Do you want to travel but you haven’t booked a ticket yet because you don’t have anyone to travel with? Have you considered traveling solo but your fears are holding you back? I was scared too for several years before I finally booked my first solo trip, and afterwards I wondered why I waited so long. It’s perfectly normal to be afraid to travel alone, but there are so many benefits to solo travel. Here are just a few of the reasons why you should give it a try.
You will meet people when you travel alone
Being a solo traveler actually makes you more approachable. Locals will usually reach out to help if you look lost. In some parts of the world locals might find it strange to see you traveling on your own, especially if you’re female, but it’s only because they’re not used to it. I’ve had locals in Southeast Asia strike up a conversation with me because they were curious about me as a solo traveler, and they were incredibly friendly.
Other travelers, especially other solo travelers, will be more likely to join you for a meal if you’re alone instead of part of a couple or group. Some of the travelers you’ll meet while traveling alone can even turn into lifelong friends. You already share something major in common, a desire to see the world. But even if you never speak to that person again, you had a friend for a day or a week, and people often end up being the highlight of the trip. When you’re already traveling with a friend or partner, you tend to stay inside that bubble, and you don’t often meet other travelers.
You can be more flexible when you travel alone
When you travel with someone else, there’s always some kind of compromise during the trip. Maybe you want to take a day tour but your friend doesn’t. Maybe you want to go hiking but your friend wants to go shopping. When you travel alone, you get to do exactly what you want every time. You will have the flexibility to plan your entire trip the way you feel comfortable without having to worry about someone else’s desires.
Not only does this mean you only have to do what you want to do, but you can also be more spontaneous. Maybe you thought you’d wake up and go to a museum one day, but if the sun is shining, you can change your mind and go for a walk in a park or go to the beach instead. You can even change your plans more drastically and move on to another city on a whim if the desire hits you. It’s all up to you.
You will gain confidence when you travel alone
Traveling alone can certainly be scary. But when you get to your destination, navigate the streets, find your hotel, make yourself understood despite a language barrier, and book a day tour all on your own in a foreign land, something starts to change. You suddenly realize you can do things on your own. Even something simple you do alone at home all the time takes a lot more effort abroad. When you accomplish the task, your confidence will start to soar.
You’ll have to figure out a lot of things on your own that might be easier if you had a friend around. I know that might not sound like a good thing, but once you do figure those things out (and you will!) you’ll feel stronger and better able to depend on yourself. When I travel alone, I sometimes struggle with things in the moment, but the confidence boost I get makes it all worth it.
Always remember that it’s ok to be afraid to travel alone. But don’t let that fear stop you from booking a ticket and traveling. There’s a big exciting world out there waiting to be explored. Start small to ease your way in, but I strongly encourage you to give solo travel a try. You’ll meet interesting people, you’ll have loads of flexibility, and best of all you’ll gain a huge amount of confidence. These are just a few of the reasons I like to travel alone, and I think you’ll enjoy it too.