I love traveling solo! I love the little every day challenges, making new friends on the road and having complete freedom in making my decisions. It’s not all roses though, but for me personally, the pros outweigh the cons. That being said, solo travel might not be for everyone, but is something that I like to encourage others to try at least once!
Independence, flexibility & freedom
Traveling solo gives you incredible independence, flexibility and freedom. There is no making compromises with others, no agreeing on fixed travel plans etc. Changed your mind about your next destination? Well, just go ahead and go wherever you want! I’ve found this feeling of freedom absolutely intoxicating and loved being so flexible in making decisions.
Making new friends on the road
A lot of people might think of solo travel as a lonely experience, but I actually find myself to be more willing to go out of my comfort zone and to approach other travelers and locals. Traveling alone kind of forces you to talk to new people, while traveling with a friend or partner allows you to just stick to each other.
Solo travel fosters personal growth
Traveling solo pushes you outside your comfort zone day by day. It challenges you and your perspectives and values and will make you reflect and re-evaluate many things. Traveling teaches you many lessons, boosts your confidence and turns you into a more independent person with every challenge faced. Accidentally ended up in a small Japanese town? No problem. Stuck on a deserted island in the dark? Don’t sweat it. Think you’ve lost your credit card? You’ve got this! Being on the road alone will make you a better traveler, turn you into a pro at problem solving and leave you feeling very accomplished.
When was the last time you took time for yourself to recharge you batteries? There are so many benefits to taking time for yourself and to reflect on life. In our ever-connected world full of digital distractions, it can be difficult though to maintain a balance between me-time and social time. Solo travel gives you the freedom to choose what benefits you in the moment and will teach you to enjoy your own company.
The same conversations
Where are you from? How long have you been traveling for already? Where have you been so far? What’s your next destination? I loved hearing people’s stories in the beginning, but after a little while it gets old. Having the same conversation over and over again just gets a little boring with time.
Alone time: boredom
As much as I loved spending time alone, I did not always like it. It can be boring. Discovering new places on your own can be exciting and exhilarating. At the same time, there are only so many activities you can do until you wish you had some company. It of course depends on you as a person how quickly that happens!
No one to take photos of you
You can only ask a stranger so many times to retake that photo of you because it’s not the right angle, while when traveling with a friend you basically have your personal photographer accompanying you. And I mean, who doesn’t like to have nice pictures as a memory?
Alone time: Loneliness
Alone time can be really enjoyable, it can be boring, and it can make you feel lonely. Sometimes, I’ve found myself visiting amazing places, but wished that I could share all of these great experiences with some of my close friends. Of course you meet a lot of new people on the road, but sometimes that just does not compare!
Facing challenges alone
Traveling certainly has its ups and downs. Challenges are inherent to travel and I usually try to embrace them as I know that I will learn something from it. Being alone on the road means that you have to face all of these challenges on your own though, which can be quite emotionally draining.
No one is immune to homesickness. You might miss your family, your close friends, your own bed…For me personally, it wasn’t as much homesickness as a desire for familiarity. I wanted to know how things worked for once, without having to ask ten people first.
What are your experiences with solo travel? What’s the good, bad and ugly from your perspective?
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