Before 2015, I never would have thought about traveling alone. In fact, there were many activities I wouldn’t ever have considered doing alone: dining out, watching movies, attending public events or social gatherings to name a few. My first experience traveling solo happened by chance in 2015. I had flown to South Korea and after some unfortunate events, I found myself all on my own with 5 months to go until my return flight. I was scared and anxious. It was very challenging at first, but I toughed it out. The experience has taught me so much and made me a more confident person abroad and at home. Aside from traveling with my boyfriend, going solo is the only way I’ll travel. Here are the reasons I love it, and you will too!
Being in charge of the itinerary and budget
We have all encountered the difficulties of planning a trip with other people. Time constraints and budgets need to be considered and compromises need to be made. The time it takes to reach a consensus before booking may take too long and the transportation or accommodations are no longer available! It is frustrating, to say the least.
Traveling solo allows you freedom from all of that. Do what you want, when you want, and all without the need to negotiate or compromise the details of your dream voyage. It’s liberating to be able to see the world on your own schedule. Spend as much or as little time seeing the sights without considering another person’s travel goals, and change plans on a whim if you feel like it. Stay at a luxury hotel or cheap and questionable hostel if you so desire. It’s really all up to you!
Meet new people and make new friends
One of the biggest reasons people tell me they don’t want to travel solo is because they are worried they will feel lonely. It can be daunting to go to some new place without familiar faces, but it doesn’t need to feel that way!
It’s not difficult to meet people at lively cafes or bars. Often, you’ll bump into another solo traveler or some friendly locals that would love to hear about why you’re traveling on your own. Being a solo traveler automatically makes you more interesting and gives you something to talk about to break the ice.
Browsing Google+ and Facebook Events in the area is another great way to meet people that have common interests. You might find yourself catching Pokemon on a sunny day in Hyde Park, or having an intense tournament of foosball in Itaewon!
Introverted? No problem. If you need to give yourself “me time” and aren’t traveling to network, no problem! You are the master of your itinerary and you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to.
Face New Challenges and Be More Confident
You will face new challenges. It is inevitable that there will be something new you’ve never had to deal with before. It’s nice to be able to lean on someone when troubles arise, but there is so much satisfaction in overcoming challenges on your own. Facing things head on shows you what you’re capable of and really builds your confidence!
The new skills you pick up make future travels even easier because you are likely to face similar challenges that you’ll be more than prepared to conquer. Figuring out public transportation, learning bits of a new language to order off a menu, and dealing with unexpected changes will be child’s play.
You will also carry your new skills and confidence back home with you. Never be stopped from going to an event or having yourself an outing just because no one is available. Go out there and enjoy yourself!
Seeing your life in a new perspective
It’s so easy to be caught up in your own world and the humdrum routine of life. Traveling alone will open your eyes to a whole new world and put your life into perspective. The people you meet and the stories you collect add so much value to your life. It is very cliche, but you appreciate the things you have in life so much more. Everyone hears about the struggles of people in developing countries, but until you see it for yourself or connect the human component of the story, you won’t fully realize how much more you have.
On a happier and more positive note, you will see so many beautiful and interesting things that might even inspire you to do something completely new in life! Always keep an open mind because you never know what the day will present to you.
The list of places you’ve always wanted to visit can get a little bit shorter if you just take the plunge and book that ticket! It might be the only way you travel afterward.
If you’ve traveled solo, share your experience in the comment section below. If you haven’t yet, what is stopping you?!
Live large. Live Jennormously!