Solo travel can be liberating
I think it is so important to highlight how liberating solo travel feels due to the fact that this aspect of traveling alone is not discussed often enough. As much of a blast as it is to travel with a group of friends, it can be refreshing to have a change of scenery. Solo traveling can alleviate the stress of doing activities that other travel mates might want to do and allows you to explore the sights that you’re itching to see the most! There’s been times I’ve traveled with a group of friends where I missed out on some of the experiences I wanted to make due to the reality of everyone else having different preferences on what they’d like to do and see. Going solo allows you to be free to travel at your own pace and fulfills the specific experience that you desire.
Solo travel allows for spontaneity
Tying into the idea of solo traveling being liberating, the option of being spontaneous is an added benefit of solo travel. Being that you’re the sole decision-maker in your traveling can open you up to taking more memorable detours during your trips. See an open-air market that catches your eye as you’re headed towards a city landmark? Why not check it out! Trekking up a forest path and spot a gorgeous view that you’d like to admire for a while? Nothing is holding you back! Some of the most memorable experiences I’ve had were due to acting on spontaneous impulse. Solo traveling gives you the opportunity to experience a freeform vacation, allowing your mind to wander beyond the scope of your set plans.
Solo travel builds self-confidence
Beginning your first solo trip may make you anxious, but making this decision is the first step outside your comfort zone, allowing for personal growth and confidence. I remember booking my first solo trip three months into my study abroad year in Germany, feeling a bit overwhelmed, and doubting my abilities to navigate a foreign country on my own. This is totally normal! Once you start traveling, you begin to surprise yourself with your capabilities and realize your hidden strengths. Pushing the boundaries that we often limit ourselves to allows for us to develop confidence in our abilities. Seemingly small accomplishments, such as learning a city layout on Google Maps or planning daily excursions, are all part of the solo travel experience. Realizing that you can be successful in these situations is the first step to overcoming fear and becoming more confident in navigating the world around you.
Solo travel doesn’t have to be lonely
But don’t you get lonely traveling by yourself? Not necessarily! Solo traveling can be an opportunity to open yourself up to new people who you may not have normally talked to; it just depends on what you want out of it and what you choose to make of it. On one of my first solo trips to Austria, I spent two hours talking on a long-distance bus to the stranger sitting next to me and it was one of the deepest, meaningful conversations I’ve ever had. That same trip, I couch-surfed with a girl who taught me how to make a vegan latte and recommended some of the best “hidden gems” to visit in her city. Unexpected friendships really are the beauty of solo traveling. Solo traveling can really allow you to become outgoing and opens you up to the possibility of making new friends, making your travels even more unforgettable.
Solo travel can make you more thoughtful
While planning trips with friends or family is always fun, sometimes it’s nice to have a little alone time to really soak in everything around you. Traveling solo gives you a different outlook on your surroundings and allows you to really meditate on your experiences, without getting distracted by the bustle of others around you. Gazing up at a forest canopy or visiting a historical monument can be even more meaningful in the presence of yourself. As much as I love traveling with my friends, I enjoy mixing some solo trips into my travels, especially for locations that I’d prefer to experience in a more calm and introspective atmosphere. All in all, I think this form of traveling can be a great way to spark an alternative curiosity in your surroundings and build a deeper understanding of how you interact with the world.
At the end of the day, solo traveling is all about catering travel specifically to yourself and what you may need or want. It can be an opportunity to be outgoing and meet new people, or it can be a chill time to spend with yourself. It’s all up to you! Hopefully, you’re now inspired to switch your travel routine up and explore the possibilities that adventuring solo has to offer!