10 Reasons You Should Travel Solo
I get a lot of people asking why I travel alone. Yes, I do have friends. No, I am not worried. Yes, my parents know where I am. Some people act like it is this incredible thing, to be a solo female traveler, but honestly, I couldn’t imagine traveling long term any other way. I don’t want to wait around for a friend to do this trip with me, when I am happy to do it on my own!
Anyways, here are 10 reasons that traveling alone is the best way to travel.
You Decide Where to Go
When I travel, I am always changing my plans, figuring out where to go and what to do as I get to places. I love having total control of where I want to go (and where I don’t want to go). Sometimes I really like a place and want to stay there longer, sometimes I want to go to obscure places that no one has heard of- when you travel alone, you get to make all the decisions!
This one is huge- I really like to travel cheaply- partly out of stubbornness, partly because I don’t like spending money if I don’t have to spend the money. When you travel alone, you don’t have to worry about anyone else’s budget (or if it is higher or lower than yours!) If a place is within an hour (or two hour) walk, I will walk instead of cab/bus. On the other hand, sometimes I like to treat myself (massages in Thailand, for instance). When I travel alone, I don’t have to worry about anyone else’s budget except my own!
Meet Amazing People
But Sarah, don’t you get lonely? Nope! Not really. Obviously I miss all my friends and family back home. Honestly, though, It is so easy to make friends while traveling, that you are never really alone! Sometimes when traveling alone, I need to separate from the hostels to get some ‘alone’ time, because I am always with people and making new friends!
Can Wake Up Early (or Sleep In) With No Judgement
Ah, sleep. As much as I love sleep, I tend to not get a lot, so time in bed resting is precious to me. Sometimes, I like staying in bed until 10am. Other times, I am up at 5am and ready to start the day. I don’t have to worry about waiting around for someone to get up, nor do I feel guilty if I want to stay in bed longer!
No Travel Drama
I really dislike drama. That’s a lie- I don’t like drama that involves me (or my friends). I have never really had drama when traveling with other people, but I can always tell when tensions are high, and have heard stories about ruined friendships that arose from traveling together! I would like to avoid all of that and keep my friendships, thanks.
I like to travel slowly. To sit and stare at the wonders that I see. At the same time, if I don’t like a place, I will leave. When you travel alone, you don’t have to worry about rushing through one place, because your friend really wants to see this other place. You can set your own tempo, and adjust as you see fit.
Accountable Only to Yourself
When you travel solo, you don’t have to worry about anyone else, which is great. If you make a mistake, it’s no one’s fault but your own, and on the other hand, you are the one who is choosing all these amazing things to do and see! You have to hold yourself accountable, for all the mistakes, the missed planes, the poorly planned ideas, and for all the great things that happen too.
It can be scary traveling alone, especially in countries where you know no one. I rarely have a clue what I am doing, and pretty much make it all up as I go. I am so much more confident now, though- I will walk up to strangers and start up a conversation. I will attempt to order food in another language and end up eating something that I can’t pronounce. I will take local buses and hope that I am going the right way.
When you travel alone, the only person you can rely on is yourself. You learn to trust your instincts, and look out for yourself. It can be hard at times, but at the end of the day, you are better for it.
How cheesy is that? But it’s true! You learn so much about yourself when you travel alone. There is a lot of time for self-reflection when you travel, and you discover what you are capable of.
Have you ever taken a trip alone? Tell me about it in the comments below!