A few years ago, my friend told me that she was going to Paris on her own. Being the good friend that I am, I obviously had to invite myself, as everyone knows it’s not safe for a woman to travel alone after all!
Fast forward to today, and I have now solo travelled to seven countries and in two weeks, I will be off to Lisbon on my first solo trip of 2018. I am challenging the limitations that I once placed upon myself.
Thankfully, my friend Maria got to finally have her own solo trip last September, since I hijacked her first attempt. Sorry about that! 🙈
If you’re reading this, you’re probably on the fence when it comes to solo travelling. I consider myself the solo travel advocate, I’m always trying to convince one person or another to solo travel, so I’m about to drop seven reasons why you should try solo travelling at least once. EMOJI
1) You don’t have to rely on someone else to travel
We probably all have that friend, who sounds a bit like a broken record. Every year, they will tell you that they will travel with you and every year without fail they don’t.
If you keep on waiting for someone to travel with you, then you miss out on amazing travel experiences and memories that you would’ve treasured for the rest of your life.
Solo travelling allows you to travel to whenever you want, wherever you want. You don’t have to wait for anyone. Just go.
2) It’s not lonely
A major misconception about solo travelling is that it is lonely. Just because you travelled to your destination alone does not mean you have to spend your time in that destination alone.
Being a solo traveller opens you up to people in a way that travelling with others does not. Being on your own makes you more approachable to locals and other solo travellers and vice versa. There are so many chances to make friends with other solo travellers and the locals. You may find yourself seeing the city with a new travel buddy you met in your hostel or a local you met in a cafe.
There are also so many communities of travel lovers in Facebook groups and there are many applications, where you can connect and make plans with other solo travellers who will be in your destination at the same time as you.
Making friends around the world is amazing! And that friendship doesn’t have to end with your trip, you might find yourself inviting them to your own city or making future travel plans with them.
So if you don’t want to be alone on your solo trip, you don’t have to be.
3) You learn to be comfortable in your own company
If you plan to spend your solo trip meeting new people and socialising, then go for it, but I would also suggest that you take some time to be alone.
One question to ask yourself is: are you comfortable enough with your own company, that you could spend time alone and enjoy it?
We can get so caught up in the hustle and bustle that is life, that we never really spend enough time on our own to just reflect and listen to ourselves.
For some, the idea of going to a restaurant or the cinema by themselves can seem weird or lonely. However, being alone does not equate to loneliness. You can be surrounded by family and friends and still feel lonely.
Making time to be by yourself is so important, as it gives you the chance to get away from the opinions of others and to start listening to and trusting in your own inner voice.
Sometimes the personalities of those close to you can overshadow your own personality. By spending a day (or more if you want) alone on your solo trip you may find that there are a few things that you didn’t know about yourself. Take this time to really get to know who you are. You’ll probably find that you, the real you, the one that not many may have met before (including yourself), is an amazing person!
Love yourself enough, to get to know yourself!
4) You are in control
All the decisions are up to you. You don’t have to compromise on anything – whether that’s the destination, the length of the trip, the budget or the itinerary.
So if you want to wake up at a ridiculously early time to watch the sunrise on the beach, you can.
If you want to spend the entire day in a museum, you can.
Or if you want to spend half the day relaxing at a spa, you can.
Your solo trip is your trip alone. You make all the decisions and you don’t have to worry about pleasing anyone other than yourself.
5) It pushes you out of your comfort zone
You may consider solo travelling itself to be way out of your comfort zone. However, you have to push the fear and awkwardness aside and do it anyway, because that’s how you gain the best experiences of your life.
And when you get to your destination, you find yourself coming out of your comfort zone a whole lot more.
Last year, I asked y’all to set me some tasks to force me out of my comfort zone on my solo trip to Bucharest (read about that here). I came back feeling disappointed as I had not been able to achieve all of the tasks that I was set (read about my results), but looking back now, I can see how far I’ve come since then. Although I still have a lot further to go, it’s such an amazing feeling when I find myself doing things that I previously would not have because it was out of my comfort zone.
6) It’s drama free
A drama free trip is a good trip.
You always have to be careful about who you travel with because sometimes you find that you can’t be in the company of a friend or family member for an extended amount of time without driving each other crazy.
When you solo travel you don’t have to worry about any petty behaviour, silly arguments or worst case scenario – someone leaving halfway through the trip. EMOJI
I don’t know about you, but I’m so not here for all of that drama! EMOJI
7) Your confidence grows
Solo travelling is so amazing for your personal growth.
There may be people who will doubt you and cause you to doubt yourself. Don’t solo travel to prove them wrong. Solo travel to prove to yourself that you are capable.
Travelling alone forces you to become independent, you are forced to rely on yourself for every aspect of your trip – from booking the trip to having to find a solution when you encounter a problem.
You are able to realise your strengths, work on weaknesses and unearth the skills that you didn’t even know that you had.
Once you return from your solo trip, not only has your confidence grown, but you also feel a sense of empowerment. You realise that you can and have achieved a lot more than you could have ever imagined.
Now that you’ve got seven great reasons why you need to solo travel, I hope you are ready to take the plunge. Let me know where you would go on your first solo trip in the comments!
I will be sharing a lot more advice on solo travelling on my blog and my YouTube channel, so make sure you are subscribed.
In the meantime, check out my previous blog posts on solo travel:
- Three ways that solo travelling can change you forever
- Ten tips to get amazing pictures on your solo trip
Well, until next time guys!