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Why Everyone Should Travel Solo At Least Once
by Monica Houghton
These days my news feed is filled with pictures of solo adventurers taking on the world, heading to one gorgeous destination after another. Even with a ton of positive press on setting out to see the world on your own, concerns still arise. Safety concerns, loneliness, and boredom can make solo travel scary or even unappealing. For women, traveling solo can be even more challenging with gender inequality issues around the globe. So, why is it a good idea to travel somewhere alone?
I’ve traveled for business, in groups, with family, friends and by myself. As someone who values experiences, I find each of these types of travel to be advantageous in different ways. That said, ever since my first solo adventure, I have always been an advocate of encouraging others to give it a whirl. It has hands down offered me the best experiences of my life. There is an endless list of benefits to jet setting alone and I want to help spread the inspiration that really anyone can and should try it. Below are just a few examples of the impact solo travel can have.
Independence & Empowerment
Travelers who go on solo adventures often talk about how empowered they feel when they return from a trip. They usually come back a new person with a fresh perspective on life. Solo travel represents freedom, independence, and of course wanderlust. It also allows you to create your own schedule of everything you want to do, including when and how you want to do it!
Some consider solo travel as a brave endeavor. I don’t think of going solo as brave because if you plan properly, you will be ready for whatever comes your way. The more research you do on a destination (safety, cultural norms, language, etc.), the better prepared you will be to handle anything. Even if you’re not fully prepared, stepping out of your comfort zone by traveling somewhere alone will help you gain confidence to take on the world. Given you’re entering the unknown, it will offer opportunities to learn how to face various types of scenarios.
. It allows you to reflect on your decisions and discover more about what makes you, you. Spending even a minimal time in solitude will allow you to embark on an inward journey of self-discovery.
Connections & New Friendships
I think there is a misconception that solo travel means you’re always alone. While some prefer to be alone, you can also make new friends on your journey. Travel can lead to exciting adventures and meaningful experiences with complete strangers that have a long-lasting impact. Nowadays, there are plenty of apps that offer opportunities to make connections with like-minded explorers. Beyond apps, solo travel will automatically throw you into social settings and opportunities to get to know others and other cultures.
I know there are people out there who say they aren’t interested in solo travel because they’d rather go with someone they know. There’s nothing wrong with preferring group travel – I like traveling with friends too. However, I do find myself cringing any time I hear someone cancels a trip because a friend couldn’t go. The world is just too big to have to wait around for someone to go with you every time you want to go on an adventure. That coupled with knowing how amazing solo travel can be, it would just be a shame! Solo travel is the ultimate freedom as you can go when you want, where you want and at a budget you can afford. You and only you get to decide.