Solo travel can be as invigorating as it can be nerve-wracking. I started solo travelling because after a rather devastating breakup and a subsequent loss of my travel buddy, I was sick of sitting around waiting for friends to be free so that I could travel. I’d travelled on my own before for work… why shouldn’t I travel for leisure the same way?
Well, that change of mindset opened up so many doors for me that I want to share my love for solo travel with you all. But you won’t just be hearing from me. I’ve assembled a stellar bunch of travellers who all have their own stories to share about why they love seeing the world solo. Hopefully their stories will inspire all of you to stop waiting and start travelling!
Solo travel helped me become more open – German Backpacker
“The first time I was traveling solo was rather unplanned – I had a trip to Morocco planned with some friends, and they all cancelled last minute a week before departure due to university work. Since flights were booked already, I decided to go by myself – and had a fantastic time! I met wonderful people in my hostel, and right after my homecoming I booked flights for my first solo trip to Southeast Asia.
Traveling solo especially taught me how to become more open in approaching strangers. I was always a little bit shy as a kid and had trouble talking to people which I didn’t know yet. However, traveling solo helped me to open up. I learned to start random conversations with strangers in hostels and on the road, and I realised how easy it actually is to get to know new people. This certainly helped me in my life and is the biggest benefit of traveling solo for me!
Solo travel helps me find balance – Arimo Travels
I’ve been on a solo trip around the world for more than two years now. Although I do miss the more permanent social connections, there are some clear benefits about traveling alone. Most importantly, I believe that solo travel helps me find a better balance between sightseeing and other activities. When I have travel companions, I do a lot of touristy stuff. While all these activities are loads of fun, they leave little room for my other personal projects.
For example, I don’t even try to update my travel blog that much when I’m traveling with friends. Writing simply takes a lot of time, and that time is off from moments spent together. When I travel solo, it’s much easier for me to take days off from active traveling to write my blog.
Solo travel gives me the freedom to do what I want, when I want – Meet Me In Departures
How many times have you gone somewhere with someone, it could be a significant other or your BFF, but then only find that you both want to do different things. And that neither one of you REALLY wants to do the thing that the other person wants to do, awkward!
Travelling solo eliminates all of that, if you want a spontaneous day to do something crazy then go for it! Equally no one is going to be giving you evils if you are still pottering about, undressed at 3 in the afternoon. Likewise, if you wake up, full of beans at 5am and you want to make the most of getting to a major tourist hotspot to photograph it without another soul in sight then you can do it without the bother or resentment from your travel buddy who just isn’t a morning person.
I love travelling solo because it truly gives you the opportunity to do exactly what you want, when you want. Everything is on your own terms.
Solo travel lets me explore at my own pace – Minthabits
I’ve done a lot of solo and group travel over the years, and there are certainly pros and cons to both. The number one benefit of going solo is that it has allowed me to experience things at my own pace. It means I can spend a little more time in the market, or talk to a random stranger for an hour, or get lost in a part of town the group tour doesn’t go to.
In fact, that’s exactly what happened in Greece, when I got sick and stayed back for the day. I mustered up the energy to get out for a little bit of solo wandering, and I stumbled onto this incredible viewpoint of Santorini that I would have never seen otherwise. It’s a moment like this that really reminds me to take some time to experience the world completely on your own.
Solo travel means I can go with the flow – The Lost Passport
One of the best things about traveling solo to be able to travel at your own pace. It does not matter if your friends want to travel through six countries in as many weeks. On the other hand, if you completely hate one destination, no one is forcing you to stay. You could stay one night, or just an hour, and skip on to the next destination.
While traveling through Southeast Asia for over one year I discovered amazing places in northern Thailand. Places where I never thought I’d spend so much time. Two weeks in Pai, a month in Chiang Mai, then almost six months in Chiang Rai.
These were places I was told you could visit in just a couple of days each. Surely, by traveling in a group I would not have stayed so long, or ended out living in Thailand for the next five years!
Solo travel forces me to be adventurous – Temples and Treehouses
Solo travel forces you to become self sufficient and adventurous overnight. There’s nobody else to navigate around strange cities for you. Nobody else to argue with the taxi driver who’s carrying you off in the wrong direction. Nobody to force you to take a deep breath and get on the back of that motorbike or jump off that rock into the sea. Nobody but you.
Suddenly, after a lifetime of looking to other people for guidance and reassurance and moral support, you’re totally on your own. And that’s a really good thing! Suddenly, you know that you have a map to take you anywhere you need to go, the confidence to stand up for yourself, and the courage to take a leap of faith.
Solo travel also makes you brave about making new connections — walking up to a stranger and starting a conversation, or meeting someone on a day trip and going out for dinner with them that night.
And the best part? You take all of these things back home with you when the trip is over.
Solo travel makes me more considerate – A Mary Road
I started travelling solo in the end of 2015, since then, I have travelled solo to about 17 countries. Although there are times that I travelled with a friend too or someone who was a completely stranger. I remember before I embarked on my trip, I was very worried about being alone on the road, I was wondering why someone would travel alone? That sounds lonely. I wanted to know why, I was shitting myself in fear it but deep inside me I want to know why, so jumped on – alone.
After a year on the road, I understand why people prefer to travel by themselves while the others would love a company instead. Travelling solo gives you the flexibility and freedom, do you want to spend your day watching netflix? No problem. Go hitchhiking, no problem. It’s very easy to decide and also very spiritual. I think I’ve talked to myself so much when I’m travelling alone. I trust myself, other people, and my own instinct more, I am more independent. While travelling with someone gave me the chance to experience something and share it with someone else. I learned that travelling solo with someone is not an issue. You just do you. I guess the biggest thing I learned from travelling by myself is how to be considerate and less judgmental to other travellers and people regardless of how they travel or live their life.
So, there you have it. Solo travel is not as terrifying as it seems. In fact, it’s empowering, life-changing and strength building. It allows you to fully immerse yourself in your travels without worrying about what someone else wants to do. It allows you to go, without ever having to ask permission. Solo travel is living on your own terms. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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