6 awesome reasons to start traveling solo
I’ve been traveling solo very frequently during the past couple of years. And Oh. My. God. It’s so exhilarating!
Most people are intrigued by the idea, but too scared to take the risk. Frankly, it’s not that much of a risk. I’m not sure how much security and reassurance traveling with company offers. I think it’s rather the fear of loneliness, combined with lack of confidence, that kicks in and blocks people from doing it.
Not everyone gets it
Recently, before I set out for a trip to a greek island, I was having coffee with a friend and she strongly expressed her surprise and disapproval of my decision to travel solo.
I explained to her that there’s nothing wrong with traveling alone, but she insisted on her views, saying that it’s too weird and pathetic to go for a drink on your own, let alone spend that much time on a trip all by yourself.
I was truly shocked by how narrow-minded she was and, unfortunately, I took the bait and tried to argue with her. What I said was that, unlike her, I didn’t lack confidence and I always felt good with myself, having dealt with my insecurities and fears.
She then argued with me by making it all about herself (shocker!). She wasn’t insecure or less confident than me, but very open-minded and totally cool with what doesn’t concern her. It was like I had unleashed a monster! It went on like that for a while.
Eventually, we agreed to disagree and left it there. The moral of the story is that not everyone can see the beauty in solo traveling and that some people are too opinionated to understand choices they don’t agree with. Don’t try to change people’s mind. Just don’t care about it. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to be happy.
It’s an art
Other people’s opinion on this topic can prove insanely discouraging. It took me years to take the leap and go for it. I had way too many friends who were judgemental, like the one I just mentioned, and others who were really digging the idea, but never dared to try. Well, eventually I did! Now I only regret not doing earlier.
Since I started traveling solo, I discovered a whole new world in myself and I’m not exaggerating one bit. Solo traveling truly changes you for the better; it just brings your strongest self to the surface.
Life gets simpler and more enjoyable when you finally start getting along with yourself, because that’s what happens in these solo trips, my friend. There’s a whole new world that unfolds in front of your eyes!
I haven’t met a single soul who traveled alone and regretted it. That’s exactly why I wanted to write this post and list out only a few of the amazing things you’ll gain if you do it, too.
Do it because it’s liberating
The destination you choose to visit is totally up to you.
You’ve always wanted to visit that place, but your friends always preferred some other place. Consequently, you never got the chance to go there.
Well, guess what! Nobody is really blocking your from going by yourself. And trust me you’ll enjoy it even more.
Nothing compares to that feeling of freedom that kicks in when you first land at a completely new location and realize you can do anything you want.
Making any kind of decision, big or small, is suddenly so easy-breezy. You don’t have to take anyone else into account, but yourself. Nobody defines your schedule.
Disagreements are not possible, unless you have a multiple personality disorder (in which case, please consult your doctor first). You can be spontaneous without causing any drama.
Once you’re on your own, you’ll be leading the way and only following your heart.
Do it because it’s a perfect opportunity for self-discovery
Sitting by yourself on a strange land, having nobody to exchange a few words with, is a scary feeling. However, sometimes it’s a necessary state to help you discover your true self and get genuinely comfortable being who you are.
You’ll learn and practice how to tackle your fears and insecurities and keep them under a leash. Being on your own will help you realize what your limits are and how powerful a person you can be, when you face any kind of problem.
It will boost your confidence and you’ll start to enjoy these solitary moments, even crave them.
Do it because it’ll get you out of your comfort zone
Oh, the fear of the unknown! No. The fear of discovering the unknown on your own. Better. Whatever you’re not used doing is a little intimidating, to say the least.
For example, traveling alone to a country you’ve never been before, not speaking the language and not having anyone there definitely sounds scary. Sitting in a restaurant to have lunch all by yourself is suddenly a terrifying thought. Asking a stranger to take a picture of you, or just pulling out a selfie-stick in public, makes you tremble.
Fear not, you’re not the only one!
If you push yourself to do all those things (and more) and put yourself out there, I can guarantee that you’ll manage to release your fears and grow stronger and wiser. There’s nothing wrong with being a tad vulnerable, especially when you do it mindfully.
The experience and wisdom you’ll gain will help you develop copying mechanisms. These will make your next trips even more comfortable.
Besides, every lesson creates an uber-cool story, so get ready to bring some fun stories back, to share with your loved ones (and make them jealous).
Do it because it can be cheaper
You’ll be in full control of your expenses, so you won’t spend a penny on something you don’t want to.
It’s true that there are some good deals suitable for couples or larger groups and sometimes splitting the cost (of a meal, for example) can save you some money. However, when you have full control of the decision-making and capacity to hunt for the best deals, you’ll definitely find some incredibly cost-effective options.
Admit it, when you travel with friends, you don’t even bother meeting new people. You’ve already got some people to socialize with, after all.
That’s not the deal with traveling solo.
Solo travelers are more likely to talk to strangers. Socializing is a natural instinct. At least, for most people. It’s the conditions under which we socialize, that sometimes prevent us from practising this skill more often.
When you’re on your own, you subconsciously desire to over-communicate, just because you don’t have the luxury of talking to your companion (you don’t have any, duh!). Naturally, you fulfil that urge by chatting to strangers, be it some random locals, the bartender, the tour guide or someone equally lost and alone.
The chances of going back home, with some new names and numbers on your phone’s contact list, are very high. The next time you travel to that same destination, you might not be completely alone!
Do it because you’ll learn to rely on your own feet
Imagine this scenario: you’re on a strange land, having a good time and suddenly you get an email that your flight back home has been cancelled. What do you do?
The answer will come solely from you, my dear. You’re alone, you’re (hopefully) a mature adult and you need to make a decision.
So consequently, you’ll contact the airline and try to figure out what the next steps are. You wouldn’t expect your travel companion or your mom/dad to call them up and sort it out.
Either you like it or not, you’ll learn to deal with any sort of situation that happens to you, when you’re on your own. No matter how bad or urgent it is, you’re the only person who can find the solution to your problem. Relying on a relative, partner or friend is not an option; they’re far back home.
This is part of the copying mechanisms I was talking about earlier. The person who holds the answers to your problems is you.