Travel is supposed to help you grow and learn, but what about doing it alone? Planning a trip by yourself can seem daunting, but I have learned through experience that the times it's just me and my suitcase have been some of the most rewarding. While my trips have ranged from just a weekend away to a jet-setting journey, every time I've left my friends and family behind for some "me" time, I've come back feeling happier and more confident with myself. Read on for 10 reasons why solo is the way to go!
1. Being Lonely Can Be a Good Thing
Loneliness can be a scary feeling at first, but the more time I spend by myself, the less I actually think about the fact that I am on my own. Instead, I can let my mind focus on the issues I'm normally too distracted to even consider.
2. You Actually Make Friends With the Locals
When I travel with friends or my boyfriend, there's always a safety net — someone to share every experience with. Alone, if I want company I have to strike up a conversation, which has led to meeting some pretty interesting locals and fellow travellers too.
3. Your Time Is All Your Own
For me, often the best way to explore a city is to just get lost. I like to wander my way around to interesting shops and cafes, stopping on a whim. Alone, each day is mine and mine completely, and any adventure is one that I can accept.
4. Being Selfish Is Liberating
From work to family and friends, so much of life is about compromise, so actually getting to do exactly what I want, when I want to is, well, different. Having the ability to embrace selfishness helps make later compromise feel a little less terrifying.
5. You Don't Have to Rely on Someone to Go With You
When alone, I have quickly learned that activities I always assumed required a partner are totally fine to do solo. From exploring to just enjoying a casual meal, tackling life solo offers up a whole new perspective.
6. It's Empowering
As I've mentioned before, when all by myself I've felt lonely and scared too many times to count, actually. But every time something scary happens, there is no one to turn to but myself. To navigate complicated travel plans or a language barrier solo is proof that I am more capable than I ever expected.
7. It Can Teach You a Lot About Other Cultures
During my travels, I've been harassed and heckled, but I have also experienced extreme kindness. Having insight into the lives of other women from different cultures helps me to appreciate what I have but also gives me so much respect for those whose lives are so different than mine.
8. Your Plans Won't Go as Expected
Even with the most detailed itinerary, I know that anything can go wrong (or right) when travelling in a foreign place. When I love unexpected cities I can simply extend my stay, and likewise if I am not enjoying myself, it's easy enough to just pack up and leave.
9. It's Easy to Stick to Your Budget
Instead of being tempted by fancy dinners or romantic hotels, when I'm on my own it's all about sticking to my budget. Hostels are a great affordable option; same with street vendors for food or quick takeout places.
10. You Come Back With a New Perspective
Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and when I am across the world all on my own, there is plenty of time to think about what was really important. I come home to my friends and family, really appreciating what they have to offer.