While it can be quite daunting and sometimes lonely going about your travels alone, there are many benefits to travelling solo. I’ve compiled a list of the 5 best things going solo can mean for you.
- Do what YOU want.
While travelling with friends is mostly great, it can get a bit painful when you have different ideas of fun. They might have planned to spend the entire trip in local pubs trying the local brews, while you had envisaged going on copious tours of the local museums. Usually this means you have to trade-off on activities everyone wants to do, but it often means you have to give up a few of the quirkier things you wanted to do/see. If it’s just you in the situation, there’s no negotiating so you can get up, make a plan, and actually see everything only your list!
- You’re forced to make friends.
While travelling with your bestie means you won’t ever be that awkward chick in the corner drinking alone, it could also mean you’re may be less likely to go out and initiate conversation with new people. I have experienced both group and solo travel, and from experience, have found you tend to stick to your own ‘posse’ when travelling with buddies. While travelling solo for the European summer of 2009, I met more people in a short few months than I ever imagined, as I was forced to put myself out there and say hi to the random people standing around me at the local watering hole.
- No inhibitions.
This may sound strange, but have you ever dreamed of just letting go of all the restrictions and expectations imposed by your life and reinventing yourself? Travelling alone means that you can be the person you always wanted to be, without the risk of your friends asking you why your acting strange, or out of character. Being alone is sometimes a breath of fresh air – if you learn to be comfortable in your own skin. You can really live out the crazy dreams that you couldn’t get away with back home in your 9-5 job!
- No imposed time limits.
We’ve all been there…. You’ve planned the perfect day out of things to do/see/experience. You’ve got it all worked out – just the way you want – and then realise you will have to be back for that thing your friend scheduled, but forgot to mention til the last minute! If it’s just you, you only have yourself to worry about and can dictate your own time! No last minute, unannounced changes, unless you feel like it of course!
- Don’t like it? Leave tomorrow!
Ever rocked up to the ‘must do,’ ‘up and coming’ new destination only to be disappointed upon arrival when it doesn’t live up to the travel mag photos or trip advisor reviews? If you’re a solo sandy, there’s nothing stopping you from getting back on that bus, or booking the next flight out of there, to somewhere else! Sometimes the excitement of spontaneity is the most refreshing experience that reinforces your freedom, travel addiction and sense of adventure!