Whether you have experienced solo travel before or it’s your very first time, travelling will never cease to amaze. Why solo travel? Because that feeling of excitement and anticipation as you enter a country for the first time will never be beaten no matter which country you choose to visit and contrary to belief, the world is not as scary as the media makes out.
We’re not saying that travelling alone has no risks but if you do your research before you go, keep your wits about you when you travel and make your own informed choices you will have a trip to remember for all the right reasons.
Why Solo Travel?
Travelling solo shows you how to overcome obstacles, connect with your emotions and cope entirely by yourself. You have the freedom to do what you want when you want and you will meet more people than you ever would in a pair or a couple. It makes you more approachable and open to opportunities and you’ve only got yourself to answer to (and be responsible for). If you don’t feel like being sociable, you don’t have to and if you don’t like somewhere – you don’t have to stay.
You’ve got no one to mock you if you go to the Pencil Museum or tell you that you shouldn’t buy that top, or stop you from eating two steaks a day. There’s no one to slow you down on your travelling route, you can change your plans at the last minute or decide to travel with Pedro for a couple of days PLUS you get to spend lots of time with your absolute favourite person – you!
Solo travel equals freedom but we’re not going to fluff it up for you, it does have its downsides too…
What's not so great about solo travel
Travelling solo isn’t cheap and there are costs that you may not be able to avoid such as single supplements for hotel rooms or the price of hiring a car. There’s no one to carry your heavy backpack or share toiletries with and more importantly no one to help you make decisions or bounce ideas off.
Travelling can be exhausting and it’s even more important to look after yourself mentally, emotionally and physically when you’re travelling alone. It’s perfectly natural to feel lonely or get homesick especially if you’re suffering from travel fatigue so if you want to have a day off and cry into your pillow- just do it. You’ll feel so much better the next day.
There are times when you’ll find yourself having to face situations that you just don’t want to face but it’s those bad times that really make you appreciate the good and they also make the best travel stories; who wants to know that you had an amazing night clubbing with Jose from Brazil when you’ve been stuck on a bus sat next to a goat for eight hours (plus it beats sitting in an office for eight hours).
There’s no denying it, you will get lonely but there are lots of other solo travellers out there just waiting to meet you! Just because you start your journey as a solo doesn’t mean you’ll end up as one…
Can I really solo travel?
Of course you can. Do you need to be the most confident person in the world? Absolutely not. Travellers come in a variety of shapes and sizes; shy, funny, loud or just odd, (and you may encounter some of these on your trip. It’s not just the natives that you need to be wary off!)
Travelling is food for the soul and allows you to get back in touch with who you are no matter what stage of life you are at. It puts everything into perspective and makes you appreciate the smaller things in life (like hot water). We all need to connect and travelling opens the path to more meaningful relationships and even the possibility of romantic ones. It gives you the space to take each day as it comes and slow down from the pace of a modern world.
Why solo travel? If you leave a shy wallflower, you are guaranteed to come back a confident independent woman ready to take on the world – literally! Should travelling be prescribed on the NHS? We certainly think so.
The hardest thing about solo travel…is making the decision to do it!
Release your solo wanderer…
So, there you have it! Travel solo and you’ll come back with more stories than a children’s storyteller, lots more Facebook friends and a burning desire to do it all over again.
“In each of us dwells a wanderer, a gypsy, a pilgrim.’ Phil Cousineau.
Which Solo Traveller are you?
First-Time Solo Traveller
It’s your first time and you’ve researched and got the facts but you’re feeling cautious about going on your own. You want to travel, your friends don’t, can’t or just don’t share your obsession with Sudan. So what are you meant to do? Stay at home, wait until one of the change their mind or just throw caution to the wind and go there anyway (we know which one we’d prefer).
Places for First-Time Solos – Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, USA, Canada, South East Asia, Bali.
Seasoned Solo Traveller
You’re becoming accustomed to the world of travel. You’ve done the round the world ticket and travelled through the easier countries. You’ve surpassed yourself by visiting countries you didn’t expect to and you realise it’s actually not that hard. You’re ready for the next step and your feet are twitching for somewhere new.
Places for the Seasoned Solo – South America, Central America, India, Israel, Europe.
Solo Traveller Pro
You’ve backpacked through India, camped your way through Africa and all without a guide book. You’re a hardened traveller, you’ve seen enough waterfalls and mountains for a lifetime and are branching out to less trodden destinations where you can’t speak the language and don’t know much about it but you need something different – you want to know where you can go that will get those travelling juices flowing again.
Places for the Solo Pro – Jordan, China, Mongolia, Russia (and anywhere else on the map!)