spending time travelling, I feel more motivated and inspired in my everyday life. While “finding yourself” is a bit of a cliché, just being in new and exciting places can often clear your mind and help make big decisions or come up with new ideas.
It’s one of the best challenges you can set yourself
Travel challenges you in many ways – your perceptions, physical capacity, your taste buds! Travelling alone, however, is one of the biggest challenges of all. Leaving the familiar comforts at home and getting out into the whole wide world is a great way to test your mettle. Taking myself out of my comfort zone – from figuring out Korean restaurant menus to conquering my fear of water – provided constant opportunities to challenge myself. The result? Some of the most rewarding travel experiences I’ve ever had! Chances are, you’ll also learn that you are a lot stronger and more capable than you ever imagined!
Do you travel solo? What do you like about it? And, if not, would ever want to try?
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