Solo travel is one of the most rewarding journeys anyone can take and nothing scares your family more than telling them you want to visit Egypt or Russia than telling them you are doing it solo. People don’t always understand why you want to travel independently, fretting about safety and loneliness, but do it and show them how much better it is. Although there is no ‘I’ in team, there is a ‘me’ and no one does things better than yourself. Here is a list of 5 reasons why everyone needs to get out of their comfort zone and travel solo.
1. You meet some pretty amazing new friends.
When in the company of a good friend it is easy to rely on them, having the same conversation about Karen in HR and it gets old. It can be hard to start a conversation or even to just approach them, especially if it is someone you would never typically give them the time of day. It is in this moment you find a way to relax, pull your guard down and find that people have all these wacky perspectives and experiences they can share. And remember everyone is in the same position and feels much the same way as you.
2. Learn to read situations and develop a backbone.
Travelling alone can get tough at times because you know -life and you need to learn to read the situation and take ownership. Whether you are dealing with difficult people, inflated prices in a souk or returning a rented vehicle with false claims of damage you need to learn how to respectfully negotiate because there isn’t anyone else you can call. A great skill to learn for everyday life and business.
3. Learn to do things by yourself.
Being by yourself can be a little scary at times and the first thing people are worried about is what will you do all alone. Travelling solo lets you learn to be at peace with only yourself; that you can go to a nice restaurant alone, that not every empty moment needs to be filled with conversation or with the company of a friend. You do laundry at home by yourself and you don’t need an escort right? Just listen to your own thoughts and slowly become more confident and self-aware.
4. It brings you closer to local people
When you’re not hanging off the back of your best mate it is easier to meet locals. Travelling independently is always a conversation starter and it naturally brings you closer to the country you are exploring because it shows you are not after a typical packaged group tour. Many times I have been invited for a beer, dinner or to sing Russian karaoke!
5. Freedom with no judgement
Be your best self and revel in the ability to do whatever you want. Life is short and your time travelling is even shorter so no guilt for wanting to skip a ‘must do’ tourist attraction because your mate has a serious case of FOMO if they are not metres away from the Mona Lisa. Whether you want to dress up for a typical day exploring or want to have a lazy day and do nothing, no judgements here.
For me, I love the freedom to change my plans, to wander a city aimlessly or change countries the next day without having to refer to someone else.