For those who have never travelled alone, solo travel will seem like the scariest thing on the planet. But for those who have the deepest sensation of wanderlust roaring in their heart, you’ll do anything for that adventure to start. For most people, that means going solo.
So, you’ve made the decision to go alone, because it’s the only way you will feed that fire in your stomach. But then you start to question solo travel.
“Will I get lonely?”
“Is it safe?”
“But I what if I get lost?”
You hesitate in booking that flight to Thailand.
A few months go by and the hole in your heart is getting bigger and the only way to fix it is to go.
You take the plunge.
You board your flight to Chaing Mai.
Then you realise you had absolutely nothing to be scared of.
You just made the best decision of your life.
- You don’t have to wait for anyone:
You choose when you go. In a group you can only travel as fast as your slowest member. When you travel solo, everything is done at your own pace. You get more done in a day than you would in a week if you travelled in a group. This means you can see more places, in less time.
- You make your own decisions:
You go where you want to go, when you want to go. Your entire trip is up to you and your preferences. There’s no debating with your fellow travellers. You want to go to Laos, you go to Laos. You want an early night, go to sleep. You hate your hostel, you move on. It’s the most freeing thing, you will ever do.
- You are never alone:
Although you are travelling solo, you are never ever alone. Chances are you’ll be staying in dorms at hostels. You’ll meet fellow travellers, maybe they are solo too. You’ll go out with people, make forever friends. Trust me, you will be begging for privacy soon enough.
- Solo travellers are the most interesting:
To travel solo is brave. Solo travellers are confident, social and ambitious. You want to befriend other solo travellers because they get it. You have stories to tell. You have learnt new skills. You know how to choose friends wisely. You will be the one that other travellers will flock to for advice.
- You will end up travelling with someone:
Again, you are never alone. You’ll make another friend who is travelling solo. You both want to go to the Philippines next. Well why not just go together?! Now you have a friend for the next two weeks.
- You learn new skills:
I am better at navigating places when I am alone and not under pressure. I have learnt how to read maps. I have learnt to go up to random people and ask for help. I have learnt to bargain. I have learnt how to read people. The skills you learn travelling solo are the most valuable skills you will ever learn.
- Solo travellers still have fun:
Partying is a big part of the backpacker life. And as a solo traveller you don’t have to miss out. You will make friends wisely as a solo traveller (see points 3, 5 and 6), and you will take care of each other. You will also be sensible. You will still party like the rest of them, you just won’t black out on a beach in Koh Tao and not remember what happened last night and where your wallet is.
- Sometimes, it is the only option:
If you keep waiting for your friend to suddenly like hostels, you’ll never leave your hometown. If you keep waiting for that friend who spends money like he is rich, you will never leave your hometown. If you keep waiting for that friend to have time off work, you will never leave your hometown. You go when you have time; when you have money; when you need to leave. Don’t wait for anyone.
- Solo travellers are fearless:
Getting on the first flight your heart will be racing with nervousness. After a couple of days on your solo trip, you will feel more confident and at home than ever before. Got lost in a new city? It’s fine, just go and find wifi and google map where you are. Being intimidated by a group of locals? Hold your head up high, ignore them and walk past. You can’t be scared of life when you travel solo.
- You learn a lot about yourself:
Travelling solo has helped me learn that I love adventure, being on the go, making friends, hiking, talking to locals, that I can travel being vegan, that I can take care of myself when I am ill and much more. You will learn what you like and what you dislike. You will grow into yourself. You will be unapologetically confident in who you are. You won’t waste time on things and people that you do not like. You will become you.
You have not travelled unless you have done it solo. Solo travel is the most freeing and life changing experience you can ever give yourself. Do not be afraid. You will be surprised how many fellow travellers are solo too. You will grow so much as a person.
And you will never look back.