More than likely the thought of traveling solo has crossed your mind (hence why you clicked on this post). Sometimes taking that leap can be so mentally crippling that you put it off, repeatedly.
Maybe you wait around for your friends so you can book your next trip, that way you’re not forced to go alone.
If you’re like me, you’ve thought about all the ways a solo trip could go bad.
I get it.
Before I traveled to 7 countries solo, I would wait for friends to tell me if they could join me on a trip. At some point, I became tired of people canceling or not being able to go.
I finally pushed past those fears and booked a one-way, so I could backpack across Southeast Asia.
And boy, was that experience life changing.
I wandered around Kuala Lumpur without a phone, explored Vietnam from North to South, traveled around Bali, and did sightseeing in Singapore.
This can be you too!
It just takes pushing past those fears.
Book that ticket, travel to that city/country, do research, and allow yourself to roam.
I’ve highlighted below the benefits of solo travel, and I think reading them will give you the extra push you need. (You can do it.)
It’s easier than you think
Half the battle is buying the ticket and following through with it. But once you get to your destination and explore, you’ll realize it wasn’t as difficult as you thought .
Most of the fear and anxiety around solo travel will evaporate once you finally put yourself out there.
Similar to doing other tasks solo, it can be frightening at first. But once you do it, it’s not that bad at all.
Take it from someone who’s had pleasant, and not so enjoyable, experiences abroad.
Freedom to do what you want
If you’re traveling with other people, you typically come to an agreement on what you all will do. And sometimes it’s an activity you might not like. But there has to be a compromise, right?
When you’re traveling solo, you can literally do whatever the heck you want. Beach bumming for a day? Totally fine.
Do you want to go on a 6-mile hike? You don’t have to worry about any complaints.
On your solo trip, you can do whatever your heart desires. This is one reason I love it so much. You can wake up whenever, and you don’t have to sacrifice what you want to do.
You can eat wherever. Explore wherever. Take your time or rush.
I know you’re probably thinking, how it can save you money when you can’t split any costs with anyone? But sometimes when we travel with others, we waste more money than we think.
Maybe you end up eating at a more expensive restaurant. Maybe you do activities you don’t really care to do. Maybe you stay in a hotel instead of saving money on an Airbnb or hostel.
Sometimes it’s keeping up with the Joneses.
When you’re traveling solo, it’s easier to be more conscious of the money you’re spending, because more times than not, you’re only spending money on the things you truly want.
I have saved more money traveling solo, because I’ll pick the accommodation within my price range. I’m also a dedicated budget traveler, whereas other people I traveled with might not be.
Learning about yourself
In traveling solo, you learn more about yourself than you could imagine. You learn about strengths you might not have known you had all along.
Maybe you gain new passions, like I did with hiking. Before traveling I didn’t think of myself as a hiking gal, but then during my trips I would wander and get lost in nature. From those times, I learned that not only do I enjoy hiking, but I also enjoy being in nature.
Give yourself the chance to explore through solo travel and try different things that might interest you. Doing this can teach you so much about yourself.
Also, travel has a way of bringing out certain characteristics about yourself. Maybe through travel, you realize how solution oriented you are. You might learn how to embrace solitude and that you actually enjoy spending time by yourself.
With time alone comes introspection, it’s only natural. Being able to take time to yourself allows you to sit with feelings and ask yourself the questions to get through that.
It doesn’t have to be a heavy or negative process.
You can also realize some amazing things about yourself as well.
Just being able to get away from people and spend time with yourself, brings mental clarity. Sometimes when we’re ripping and running or constantly surrounded by others, that can influence our thoughts + actions.
When you’re traveling solo, you give yourself the time to think things through.
Relax, disconnect, re-energize
Introvert or not, we all could use time to disconnect + re-energize ourselves. When you’re solo, you give yourself the space and grace to do exactly that.
This goes back to doing what you want and having introspection. Part of what makes solo travel so exceptional is doing what feels right to you.
You’d be surprised at how much growth you’ll get from traveling solo. It’ll make you more confident, give you the space to take chances, and trust yourself. In these situations, you have no other choice but to grow.
Not only that, when you’re solo you learn how to navigate travel differently. Maybe you engage with strangers more or trust your instincts, which brings me to my next point.
Learn to trust yourself
One way to grow is to learn to trust yourself. You have intuition for a reason. You know that gut feeling you get in the pit of your stomach from time to time? It’s telling you something isn’t right.
Being solo forces you to trust those animalistic instincts. You hone in on those feelings; you trust yourself to make the right decisions for your wellbeing.
But not only that, you trust that you’ll be okay no matter what, because you know you have your best interest in mind.
Part of trusting yourself is practicing mindfulness. In order to be present and alert, you must know what’s going on in front of you. And more than that, when you travel solo you are doing exactly what you want to do, which gives you an appreciation of the present moment.
You take in the scenery. You acknowledge and embrace that you are thriving on that trip solo. Your senses are heightened.
Face your fears/thoughts
So, you booked a solo trip, and you packed all your bags, ready to go. Don’t you realize you’ve overcome a hurdle of fear? All along you were capable, and you took the biggest step by actually buying the ticket—kudos to you!
That’s the first of many instances, you’ll face your fears as it pertains to solo travel. But also while you’re on the journey, certain thoughts might be arise because now you’re by yourself.
The funny thing is, you can never outrun yourself. But it’s also a beautiful thing “wherever I go, there I am.”
Solo travel has a way of gently making you face your fears, so it’s ample time to journal what feelings come up for you.
Just like anything in life, things don’t always go as plan. But you learn to adapt and roll with the punches—solo travel is no exception.
Missed a bus and have to stay in a town another night? Sucks, but it doesn’t become an issue.
Feeling nervous about going somewhere you’ve never been before and don’t know anyone? Not a problem. You push yourself to go out and meet new people.
All along you were adaptable, it’s just solo travel is bringing that out of you. You learn to ebb and flow with the process.
Since you are on this journey solo, that means you have to figure things out for yourself—which really isn’t as bad as it sounds. Those instincts kick in and you shift into problem-solving mode.
Flight got delayed and made you miss another flight? You think of solutions like “who do I need to get in touch with to get another flight?” You’d be surprised at how natural it comes to you.
Step out your comfort zone
The only way to grow is by stepping out your comfort zone, right? And how comfortable is it to go to a new country where you don’t know anyone or speak the language?
Not comfortable at all. Well, at least not at first.
But in those situations, it gives you the chance to talk to strangers you would have never spoken to if you weren’t alone. Maybe you gain the courage to do excursions solo.
The first step is going on the trip by yourself, and the rest will fall into place.
You become self-reliant—one of the biggest rewards of solo travel.
This energy and mindset can apply to other aspects of your life as well. Instead of putting your life on hold for others, you can do all the things you want right now.
You can trust that you know what’s best for you and have the fortitude to do what scares you.
Increase in happiness
This journey naturally increases your happiness. You’re able to treat yourself to things you’d like and discover the world in a way that works for you.
Giving yourself the freedom of choice and exploration is the gateway to your happiness.
Connecting with strangers
You’re more likely to meet folks when you’re by yourself. People feel more comfortable approaching you, you feel more comfortable approaching people as well.
Sometimes when we’re traveling with people, it’s easy to stay in our bubble. But when you’re by yourself, you don’t have that same luxury.
Solo travel gives you the gift of connection. I’ve never been to a country solo without meeting new people. And because of that, I’ve made lifelong friends—you will too.
Dive deeper into the culture
While you’re traveling solo, your curiosity will be piqued.
Whether you want to stroll in a museum solo for hours, or strike up a conversation with a local. You’re able to explore the history and traditions of another country.
Realize how awesome the world is
Man, the world is such a magnificent place. Sometimes it’s easier to focus on the problems—which are many people’s realities—but it shouldn’t take away from all the good in this world.
As you’re exploring solo and connecting with new people, you’ll come to see how kind most individuals are.
When I was in the Philippines, I ran out of cash. This German woman from my hostel walked around with me late at night to find an ATM, so I didn’t have to go alone.
I think about the random acts of kindness I’ve experienced abroad, and it truly warms my heart. This is just one of many instances.
Heighten sense of gratitude
With all that being said, just getting out the country or taking a trip solo gives you a new sense of gratitude.
You realize more about yourself than you knew before. You become more confident + self-reliant. You take in your surroundings and how lucky you are to be where you are. You are happy because you’re living in the moment.
Solo travel brings out all these things in you and more. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to book that solo trip you’ve always wanted to.
And if you’ve traveled solo before, what was it like? Comment below
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