Travelling is so beneficial for all of us because it expands our horizons and makes us realise the importance of exploring and not living being cooped up in one place all the time. However, simply having no one to travel with usually stops us from travelling the world. And solo travel is almost never even considered as an option due to safety concerns, loneliness and boredom. Even with a ton of positive press on setting out to see the world on your own, concerns still arise.
Many people are apprehensive about the idea of traveling alone, but solo travel can actually be one of the most rewarding, exhilarating travel experience. You can experience many types of adventures that may have not been possible if you were traveling in a group. There’s nothing quite like discovering a new place on your own; taking it all in without anyone but yourself. It is a great means of personal development. Not having a buddy to travel with is a big step towards freedom and gives us the certainty that we are capable of being independent. It’s the best way to savour the taste of adventure, excitement and adrenaline that comes with setting out into the unknown. Anyone who's done it can tell you that the benefits of solo travel are endless. So, instead of dreading that next solo trip, here are a few reasons why you should look forward to it.
1. You have total control of your trip
This may be the only context in which selfishness isn’t really a bad thing. When you travel with a group, often you have to compromise a lot of your wishes and choices for other people and vice versa. Deciding what to do and where to go first is harder when you need to take into account every person’s preferences and opinions. But with solo travel, you can literally do whatever you want, whenever you want. You get to plan your trip in a way that benefits you most. You can choose to cross some items off of your bucket list, not someone else’s. Having total control can make your trip a lot less stressful and a vacation is meant to be relaxing.
2. You’ll make more friends
When you travel with others, you typically stick together. In other words, you’re less likely to wander away from your group. But traveling alone brings something truly valuable to the table—you’ll be more likely to chat with locals, meet new travelling companions and generally be more sociable. Because you aren’t focused on another person, you are open to the world. You can connect with like-minded explorers through apps or Facebook groups, or you can just meet them naturally. If you stay in hostels, chances are that you’ll be bunking with a couple of strangers that are also traveling. You could invite them out to dinner or ask them to go sightseeing together. If they say no, there’s no reason to be embarrassed. Chances are you’ll never see them again, anyway.
3. You’ll build confidence around others
There is something to be said for heading out into the world on your own with no safety net, so to speak. When traveling all by yourself, you have no one to hold your hand if things get a little crazy, like if your hotel reservation is mysteriously cancelled. Given you’re entering the unknown, it will offer opportunities to learn how to face various types of scenarios. The more you challenge yourself; the more you stretch yourself, the bigger your world becomes. The experience of travelling alone will challenge your limits and ability to cope with obstacles on the way which will make you a stronger, more confident person and help you grow as a traveller and human being.
4. You will get to know yourself better
These days, we’re constantly bombarded by stimulation; relentless connectivity to others, as well as the Internet. Rarely do we get the chance to sit with ourselves and simply be. Solo travel provides the opportunity to do just that. Being on your own in a new place serves as a permission slip to slow down, without the distractions you'd feel buzzing around you when travelling with companions. Being alone, and really embracing it, is a beautiful part of solo travel. Granted, sometimes that’s uncomfortable. Sometimes, you simply feel lonely and awkward, but recognizing those feelings and learning to overcome them is all part of the process. You will start appreciating your own company much more and enjoying the time you spend on your own. You will also be able to reflect on all of yourself—the good, the bad, and the ugly. Reflecting so heavily on yourself can give you some much needed insight into what you love about yourself, what you want to change about yourself, and what you want to get out of life.
5. It is cheaper
Traveling is expensive. You have to pay for airplane tickets, hotel rooms, eating out, and much more. But, you’ll most likely to save money if you’re traveling by yourself and not with a group. Traveling on your own is cheaper as the budget is yours and you decide how to eat and where to eat; being a solo traveller means you can even sit at any roadside cafe or just pick a snack on your way and eat while you explore the new destination. You don’t have to worry about hotel rooms to rent; you can even stay at a hostel bunk bed. This also means that it is much easier to save up money for other things such as trying an adventurous sport or traveling to a distant island. Sometimes traveling solo is less expensive than traveling with multiple people as there is no social pressure to spend money on useless items or activities that you are not interested in.
6. You will learn how to rely on yourself
Going to unknown places and destinations will show you the importance of relying on yourself in difficult situations. Being away from the comfortable bubble of your home will challenge you in many different ways and test your patience. You might be challenged to explain where you are going to a local person or do hiking for hours in the mountains. Both of these experiences will test your ability to overcome obstacles, challenge you and help you grow as an individual. You are the one and most important person in your life so make sure you learn how to trust your own heart, take decisions and make your own choices. That will help you further in life when it comes to taking an important step in your life because you will realise that it is you who creates the reality around you and it is significant to respect your own needs.
7. You reflect on the experience better
You can reflect on the whole experience much better because you were the solo traveller who took the courage and action to go and explore exciting places around the world. Your reflections on the trip will make you realise all the things you learned on the road, the friendships you made, the choices you were faced with and the challenges you overcame. And the whole experience can be more amazing because you can focus on the things that excite you and visit places that interest you.