You’ve spent hours flicking through travel guides, scrolling on Instagram and pinning your dreamy destinations on Pinterest. You have a travel bucket list and you can’t wait to start ticking off your adventures. Tirelessly hiking to Machu Picchu in Peru, ice-skating beneath the Rockefeller Center at Christmas in New York, getting drenched sailing under Niagara Falls on the Maid of the Mist in Canada… Yep, you’ve got your bags packed and you’re ready to go! Just one problem:
Who are you going with?
Your partner’s working, your friends can’t afford it, even your parents no longer have any interest in bungee jumping in New Zealand!
“Could I… go alone?” I hear you ask?
Well fear not! Here are my top 5 reasons why you absolutely, definitely should buy that ticket and get out into the world all by yourself!
1. It’s EMPOWERING
There is an unparalleled sense of pride to be earned when you’ve got yourself from the airport to the hotel, in a foreign country, where no-one speaks your language, taking 3 different busses and deciphering the squiggles of the metro-map along your way.
2. It makes it easy to connect with people
You may be seeking some serious solitude on your solo-trip, but being alone makes it far easier to make new friends too. When you’re with someone else, you naturally tend to hang out with them more, you don’t get lonely, you don’t need anyone else. On your own, you may want someone to chat to; book onto a sociable activity like a tour or cooking class and get chatting to your fellow travellers. You never know – you may get an invite to join them in their next destination or do more activities with them!
3. You can do EVERYTHING you want and NOTHING you don’t want
Following on from the last point, if you did happen to get invited somewhere, you can totally say yes without having to consult your travel partner! Furthermore, if you want to spend 5 hours wandering around the streets of Ubud – absolutely fine. Don’t fancy hiring a bike to cycle round Barcelona? Don’t have to. It’s up to you my friend!
4. You’ll get better at problem solving
Many of us look to other people for advice, especially if you’re not a natural leader or outgoing person. Being on your own means that you’ll have to make all the decisions, and come up with all the solutions, yourself. It might sound scary but it’s a great confidence booster, especially if you learn to take it in your stride when you do f**k it and end up in what you thought was a free German taster lesson but actually turned out to be the start of an serious course for expats… Laugh it off (to yourself) and tell them you’ll see them next week!!
5. You’ll get to know yourself better
There’s nothing like a bit of solitude to really connect with yourself. Solo travel can give you time, freedom and the opportunity to slow things down and really reflect on your life, whether that’s your relationships, career or sense of self.
So there are my top 5 reasons why you should take that solo trip! I’ve done it a few times now and I’ve absolutely no fear of doing it again – it’s just so much fun!! Travelling by yourself may seem daunting, but hopefully these reasons why you should travel solo will help give you the encouragement to book your ticket, pack your bags and head out for the adventure of your life!
Have you ever travelled solo? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear your stories!