The cry of a baby piercing my eardrums. The sweet smell of salty air whipping through my hair. And the warm feeling of the sun on my skin. All sights, smells and sensations I experienced while travelling Europe alone for the first time a few years ago. So do you fancy going solo this year? Do you want to have these experiences (and more) while exploring the world on your own for the first time? Here are some very good reasons to travel alone!
#1 You’ll get to know yourself better!
Of all the reasons to travel alone, this is probably the best excuse to go. If you go alone, you’ll get to know yourself better and quicker than with any other method of travel. Without the constant compromise of travelling with a companion, you’ll quickly get to know your favourite travel styles (adventure? luxury? budget?), as well as your favourite foods and methods for forming friendships.
#2 You’ll have great stories (that only you will be able to tell)
Sure, you can’t do that thing with your friends where you say “remember that time when…?”, but you’ll have equally great stories to tell, if not better when you venture out on your own. After all, the stories you’ll be able to tell will be unique, yours, and yours alone.
#3 You’ll become a better problem solver
When you’re travelling alone, you and only you can solve any problems you might encounter. From language barriers to securing accommodation while travelling, going solo forces you to stand on your own two feet and become a better problem solver in the process.
#4 You’ll appreciate your own company
Bar distractions from your phone and constant social media notifications (disable these- you’ll thank me later!), when you travel alone, you learn to love and appreciate being your own best friend. You’ll quickly figure out the easiest way to eat alone and the art of dining for one.
You’ll soon realise that it’s not embarrassing rocking up to a restaurant, enquiring for a table for one, and pulling out that book everyone told you that you ‘must read’! Learning to appreciate your own company is one of the best skills you can get from travelling alone, and it will teach you that there’s always a way of curing boredom, you need only search for the key!
#5 You’ll learn a new language quicker
If the purpose of your trip is to improve your language skills, then there is no easier way to hone those abilities than to completely immerse yourself in a country where that language is spoken. Without the company of friends, family or even a partner, you’ll be forced into speaking the language that much quicker- which can only ever be a good thing.
#6 You can do whatever you like, whenever you like
When you travel with someone else (even if it’s your partner/ best friend), then you always have to compromise. But when you travel alone, you can be a little selfish at times. Fancy a little lie in one morning? Do it.
Equally, if you fancy getting up incredibly early and experiencing a solo sunrise, then go for it! Similarly, you can budget or splurge as much as you want each meal time- and no one can judge you for it. The thing is, when you’re travelling solo, you can really do whatever you like, whenever you like!
#7 You’ll meet more people!
Travelling alone doesn’t have to equal lonely. Instead, it provides you with the perfect opportunity to make plenty of friends, all over the world. Without a group of people to chat to when you reach your hostel, instead, head to the common room area and get chatting with fellow travellers. You’ll soon make fast friends, and maybe even get great recommendations for the best takeouts and must-see spots in town while you’re at it.
#8 You’ll be pushed out of your comfort zone (and that’s a good thing)
Being pushed out of your comfort zone will ensure that you become more confident and able in your abilities to do your own thing, make decisions and stand firm in them. When you’re pushed out of your comfort zone, you’re forced to increase your horizons and contemplate things you’ve never even considered before. Just remember that travelling alone is safe, you should still take safety precautions everywhere you go- especially if you’re a solo female traveller.
#9 You’ll learn self-discipline
With no one else reminding you that you have to be at the airport at a certain time to catch your flight, or that it’s now time to hydrate as it’s been a little while since you last drank some water (and no one wants to get sick or dehydrated on the road). Self-discipline is a valuable skill that will translate into all other areas of your life; work, family, friendships- and it’s the kind of skill you’ll easily acquire if you choose to go alone this year.
#10 Your self confidence will improve
You may not notice this at first, but soon enough, your self-confidence will improve and you’ll soon discover that you’re able to do much more than you ever thought you could. After all, after exploring cities on your own, taking flights solo, and you’ll soon be rewarded with opportunities you never thought were previously possible!
#11 It’s fun; enough said!
If there’s only one reason you give yourself to give solo travel a try this year, remember this one thing: solo travel is fun. And if you take the plunge and decide to go solo travelling this year, it might turn out to be the very best decision you make this year!
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