Why Everyone Should Experience Solo Traveling At Least Once
To a lot of people, leaving their home and traveling to a foreign country with other people, is a big deal. It means encountering new experiences, unfamiliar culture and learning new habits. Not to mention having to cope with language and food challenges. So the idea of moving overseas alone can sound a bit weird, out of place and even dangerous.
But when you’re traveling with friends and family, it can be a rewarding experience as you interact on the trip, bond and share laughter from new sights and experiences.
Have you ever laughed while alone? So, it might seem traveling alone can be less enriching without our favourite friends to share things with us.
And yet many seasoned travellers can share memories of fantastic solo trips, of extraordinary experiences in faraway places when they set out alone and saw and met things and people that they might never have done otherwise. We list here some ten reasons you should travel alone at least once in your lifetime.
1. Finding your rhythm
One of the most important aspects of traveling alone is that you get to develop your rhythm. Your schedules become yours entirely to decide. Our own lives often get entangled when we try to accommodate other people’s schedules.
When you travel alone, you can eat at any restaurant you like, and walk out of a movie you don’t want to watch. Go for a swim or read a book inside your room. Doing what you love best without having to get distracted by others is a great experience when you travel solo.
2. You learn to become organized
When you travel alone, you become more practical at organizing yourself. You also learn how best to look after yourself. Everyone has met grown-ups who appear clumsy in one way or another.
You may find people who arrive at a foreign city and fail to change the time to the local setting. They will continue working with the previous timeline. Or misplacing bags at the airport. Or forgetting to change money to the local currency. Everyone comes from a different background, and whether we like it or not, not everyone is organized.
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But when you travel alone, you will learn how to organize your affairs and when things go wrong you will be forced to accept it and move on. That some things cannot be helped.
3. You can control finances
When traveling alone, you gain complete control of your finances and how to manage them. If you want to get a room at the Paris Ritz, you go for it. And if you’re going to buy tickets for Formula One Racing, there is no one to say No. As a solo traveller, you have the last word.
4. You want to keep on traveling
Traveling alone keeps you wanting to move some more. Moving is addictive. And the freedom you get when you travel solo makes you want to move again. From the strength you discover within yourself to the confidence you gain while going at your own pace.
5. Unique service at hotels
When you dine alone, you receive more attention and excellent service from hotel staff. People consider solo travellers courageous, and besides admiring them, when they make it known they’re alone, they can get the best room in the hotel or a free drink on the house.
6. You get to know yourself better
When you travel alone, you discover your potentials better. You learn what makes you tick. And eventually get to face who you are. What you want to do with your life and your priorities.
One of the most fabulous friends you’ll ever get is yourself. When traveling alone, you learn to slow down, spend quality time alone and reflect. And this explains the surprise change of demeanour people notice when you get back home.
7. You meet new friends abroad
When you travel alone, you can count on meeting and striking friendships with other solo travellers. You get to share stories and realize just how much you share in common and you get to know you are never truly alone at all.
8. Traveling solo empowers you
If going solo makes you more smart and organized, then moving alone empowers you power and authority. Many of us grow timid when ordering breakfast for the first time in a foreign hotel. But the moment you take the plunge and set aside your fears, you will feel a sense of empowerment.
When you get back home, this new-found empowerment can make you tackle more challenging tasks that you left behind.
9. Forced out of the comfort zone
Whether you get lost as a group in a foreign city or missed an outstanding concert, when you’re many, you get to experience a safe environment to do things with reckless abandon. But when doing things alone forces you to abandon your comfort zone to gather thoughts and figure things out independently.
How do you get on with life when all your usual safety nets vanish into thin air? How do you face strangers in a foreign city? When you get forced out of your comfort zone, you might get scared, but you will gain confidence the moment you realize that you can survive all by yourself.
10. You mature fast
When you travel alone, especially long-term travel for months or years, it becomes more than an adventure. It is an opportunity for personal growth and development, and you also mature faster. Apart from the shock in encountering strange experiences, traveling solo in itself requires courage and bravery.
You are all alone out there, and you have to survive through it all. Sometimes running out of supplies can teach how to share. Sometimes getting lonely can show how to love others. And when you learn to overcome challenges by yourself, you mature faster.
Of course, things will always go wrong when traveling solo. You may lose your passport. The ferry may sink and drown a few of your fellow travellers, or you might get food poisoning from that sumptuous meal you partook in a fancy restaurant. But when alone you’re still exploring an incredible destination, so you need not feel miserable.
You accept and move on, search for solutions and try to make the most out of your solo trip.