There can be a lot of stigma around solo travel, especially as a woman. I often hear people say it is unsafe, lonely, or they simply raise their eyebrows in not-so-subtle disapproval. I’ve had fantastic trips with family and friends, but I absolutely love travelling on my own. Of course, travelling alone can be unsafe if you’re not careful, but most destinations are very secure for women travelling on their own as long as you take the right precautions. I’ve often felt safer alone than with a group (you are less likely to stand out) and some of my favourite trips have been on my own. There are so many advantages to travelling solo, here are a few of them:
- You connect more deeply with your surroundings
When you’re travelling alone you don’t have friends or family members to turn to for familiarity or cultural security, you are completely immersed in your environment. Yes, it can be daunting, but it also makes travelling more thrilling. Because you don’t have familiar faces to turn to or distract from your surroundings, you meet new people and connect with places more deeply, so every experience feels more meaningful and profound.
- You get a confidence boost
Travelling solo forcing you out of your comfort zone as you have to tackle problem-solving and decision making on your own. There’s no one else there to step in when you have a sticky situation, so it’s up to you to handle whatever challenges come your way. Stressful as it is, after successfully navigating a new city or holding a conversation in another language on your own you will feel such a boost of confidence. Once you’ve accomplishing a solo trip, the challenges of everyday life at home feel much more manageable.
- You can be master of the itinerary
Travelling solo is so liberating and relaxing because you are completely in charge of the itinerary. Travelling with others can be hectic because have to accommodate everyone’s different tastes, compromise on the schedule. When you’re travelling alone you can be completely selfish and do exactly what you want, at the pace you want, no drama or negotiation.
- It’s more cost efficient
It isn’t hard to figure out that generally travelling solo costs less than in a group. Plus, you have the ability to decide exactly how much you spend and what you spend it on (and with more extra cash to treat yourself). Also, hotels and museums sometimes give discounts to people travelling alone.
- It’s easier to plan
It is infinitely easier to plan a trip on your own than with a group of people. You don’t have the hassle of organisation and logistics, you don’t have to struggle over dates and group deals, or wait for someone to have vacation time, you can just go.
- You learn a lot about yourself
Nowadays we are almost never on our own. Even when we are alone we are always engaging through the internet and social media with the restless buzz of connectivity. Solo travel gives you a chance to escape that for a while and embrace solitude. Travelling solo somewhere new helps you to disconnect from the buzz and slow down in a way that you can’t when you’re travelling with others. You can really spend time with yourself and delve into your thoughts, dreams, ambitions, or just simply be. Learning to enjoy your own company is one of the most valuable lessons you can gain from travelling alone.
- You can dedicate time to your hobbies + projects
When you’re travelling with someone else, you most of your time talking, planning etc. When you’re on your own you have a lot of free time to fill, which you can use to tap into your hobbies and projects, free from the demands or distractions of others. For me, that means reading as many books as I want, writing, working on my blog and other creative projects that take my fancy.
- Absence makes the heart grow fonder
It’s easy to take your day to day life for granted when you’re constantly immersed in it. Solo travel gives you a chance to shrug routine and have some space from your family and friends (we all need it every once and a while). By the end of your travels, you’ll come home with a fresh perspective and appreciate the comforts of home that much more.
I’d love to hear why you love travelling alone + about your solo travel experiences, let me know in the comments!