I remember doing a Solo Birthday Trip in 2014 touring 10 countries and 20 cities in Europe within two weeks. It remains one of my most memorable travel experiences till date.
One of the major highlights for me was that It was a train trip (which meant I could see more) and proper planning meant I didn’t have to break the bank.
There are many reasons people travel or go on holiday alone; they haven’t found anyone they wish to travel with, they embrace the challenge or they simply like their own company. Whatever the reason, there is nothing wrong with travelling solo.
For some, travelling alone may seem daunting. Questions like: “Is it safe?”, “What happens if something goes wrong and I’m stranded all alone?” and “Will I get lonely?” all crop up at some point in the process. Yet, for many it is these exact things that make it such an adventure. The simple desire to know you can do it is probably what attracts people most – other than seeing more of the world and taking some well deserved time out.
It’s important to be safe. As long as you are aware of any potential risks, are always prepared and stay sensible, there’s no need to worry. And what about the countless benefits?
1. IT’S GOOD TO BE ALONE SOMETIMES:
Being lonely every now and again can help you to evaluate the people in your life, making you realise who you miss and who is important. Plus, facing loneliness head on can be a great exercise in life! Many people fear loneliness, yet learning to love your own company and understand your own character is very liberating and can help you to grow as a person.
2. YOU ARE FREE TO DO THINGS YOUR WAY:
When you have no one else to please, then you don’t have to compromise. You can do what you want, when you want.
Travelling solo is a liberating experience and you don’t have to fit in to anyone’s schedule but your own, meaning you can stay at a place longer or move on quicker if you want to. Sometimes the best experiences come out of the blue, an impromptu meeting or stumbling upon something you didn’t expect!
Plus, you don’t have to put up with a travel companion hogging the bathroom or moaning about how tired they are, and you can sunbathe for as long as you like. You can be as selfish as you like, and it feels awesome!
3. YOUR EXPERIENCE WILL BE PERSONAL:
As a solo traveler, you will be the only person to have the exact experience you are having. That’s special, right?
You will engage with the locals in a way that you couldn’t with other people there too, you will have to make decisions about things yourself, and you will have to be responsible for your own enjoyment and as a result, you will go on a journey that is like no other.
4. YOU WILL SEE AND DO MORE:
When you are alone you will immerse yourself into experiences and cultures more. You will take in more of your surroundings because you have less distractions and you may even get more done because you’ll have created more time in the day.
5. YOU WILL DISCOVER YOURSELF:
I tend to enjoy my photography hobby the most when I’m away.
There is something liberating about being somewhere where no one knows you. You can act how you like and no one will judge you, or post it on social media to embarrass you! You can shed all the baggage you carry around at home and be the person you want to be – you can even bring that person home with you. You may even start a new hobby like meditation or yoga.
6. YOU CAN READ MORE:
Whether you’re reading a ‘chick lit’ by the pool, a pile of autobiographies on the beach, or travel guides of the local area, you will have the time to relax and read. A good tip for dining alone is to take a book – it will help you fill the time and give you a confidence boost too!
7. YOU WILL MAKE NEW FRIENDS:
Other than amazing memories, the biggest thing you will take away from travelling by yourself are all the new friends you’ve made! When travelling or holidaying it’s natural to talk to other people because you are more relaxed and often curious about other people’s journeys. It’s a great way to socialise in what can otherwise be an isolating experience. Something as simple as going for a coffee with someone new or having a chat on the beach can spark new friendships or even personal relationships.
8. YOU WILL GET SOME SPACE:
We all need space sometimes. Time away from our day to day lives, work routine and even people. A holiday offers time to think, heal and decision make. A solo journey can really help you refocus and find answers to questions like “What do I really want in life?” You may find the answers become clearer when you are away.
9. YOU WON’T MISS OUT:
It’s amazing how quickly you can rack up the number of places you’ve been to! If you decide to go away for longer, you could tick off several stops on the tourist trail or even go on a cruise.
10. YOU WILL FEEL A MASSIVE SENSE OF ACHIEVEMENT:
As well as making others proud, you will ultimately be proud of yourself. You may have faced your biggest fears, met life long friends, gained newfound confidence or even started planning your next trip while you were away and that’s great!