Travelling is becoming more and more popular among people of all ages and backgrounds, and with travel arrangements becoming so much easier and convenient with the use of smartphone technology, theres never been a better time to take the plunge.
Deciding to take time out from your day job and travel can be very daunting, especially if you are making this decision alone, however there are many advantages to travelling solo, so here’s a selection to reassure you that you won’t regret your decision.
- Independence and Spontaneity
Travelling alone means you have absolutely no responsibility over anyone other than yourself. It means that you don’t have to compromise travel plans or discuss arrangements, because you have the opportunity to tailor your travel to your own needs and desires. This can be very rewarding, as a lot of hard work goes in to making travel arrangements, and when plans pay off that you only have yourself to thank for, it is a very proud moment of achievement, and can really build your self-confidence. Solo travelling also opens up a whole new world of spontaneity, meaning you have absolute freedom to make on the spot decisions and change plans without discussion. More often than not, these spontaneous moments will lead to absolutely fantastic experiences and opportunities you would never be able to plan for or pre-determine. So just go with what feels right, and be prepared to experience things you could never have imagined.
2. Meeting Others.
When travelling solo, you will find it far easier to connect with other travellers and make really great friends. When you go on a family outing or travel with a partner, you’re far more likely to make plans together, go everywhere together, and spend your time communicating with one another. Of course, you may well meet people along the way, but you have each other, and this is apparent not only to you but to others, too. They can see that you are comfortable in each others’ company, and don’t need anything more. They may well enjoy spending time with you, but are less likely to invite you to adventure with them, as they’ll assume you already have your own plans. Travelling alone, however, attracts the attention of other travellers. They are far more likely to welcome you in, whether you meet a group of people who want to invite you on adventures with them or even just a trip to the local pub, or whether you converse with other solo travellers, you’ll find you connect far more easily with others when you’re alone, and you have a much higher chance of these people becoming very good friends!
3. Getting Around.
Travelling, of course, involves a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, whether moving around one country or hopping from city to city, transport is a massive part of what you’re doing, and although travelling with someone can make these journeys seem shorter and easier, because the organisation and planning is shared, you’ll actually find that travelling solo makes for better manoeuvring. For instance, hitch-hiking, which is very popular in a lot of places for travellers as a way of getting around, is far easier as a soloist. You’ll find people have more tolerance to make room for one as opposed to a group, and you’ll also find they’ll be more interested in you and your story, and why you’re out doing what you’re doing! As well as this, journeys on public transport are more likely to be flexible for a lone traveller, for example if you’re looking to hop off just short of a main stop, as long as you speak nicely to the driver, you’re sure to get a little flexibility, because you can converse on a more personal, one-to-one level with people, and they’ll feel more inclined to help.
4. Never Stop Learning.
One thing I found as a solo traveller that I really loved was that travelling alone means you never stop learning! Whether tips and tricks, local go-to’s, the way of the land, the language, the culture, or even things about yourself, you’re always learning! Although travelling solo is very exciting, and those left behind in their office jobs are envious of you, it’s very unlikely you’ll go and not come across a difficult situation. And these are the times when you really learn about yourself and your own capabilities. You’ll find yourself in a situation, and only you can solve it. You don’t have anyone else to lay the stress on or to go to for solutions, and when you push yourself to new limits and into new territory, you’ll really come to realise your own capabilities, and this will only make you a stronger, more confident person. And these are valuable lessons that you’ll carry throughout life. Regardless of whether you continue to travel or settle down, I’ve no doubt that these experiences, where you pushed yourself to new boundaries and learnt what you are capable of, will continue to creep into the forefront of your mind when facing any of life’s challenges, and you’ll be able to reassure yourself that, ‘if I got through that alone’, or ‘if I overcame that without any help’, then I know I am more than capable of getting through this. You’ll definitely come out of a solo travel trip more confident of your own abilities, and with only yourself to thank.
5. Story Teller.
One of the most wonderful things about solo travel that makes you wealthy in new ways is the abundance of stories you’ll come back with. You’ll keep friends and family listening, telling them stories of exceptional places, incredible people and wonderful experiences. These stories will be so special to you, and you’ll feel even more proud of them knowing that you made it all happen! So, enjoy the moment, and never stop adding to your story book.