Though I have taken countless flights alone, I have always met someone on the other end and have always traveled with others. I had never visited to a new place entirely solo until my recent trip to Vieques, Puerto Rico. Prior to leaving, I had read a lot about the merits of solo travel and how transformative of an experience it can be. I was excited and had an inkling that by the end, I would be addicted.
I could not have been more correct.
I loved everything about traveling alone, even the weird and more difficult aspects, and know now that solo travel will be a regular occurrence for me in the years to come.
If you haven’t traveled solo yet, I implore you to try it out on your next trip. You don’t need to go thousands of miles away. Go on a road trip for a couple of hours to a nearby place you’ve always been curious about. Go to a country you’ve been to before but have never visited solo. Start small and work your way up, but go alone. For the below reasons and more, it might just be that life-changing experience you’re looking for.
You gain confidence
Experiencing a new destination and a new culture with no other person but yourself to rely on means that you are forced to navigate everything alone. This includes the incredibly positive experiences, but it also includes those uncomfortable situations brought on by cultural and linguistic differences. By using problem-solving and decision-making skills to navigate through these times, you prove to yourself that you are capable of a lot more than you ever thought. You’ll come out on the other side feeling stronger, braver and more confident.
You have more time for introspection
On my solo trip, I discovered that there is nothing I love more than watching the sunset alone with a cocktail in hand. It is one of my favorite opportunities to think introspectively and to reflect on the day – what went well, what went poorly and how I am feeling about it.
During solo travel, you’ll have many of these moments – of watching sunrises and sunsets, of eating delicious local food and of exploring unique nature. All by yourself. And while this might sound beyond unappealing at first thought, trust me when I say that these times with yourself are invaluable.
You decide what to do
When exploring a new destination in a group, everyone has different priorities and different travel styles. Some like to visit the historical sights and museums. Others like to spend all of their time trying out the local cuisine. Some like the nightlife, others like waking up with the sun. Put all those people together in one group and everything is a debate.
With solo travel, you can be selfish. Want to eat at that super quirky, off-the-beaten-path restaurant? Want your hotel room’s temperature set to 60 degrees? You got it! The beauty of solo travel is that the only person you have to consult is yourself, so you’re able to design a trip that is packed with everything important to you.
You meet interesting people and make new friends
When traveling in a group, you are not likely to go out of your way to meet new people. But when you’re traveling solo and navigating things on your own, you are significantly more eager to chat up locals and turn strangers into friends. On my first solo trip, I went on a nighttime tour of a bioluminescent bay and ended up befriending a group of people my age. We got along so well on the tour that we all decided to grab drinks afterwards! I now have the phone numbers of two of the girls I made friends with and we often text about our future travel plans.
You realize the world is your oyster
The reality is that if you waited for those close to you to be ready to travel to all of the places you want to go, you might be waiting forever. Learning how to travel alone is the single best gift you can give yourself because you realize that you don’t need others to travel. After just one solo trip, you realize that you have all of the resourcefulness and confidence necessary to travel anywhere! The world is your oyster.
So, tell me – where will you go for your first solo trip? Or if you have traveled alone, what did you like the most about it?
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I love to travel and I love solo trips. Sometimes that’s just the thing you need to clear some things out for yourself. I think aside from meeting new people, which is great, the most important thing is the confidence you gain, by going places, on your own. I would also add the cultural aspect – sometimes, when you travel solo you can take as much time as you need to explore a certain culture while with groups, it’s not always the case.
I traveled solo for my first time back in December-January. I spent six days in Scotland, and loved it. I chose to stay in hostels because of their social environments. I met a lot of cool people and also could take as long as I wanted to explore. I remember being in the Scotland Museum in Edinburgh and connected to their wifi. I took a break and sat down browsing through Facebook when I saw that a friend had posted a “What 90’s Romantic Comedy film character are you?” I thought it would be fun to take it then and there, and then laughed about how I could only do that traveling alone. It’s too funny.
I have travelled on my own on and off for so many years. My parents encouraged to travel especially my father. I think that you just learn so much more travelling on your own and you get to really get to know who you are as person too.
You know what, I have never travelled alone but it has been a life long dream. I’ve always wondered how it would be and you’ve solidified my thoughts! xx
I’m not sure if going to Abu Dhabi alone (taking an airplane alone) from the Philippines can be considered as a solo travel… (someone picks me up in the airport)… but technically I think not. 🙂
I’ve never tried to go solo as a traveller/tourist to a certain place. I guess I need to gather that confidence. All above list you mentioned are definitely a thumbs up! You’ve got a nice list of reasons there Christina!
JM Kayne <3
When you travel solo how do you take your photos?
Will you do a post in the future about photo taking while travelling?
Also hope your transition into a full-time blogger goes smooth!
I absolutely will do a post about taking photos as a solo traveler! My tripod is my best friend 😉
I love traveling alone! It allows me to meditate and there’s also no one rushing me when I’m shopping (also no one watching my spending, which can be a negative, I guess) 🙂
HAHA! It’s ok, I prefer no one rushing me when I’m shopping too 😉
I have never done a solo trip, but I have done several solo trips where I lived in a different country by myself for an extended period of time. I think all of these apply when living in a foreign place by yourself too. I’ve met so many amazing people and friends along the way 🙂
They definitely do apply! 🙂
I’ve always wanted to travel solo. I’ve traveled with groups before, and it was quite interesting to say so at the most. Heck, even two’s a crowd, too. I’ve had a friend travel solo and she says it was pretty fun. Someday I would like to try that, too. x
You need to!! It is seriously a wonderfully fulfilling experience
I’ve only traveled alone for business, but that included the U.S., London and Germany. The solo trips to London and Germany were most memorable, because I took extra days to see the sites. Loved it! Your benefits listed are spot on.
So glad you agree! 🙂
Great points babe! I’ve actually never traveled solo before so it would be a little nerve wrecking to do so but I think I’d enjoy it after I got used to it 🙂 xo, sharon
Definitely! Start somewhere close to home or somewhere you’ve been before, then work up to those unfamiliar destinations 🙂
I like both, traveling solo and with others. You experience things so differently when traveling alone vs. with others. I appreciate the solitude of when traveling alone. There is no one to bug you lol. And then after I’ve had enough alone time, my next time might be with others….and vice versa.
I agree! Variety is great
LOVE THIS <3
I am so glad 🙂
Worth reasons to have a solo travel.
Loved it. 🙂
Glad you agree! Thank you so much 🙂