Travelling by yourself can be daunting, awkward, lonely, and down right scary, but it pays to remember that doesn’t have to be. There are so many options for us out there in this day and age that travelling solo doesn’t have to be any of those things! Up until this year I had never traveled 100% by myself, but after taking the plunge, I am kicking myself for not doing it sooner. There is no need to wait until you have a travel buddy (which gets harder and harder as we get older and have more commitments and responsibilities), so follow my lead and read on to see my 5 favourite reasons as to why you should travel solo- at least once in your life.
1) You are forced to step outside your comfort zone
Travelling solo means you are forced to challenge your fears and insecurities. There is nothing more empowering than figuring out the metro system of a new country all by yourself, or ordering a meal for one at a table for two for your first time. Without having someone travelling with you you really have no choice than to step outside your awkward comfort zone and do these things by yourself, which brings me to point two…
2) You will gain independence and confidence
The more meals you eat by yourself, or metro maps you decipher by yourself, or airports you sit in by yourself, the more independent you are making yourself. Gaining independence is so rewarding, especially as you figure out that you can do these things by yourself. Once you have your independence, you naturally will gain a lot more confidence which can benefit your not only when travelling, but in all aspects in life from finding a job to making friends and even finding love.
3) It is easier to make new friends
If you are an extrovert, this is probably already pretty easy for you, but even if you are a bit of an introvert (like me) then there is no better way to make friends than to travel solo. Face it, unless you are happy being by yourself 24/7 for who knows how long your trip is, making friends and having company will be much needed to break up your solo trip. Hostels around the world, and even tour groups like Contiki, Topdeck, Busabout, and Intrepid make it easy for you to travel by yourself but still be surrounded by people- a bit of a win-win if you ask me.
4) You can do what you want, when you want
To put it simply- there is no drama, but all the flexibility. If you don’t want to get out of bed until mid day then you don’t have to! If you don’t want to go see that over-hyped tourist icon then you don’t have to! If you don’t want to spend your hard earned cash on a night out then you don’t have to! The point is, travelling by yourself means you don’t need to make compromises with the people you are travelling with and there is no reason to feel guilty by doing what you want because there is no one to please but yourself.
5) You can always rely on the kindness of strangers
While often it is true that there are “safety in numbers”, it is also true that people are going to be less intimidated by one person than by 2 or 3 or more. Basically, being by yourself makes you more approachable. That bar tender is more likely to give you that drink on the house if you’re chilling by yourself. It is more likely that that kind stranger will offer to help you with your 25kg+ backpack you are lugging up the stairs or down the street if you are by yourself. People will be more inclined to stop and ask you if you need help with directions if you are standing on the street with a map looking puzzled all on your lonesome. Sometimes it even pays to be travelling by yourself as you are more likely to get airline or hotel upgrades when travelling solo.
~Extra legroom on a 12 hour flight with Malaysian Airlines goes down a treat
These are some of my favourite reasons for travelling solo- what are yours? Comment below for why you do or don’t like solo travel!
Happy Travelling 🙂