Traveling Alone: The Advantages of Solo Travel
The Alhambra in Granada, the pyramids in Egypt, the Statue of Liberty in New York, we all dream of seeing some of these world-famous monuments one day, but most of us don’t dream of seeing them alone. Traveling solo is often the last option when it comes to venturing out and seeing the world. There are plenty of things that can deter you from traveling alone as a female including safety concerns, fear, embarrassment, or anxiety. I remember feeling a bit ashamed before my first solo trip, as if I were some kind of loser that had no one to travel with. This was often confirmed by the confusion and shock in people’s eyes when I told them I was traveling alone. But as I continued traveling solo and stopped caring about what other people thought of me, I realized that the lie I battled with couldn’t be further from the truth. Sometimes society can regard traveling alone as sad, but in my opinion, what’s sad is waiting around for other people to clear their schedule like being single and waiting by the phone for some dude to call. Um, no thank you! There is no right or wrong way to travel and there’s no ultimate guide to tell you how to do things. You can travel with colleagues, friends, family, and yes…even alone. If you’re ready to dive head first into your first solo trip, here are some awesome advantages to look forward to.
Traveling Alone Means You’re the Boss
Traveling solo means you get to create your own schedule and do what YOU want, when you want. We’ve all been there: You’re dying to go to Los Angeles, so you start making plans and invite friends to come along. Next thing you know, your original plan of street tacos, skate parks, and cute pics of the Hollywood sign have been tossed aside and instead you’re horseback riding at some random ranch in Texas. No shade to Texas, ranches, or horseback riding but changes in plans come with the territory of group travel. However, when you’re traveling alone, you’re the one who gets to decide and if there’s ever a time when it’s okay to be selfish, it’s when you’re traveling solo. If you wanna climb that mountain, you can do that. If you’re feeling a bit run-down and would rather skip the excursion and relax by the beach, you just let your little heart decide. There’s complete freedom and no compromise. The trip is your oyster and you can do with it what you want.
Traveling Alone Gives You Moments of Solitude and Self-discovery
We all live full lives. Killing it on the job and taking care of family all while trying to maintain a healthy social life is no easy feat. Getting caught up in the day to day so much that we forget to take breaks is a comfortable habit to fall into. It’s rare sometimes to have a moment alone to do some self-reflection or just be. No matter how long the trip, traveling solo can give you that moment to be with yourself and intentionally do some inward discovery, show gratitude, or even analyze goals and set new ones. Take yourself out to a fancy dinner or spend time in nature, whatever you need to do. Positivity and self-care have a domino effect and the when you are good it will naturally trickle down to other areas and influence those around you. Plus, it helps you gain a different perspective on yourself and others. If things are rough in your personal life, maybe it’s a good time to take a solo trip to de-stress and set intentional actions for your return home.
Traveling Alone Gives You a Confidence Boost
As women, there’s a lot of pressure to be perfect and balance it all. We have body image stress to work out and look good with the perfect outfit and makeup on point. We have family stress to get the guy, get married and then have a family with the white picket fence, plus bring home the bacon to help support all these people. It’s enough to make us feel like we’re lacking and deflate our confidence. But there’s nothing like strutting through life with complete faith in yourself and your abilities. Having a lack of confidence can negatively affect your life and give way to fear. Sometimes when you’re traveling alone you have to navigate through things like getting around town, exchanging currency, and trying to understand another language in unfamiliar grounds. This isn’t always the case, especially if you’re traveling locally, but doing all of those things on your own can be a real confidence boost. It’s challenging enough to conquer them with other people, but there’s something to be said about attempting them without the safety net of others. Traveling solo can test your courage and could be the thing that gives you a backbone and leaves you victoriously pumping your fists in the air and proclaiming, like Beyoncé, that you woke up like this.
Traveling Alone is Great for Practicing Hobbies
We all have those activities that we do for pleasure that enrich our lives. With only so many hours in the day, having a hobby is really important in life. It can help reduce stress and can provide a creative outlet. Traveling alone is great for hobbying and if you can take your activities on the road with you, it allows you to go ham without someone there to tell you: “That’s enough now, time to stop.” One of my hobbies is photography and I can’t tell you how many times I have spent hours and even skipped meals just to capture the right moment when I’ve been traveling solo. And the best part of it is that I can wake up at the crack of dawn or spend several hours in one location to shoot, just because I feel like it. Hobbying on a humdrum day is great already, but there’s something special about knitting on the train in Italy from one town to another or photographing the hell out of Sydney in solitude. You could even organize a whole trip around a hobby. My dad is a big fan of cricket (the sport, not the insect) and would take lots of trips around the Caribbean to see tournaments and matches. If cooking helps you slow down in life, there’s nothing stopping you from booking a solo adventure to Valencia to learn how to make the best Spanish paella or doing a surf camp in Brazil to perfect your waves.
Traveling Alone Can Be Cheaper
Group travel can be awesome! Going out on the town and painting it red with your girls or creating epic memories on an amazing adventure with your family. But we all know that money can be a source of drama when you’re traveling with others. There’s that one friend who insists on staying in the finest penthouse suite or the one that wants to split everything, but orders four more glasses of wine at dinner than you did. We all have different traveling styles and it can be a struggle to keep everything even plus not let it blow up into a bigger issue. Traveling solo can help cut down the costs, especially if you’re usually the one coughing up the cash for purchases. Being on your own involves one ticket for transportation, eating for one, one museum entry, etc. If you’re going on an international or extended trip, the costs do add up, but the luxury of going it on your own means you can cut corners where you see fit to keep a little extra in your pocket or splurge when you feel like treating yourself.
It takes a lot of gumption to get out there and start traveling solo. But as with everything in life, there’s always gifts waiting for you on the other side of fear. Traveling solo has so many benefits and if you’ve been afraid to take the plunge, use these advantages as a motivator and don’t let other people’s schedule stand in your way of traveling. Leave a comment below and tell me your favorite solo spot or what you’re planning for your next unaccompanied adventure. Don’t forget to join the party on IG for more travel fun!
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