Traveling solo was always a dream of mine. Now that I’ve done it over and over again, I can attest that it’s a life-changing experience and I will continue to solo travel even when someone decides that they’d actually want to date me-- but I’m not holding my breath on that one.
Many people are scared of heading out into the world alone, but if you’re looking for a big adventure, solo travel is where it’s at.
So, what can solo travel do for you? Here is my list of why I think that everyone should travel solo at least once in their lifetime (in no particular order) accompanied by photos from my adventures as a solo traveler.
(If you’re more of a visual person, scroll to the bottom for the video)
Your Money, Your Choice
Oftentimes when you are with another traveler, you have to take their budget into consideration. If you’re okay with staying at the shittiest, grimiest place, but will keep you under your budget, you can do so without the fear of impressing or accommodating another person. If you prefer to house yourself in a fancy 5-star hotel for a couple of nights, you can do so because you don’t have to worry about the other person’s budget.
If you want to rest in one spot for a week, heck, maybe a month, you can do it without having to worry about the other person getting too anxious or bored or worried about running out of money hanging out in one spot for too long.
Forces You To Face Your Weakness
When you travel alone, you have to figure things out on your own. Whether your weakness is talking to strangers, following directions, navigating through a city, bargaining, being told what to do, or whatever your weakness may be, you’ll be faced with it head on. Without a friend to support you, or possibly step in, you’ll have no other choice but to figure it out and figure it out you will. Or you’ll just find another person that can do it and then you’ll be friends!
Facing Obstacles Empowers You
No one is there to help you. You’re lost. You don’t know how to get wherever you’re going. Your phone doesn’t work because you’re in a foreign country and no one speaks English. You can’t wait for your friend to have a signal, you can’t depend on your friend who speaks the language.
What do you do? You ask for help from a local, you find a shop/restaurant with wifi, you pull out your google translate and you figure it out on your own. These are steps you take over and over again in order to figure out how to get somewhere, what train to take or even deciphering signs that aren’t in English. When you figure it out, you feel more empowered. Something changes in you and now you’re asking yourself to trust yourself.
You Learn What You Like
Maybe you like hostels with a lot of people in them, and talking to strangers and maybe you do like Reggaeton and dancing. You’ll never know until you do it without someone’s opinion in your ear.
If you’re with someone else, a lot of times, people will accommodate others or agree with another’s opinion because that’s the person they’re spending the most time with. By being solo you’ll discover what you like because no one is judging you. For me, I like nerdy stuff.
Become More Spontaneous
Every decision you make can lead to another adventure. When you’re solo, you can say yes whenever you’d like. “Wanna go to this city tomorrow?”
“Wanna hike that mountain right now?”
Because you are alone you don’t have to worry about the needs of others and you'll be able to take on a new adventure whenever it presents itself. My motorbike trip through Vietnam was my most memorable spontaneous moment.
You Won't Have to Wait to Travel
The main reason I started traveling alone was that I was tired of waiting for others to travel with me. By making the decision to travel solo I was able to leave because I had already been saving up my money and I had already made the plans, and I had already bought my ticket. I didn’t have to wait for anyone else.
People flake and people make excuses, and travel might not be a priority for others the way travel is for you. So by traveling solo, you won’t have to wait and you’ll finally be able to take that big trip.
Travel is something I believe everyone should do, but traveling solo is an experience that should not be missed. Spontaneity and adventure are just a few reasons to travel solo, but in the end, you’ll become a different, more independent person that has overcome obstacles. Don't believe me? Take a look at my inspirational benefits of traveling solo.
So, why haven’t you started traveling solo yet?