Like so many others in their twenties, when I first traveled solo it was about timing. My timing and that of my friends. When I was ready to go, they weren’t. So I went alone.
Solo travel isn't as easy as some make it sound. I’ve been sick with no one to care for me, I’ve lost all my documents, I've been scammed – I’ve been lost myself. Yet still, I’m inspired to travel alone.
Pretty crazy huh?
On the flip side I’ve met the most wonderful characters, I’ve been adopted by really kind people, I’ve discovered talents and abilities I didn’t know I had, and I’ve explored where I wouldn’t have.
I can understand why some people don’t get the appeal of solo travel. If I hadn’t fallen into my first solo trip, I probably wouldn’t either. So please, allow me to explain what inspires me and others to go it alone.
Here are my top 12 reasons to travel solo.
1. Discover Yourself
Solo travel is an opportunity to discover yourself as you discover the world, without the expectations of family and friends who define you on a daily basis, and without responsibility for children or partners.
There is no need to compromise. As a solo traveler, you can do what you want, when you want, and you’re not dragged to places that don’t interest you.
3. Get to Know the Locals
Because you’re not talking with a travel companion, you are more likely to talk with locals, and they are more likely to talk with you.
4. Curiosity Gets You Further
Going solo raises curiosity, respect, concern, interest, from locals and other travellers. People go out of their way to enhance your experience as a solo traveller.
5. More "Me" Time
You have time for reading, painting, thinking.
6. You Will Learn More
Solo travel stretches you. You develop new skills and often learn more because it’s all up to you to navigate culture and logistics.
7. You Are Capable
You learn that you are a very capable person. So do others... including parents.
8. Confidence in Yourself
You gain new self-confidence.
9. Engage with the Destination
You engage more with your destination. A solo trip is more about the culture, history, landscape…than your companion
10. Nobody Else's Opinions Matter
You can consider your life, career, relationships... without the weight of someone else’s opinions.
11. Demonstrate Vitality
You demonstrate vitality; it’s difficult to see a solo traveller, an adventurer, as old.
12. Challenge Yourself
You can inject a bit of challenge into your life which might otherwise be on autopilot.
You may have noticed that none of the reasons above have to do with being single. Solo travel is about much more than that. For this reason, people become hooked on solo travel and, whether partnered or not, it becomes a requirement to keep balance in life.
Solo travel feeds your sense of adventure and need for personal time. Give it a try.