Solo travel offers a sense of freedom and empowerment that many people find to be completely unbeatable. While solo travel for extended periods of time may not be for everyone, of course, it’s still one of those things we think you have to try at least once, and here are our five favourite reasons why…
1. For the challenge
No matter where you go and how strong your character, solo travel will always be a bit daunting the first time around – it’s a natural fear of the unknown. Solo travel will challenge you to fend for yourself in an unfamiliar place, forcing you to problem solve and organise yourself on an almost daily basis. Even if you only travel solo once, or for very short spells at a time, the lessons you’ll learn overcoming the challenge are lessons you can take with you through life. Whether it’s trying to figure out a completely illegible bus timetable, or attempting to pick up local lingo to order something in a restaurant, your friends aren’t around to help you so you have to find the qualities within yourself to figure out the situation. Goodbye comfort zone!
2. To meet new people
When you’re travelling alone you’re pretty much forced to be sociable and talk to people you don’t know, unless you intend to be a hermit for the duration of your trip. If you weren’t very good at introducing yourself to strangers before, solo travel will teach you how. Plus, you may well meet other solo travellers during your trip, at your accommodation or on a tour, and these people will be just as happy to have someone to talk to. You may well be travelling alone, but as long as you have an open mind and friendly attitude you’ll never really be lonely.
3. To build your character
Perhaps you’re quite shy and timid, you have no patience at all, or maybe you’re the least resourceful person you know. Travelling solo can, and without a doubt will, shape your character in ways you never expected. Overcoming the challenges mentioned in #1 will make you take a long, hard look at yourself and the ways in which you can change for the better. Solo travel leaves you a lot of time to think and reflect, so all sorts of things will come out of the experience, even if you just got for a short trip close to home.
4. Explore your own back yard
Speaking of short trips close to home, if solo travel scares the living daylights out of you, then don’t go very far! Travel doesn’t have to mean venturing to far off lands – if you want to ease yourself into solo travel, then take the opportunity to head to a place close to home, perhaps even just for a weekend. Not only will it reduce your worries about being by yourself, because you could simply go home at any time, it will help you to discover new places and people right on your back doorsteps. This is a great reason to travel alone, and an easy one for the faint of heart.
5. To feel freedom
The experience of travelling alone is one that people the world over will describe as the most free they have ever felt. Solo travel gives you the opportunity to go wherever you want, whenever you want, and do whatever you want when you get there – no compromises. Even if it turns out that solo travel isn’t your thing, at least by the end you can say that you’ve had the chance to experience that kind of freedom.
Do you ever travel solo? If you’ve never been, is it something you’d consider?