The Benefits of Solo Travel
You get to do exactly what you want
FOMO, that is the ‘Fear Of Missing Out,’ is a real thing. It’s very rare to be completely aligned with your travel buddy. One of you might experience severe jet lag and need some recovery time, maybe you have slightly different interests or tastes in food, or be more adventurous. But when you’re travelling, even if you’re really not feeling that hike, you might push yourself just in case you miss out on the most amazing thing that your companion has ever experienced…while you slept in.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, you’ll probably feel grateful for being pushed, but there is something very liberating about making your own decisions and sticking by them. You won’t have too many regrets because you probably won’t hear about what you missed out on. You’re free to do exactly what you want when you want.
Getting outside of your comfort zone builds confidence
Nobody ever grows in their comfort zone. It’s empowering to know you don’t need anyone else to help you realise the goals you set your mind to. But that’s sometimes easier said than done. You might worry about your safety, particularly if you’re a woman, or maybe you lack confidence.
That’s okay! If you’re thinking about travelling somewhere alone because no one can join you or you’re actively trying to build up that confidence, well, you’ve already made the hardest decision. The rest is the fun part.
You WILL meet people along the way, you WILL feel a sense of pride every time you start a conversation, ask someone for help, try a new dish, join an excursion or even if you just make it through a tough day. Remind yourself that it’s all part of the adventure, it’s all on you and you can absolutely trust yourself to have the exact kind of trip that YOU want.
You’re more likely to be open to meeting new people
Travelling with someone you know - even if you’re an open, chatty kind of person - tends to envelop you in a bit of a bubble. It’s much more intimidating for an outsider to strike up a conversation with multiple people who clearly have a close bond.
You give out a different kind of energy when you’re travelling alone, and locals and other travellers are likely to pick up on that. This opens up not just the opportunity to make new friends but offers to check out things to do you might not otherwise have known about. Every new person you meet opens up a path to a new adventure.
Get to know YOU
There is no better opportunity to reacquaint yourself with you than when you’re on holiday. It’s not the you who is busy or tired from work, the you who is anxious about not seeing your family or friends enough, the you who is thinking a million things a minute with a to-do list the length of your arm. Travelling offers a break from all of that, that’s why we feel so free when we travel.
When you travel solo and the noise from life has melted away, you’re left with the opportunity to do some serious self-reflection. Take in your surroundings and connect with the entire journey that got you to this point; what do you love about your life, and what habits would you prefer to leave behind? Ask yourself important questions and don’t shy away from answering them honestly and without judgement.
Take a journal to get your thoughts down - it will provide some companionship when you have tougher moments. You will learn plenty of new things about yourself and a new mindset is the best kind of souvenir to take back home, too.
Prepare to be inspired
Travelling solo forces you to be present. You let your guard down a bit more when you’re travelling with someone because there’ll always be someone who has your back. You have your wits about you when you’re alone, but rather than letting that be based on fear for your safety (being aware though, of course) let it force you into the moment. Take in all the sights and smells and check in with how you feel and then let that drive where you want to go and what you want to do. You never know what you might discover and what it might inspire.
Improve your language skills
Trying to speak to locals in their language goes a long, long way! They will certainly appreciate the effort and it’s a great ice breaker if you are a little shy. Don’t worry about looking silly - even if you get it wrong, you’ll probably have a great laugh about it all. Don’t forget to repay the favour though, if they’re interested in practising your language, too.
Become a better problem solver
There’s a certain kind of freedom to be found in having no one to rely on but yourself. There’s also a certain level of fear that comes with that. But fear is good! You might need a moment, take a deep breath and then it’s time to work it out. Mostly because there isn’t really any other choice.
Getting on the wrong train is only a setback. Needing to ask for help will force you to put the local language into practise. If you lose something, you’ll figure out a way to cope without it (even if it’s your passport, as inconvenient as that would be!) What matters most is your attitude. As long as you do your very best to stay calm, you’ll be surprised at how a solution will usually present itself.
Still not ready to go it alone? Joining a group tour is a great alternative!
If you’re still not quite ready to set off alone, there is another option that you can choose to build up to that point. Our group tours often largely consist of single travellers but we keep the groups small at a maximum of 12. This way, you can get the benefits of travelling solo but without any of the concerns that arise when you decide to travel abroad alone.
You benefit from the safety that a group provides and the guide's insider knowledge - you won’t have to stumble upon experiences or get them from a guidebook like everyone else. We always strive to take you off the beaten track and aim to get you under the skin of each destination with plenty of immersive experiences to enjoy along the way.