When beginning a new adventure, one of the first questions that my friends and family ask me is, “Who are you going with?” I don’t know why that question bothers me so much, but considering it is one of the last things I think of when planning a trip, I don’t understand why its the first thing on everyone else’s mind. I do get that they are most likely curious because they think it is a safety issue, but let me tell you why solo travel is not something to question.
Solo travel gives you a trip made for you, by you, and about you. As much as I enjoy traveling with my friends, it is inevitable to wind up doing something you don’t entirely want to do simply because you have to keep another person in mind. I have always had great experiences traveling with my friends as well, but when I travel solo I do whatever I want! It might seem a little selfish but thats okay when you are solo! I used to think that I was indecisive, however after traveling alone, I have found out that I am not as indecisive as I am considerate. Usually when I am saying “I don’t care,” or “Im good with whatever,” it’s because I don’t want to impede on someone else’s choice of what they are wanting to do.
For example, last year I went to China by myself and while wondering around, I found out that broadway tickets to the Lion King were only $50 for a second row seat!!! The only catch was that the show was in Mandarin. If I was traveling with others I probably would have been the only person who still wanted to see the show since I am so Disney/Broadway obsessed, but since I was by myself, it was a no brainer! I bought my ticket and it ended up being one of the best things I have done on my travels!
2.Living on Jaylin-time
Obviously you’d insert your own name into that line, but you get the idea. When you travel solo you are on nobody else’s clock but your own! If you wind up in a place and find yourself bored, you can simply leave! Or vice versa, if you are so intrigued by something, you can stay for hours longer than you originally planned because it only effects you! Additionally, if you are like me, you will find yourself getting lost. I know this is going to happen while traveling and when I am traveling with others I feel so bad about “ruining” their day by adding 30 minutes onto our commute, but when its just me, I simply go with the flow and I usually see something I wouldn’t have found otherwise.
3. Breaking Out of Your Box
Traveling solo is actually a great way to meet new people! If you choose to stay in hostels (which I highly recommend) you will have a dorm-like experience where everyone is new there and you are all in the same boat of wanting to travel and see something new. You will make so many friends just by talking with your suite-mates, and usually the hostel goers or workers will hook you up with some amazing tours where you will also spend the day talking with new people!
So many people have this misconception about solo travel where if you arrive alone, you have to stay alone for the entire trip! Sometimes you will arrive and meet a new friend on your first day of traveling and end up hanging out with them the whole time! There is nothing wrong with making new friends along the way! It is just like meeting people back home. You never really think about it, but once you’ve struck up a conversation with someone, a friendship is naturally formed.
On the other end of the spectrum, solo travel allots for a lot of time spent thinking internally. If I want to go for a hike, or explore new territory on my own, I like to put in my headphones and be on my way. Often these moments leave me with a stronger sense of security. I spend the time thinking about things in my life and whether or not I am happy with them, or looking for a change. After a solid week or so with moments like this, you come back more determined to make these changes in your life where you see fit!
5. Getting to the Destination
This is probably the most important thing about solo travel. When you are on your own, it is up to you, and you alone, to see the places that you want to see. The people in your life might have different interests, schedules, or finances that prohibit them from traveling to the destinations of your dreams. If you continue to wait until someone else is ready, you will miss out on so many opportunities to do the things you want to do in life. It’s okay to be in a different place than your friends and do something without them. You never want to miss out on the life that you want because someone else can’t come along. I promise, you will never regret following your dreams and fulfilling your own travel desires, take the plunge and dive into your next vacation as a solo traveler!
If you have any questions about solo travel, feel free to ask in the comments below!