Travelling solo can be nerve-racking, exciting, enlightening, or sometimes just necessary. If you’ve never done it before, you should! Otherwise you will never know just how stress-free, liberating and empowering the experience is! Even if you start small and travel to a new city in your own country on your own and spend the day exploring it – you’ve got to try it!
For those of you who are regular solo travellers, you can sit back in your zen-full state of acknowledgment and nod in agreeance to all of the advantages to travelling solo listed below…
You can streamline your planning.
You have dates to decide, flights, hotels and tours to book and many more decisions to be made… How much easier is all of this if you strip away the group WhatsApp conversations or endless email threads and just go with what suits you and only you!
You can be selfish with your schedule.
From the moment you arrive, you can do anything that you want to do (even if that means taking a nap!) You can spend all day on the beach, venture off into exotic markets or museum-hop for hours on end and only one person can approve your itinerary – YOU! This really is a headache-free way of travelling and exploring.
You can be spontaneous.
Not to say that you can’t be spontaneous if you’re travelling with someone, but when you’re travelling solo, things feel that little bit more adventurous. There is a lot more flexibility for plans to change upon a chance meeting in a hostel or café; or if you want to be lazy (without judgement) you can settle in your room for the night and be as anti-social as you like – there is no-one to disappoint if the plan changes last-minute.
You can save and splurge your budget wherever you like!
Splitting the bill at the end of the night and paying extra for everyone’s indulgent cocktails and deserts when you were trying to save by having a side-salad and tap water is no-one’s idea of a good time. But when you’re traveling independently, you can choose where and when you want to indulge or scrimp your hard-saved travel spends. If you want to have a super-saving meal so that you can afford that extra excursion, or get the cheaper local buses everywhere so that you can stay in a palace of a hotel – it’s completely up to you with no apologies needed.
You only need one…
…One bed for the night; one ticket; one restaurant reservation; one entry in to the hottest new exhibition or event. It’s so much easier to squeeze one person in last-minute as opposed to a group of people – even finding a seat at the bar become stressful when in a group, but is so much simpler and stress-free if you’re on your own. You can truly relax and go with the flow!
You can be you… or a new, more open you.
When you’re travelling by yourself and meeting new people along the way, you have no option but to be a purer version of yourself. No-one around you has any expectations of you which can feel so liberating and really encourage you to open up and embrace new experiences and friendships. This new boost of confidence can carry you through you’re entire trip and can give you a whole new perspective on your life and what you want to do with it. We know countless people who have ventured off on a “trip” and ended up extending their travels or even moving abroad!
You have time to reflect and absorb.
When you travel with a group or even with just one other person, having that person by your side all the time can actually be more of a distraction sometimes. If you’re constantly in conversation with someone, it becomes harder for you to step back and enjoy your environment or an experience. On the flip side, if you are by yourself, you naturally have more head space to contemplate, reflect and maintain a presence in each moment. You can really absorb every flavour and colour of your new landscape and make sure that your memories are more than the photos you take.
You grow in confidence.
From the moment you step on to that flight alone, you begin a journey of self-empowerment. You realise what you are capable of doing all by yourself and you will naturally become more assertive. You instantly need to be that person that steps up to make decisions and solve problems… because no one else is there to do it for you! This may be something that you’re already instinctively good at, but if you don’t put yourself in these situations, you won’t stumble upon that moment of liberation or find that confidence in your own decision-making/problem-solving capabilities!
You have more time to focus on you.
As cheesy as it sounds, we all need some me-time every now and again to relax and take stock. Taking some time to explore a new place by yourself is such good quality time to spend alone and can really aid your creativity and relaxation. Once you are comfortable being by yourself, you will find it easier to make time for the things that you love to do – maybe you like to write journals; read on the beach for days at a time; sketch locals in a bustling market; climb mountains in search of the best views; or even sign up to a local cuisine cooking class – whatever it is, you can revel in the moment and enjoy being yourself and do what you love to do.
So there you have it – the low-down on what it’s like to travel solo and how fantastic it can be. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone knows no bounds, and once you’ve done it, you can really sit back and reap the rewards. So give it a go! You owe it to yourself to go for it at least once in your life!
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