This post was most recently updated on August 8th, 2019
Taking the time to travel can be a life-changing opportunity. Many have said that it makes the huge world that we live in feel much smaller. Whether you typically travel with a big group, with family, or with a designated tour group, chances are you have a preferred way of traveling.
The question is, have you ever traveled solo?
If you’ve ever taken even a day trip alone, with no one to tell you where to stop, what to see, or even what music to listen to, you can probably see what’s so special about solo travel. We believe everyone should take at least one trip by themselves. If you’re still on the fence about traveling alone, here’s a list of few reasons that may convince you.
You’ll become an expert problem solver
Spoiler alert: problems always arise when traveling. You might not feel it as much if you were traveling with a group and didn’t have to handle the logistics on your own, but you’ll definitely feel the pinch when traveling alone! When you’re traveling solo, you’re the one who’ll need to figure out what to do in problematic situations.
How would you react to that missed flight from Guadalajara? Losing your wallet in Jakarta? Or that sprained ankle hiking in Scotland? Being able to think on your feet and roll with the punches is a strong life skill that you can hone thanks to solo travels.
You’ll learn to enjoy being lost
Have you heard that quote “not all who wander are lost”? It’s a great quote, and it’s definitely true…but we also think you’ll definitely spend at least a few minutes not knowing where you are when you travel alone. And that’s not a bad thing.
When you’re lost, chances are you’ll stumble across something beautiful and unique, something that you couldn’t have found if you tried. And if you’re really in a jam, stick your head into that shop in Venice or approach that stranger in a bar in Barcelona. You’ll be able to find someone to ask for directions. Which leads us to our next point…
You’ll be able to meet more locals
When you’re traveling alone, people are more likely to approach you to make sure you’re okay, offer to help you or even offer some companionship. Whether you’re looking for directions or just open to having someone join you at an open table for dinner, traveling solo gives you the opportunity to get to know the locals and other travelers.
You can also use these encounters to learn or practice a new language. When you’re traveling with people you know, it can be tempting to spend all of your time with them speaking in your native tongue. But, when you have to remember those important phrases in French or those few words in Mandarin Chinese in order to get some vital info, you’ll be challenging yourself to break out of your protective bubble and meet new people.
You can control your own itinerary
You get to call all of the shots. Whether you’re someone who loves staying in swanky hotels or prefers something homier, like a short-term home rental, you can pick whatever accommodations you want. You’re also in total control of your itinerary. Want to spend your days in local museums? Want to wander around a wildlife reserve? Perhaps you would enjoy taking yourself on a food tour. The great thing about traveling solo is that you have the option to choose whatever you want.
Look for local classes you can take that interest you. You could learn to cook a special dish or learn a new kind of dance. Not only will you pick up a new skill, but you can also start to learn more about what you love. Discovering these kinds of things are not only a great experience during travel. The lessons and knowledge gained stays with you for a lifetime.
You can spend time dreaming
This might be one of our favorite reasons to travel solo. We can be so busy nowadays and spend so much time talking to others or going online to peek into other people’s lives that we don’t take the time to think about our own. Solo travel is a great way to give you the space to clear your head, think, and dream about what you want out of life.
Looking to go out on your own and start a new business? Thinking of taking the next step in a relationship? Feel like reigniting a passionate pastime into something more serious? Well, that Himalayan cliff top or that quiet French café could be where it all comes together to finally make sense. Solitude during travel can end up supercharging you so that you find answers to some crucial things in your life you would have otherwise not figured out with all the other clutter that surrounds your day-to-day life.
From learning to be present, to trusting your intuition, and finding your creativity again, there are plenty of ways solo travel can benefit you. So, go ahead and jump into that solo adventure — you’ll come out a whole new and improved person!
Do you enjoy traveling solo? Is it something on your bucket list? Where would you go first? We’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments!