Having travelled to 147+ countries (115 of these alone), I share my advice on why you should solo travel to help empower you to do it too!
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.
I'm 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?
Everyone feels like being alone sometimes. It's just a human thing. We love being around people, but there's also something nice about being by ourselves with our thoughts.
Traveling, especially on your own, is a way to challenge yourself. Sometimes, we get too comfortable in our daily lives. Traveling pushes us out of our comfort zones, especially when you're going solo. Seeing the challenges, achievements, and experiences of people in different parts of the world can open your mind to new possibilities.
Solo travel is not just about ticking off places on your bucket list; it's a great way to grow as a person. The experiences you have can boost your confidence, shape your career, and broaden your perspective on life. When you're traveling solo it becomes an adventure. It's about enjoying every moment.
Traveling also helps you understand and appreciate different cultures. Sometimes, we only see things from our own point of view. Immersing yourself in other cultures gives you a fresh way of looking at life and helps you understand why people do things differently. In a world that's getting smaller, understanding each other globally is even more important.
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.
Being on your own means you can do whatever you want, whenever you want. You could wake up and decide to climb a mountain in Japan, go on a shopping spree in Dubai, or stay in a hotel with its own private beach. You're not answering to anyone but yourself. And if you feel like it, you can spend a whole morning in bed, go to that pencil Museum you've been looking at or eat at the same restaurant twice in one 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!
The idea of feeling lonely or awkward might be too scary but travelling alone doesn't mean you're lonely; it means you're someone who wants to make your own happiness rules and enjoy the freedom that comes with it. And what better way than by discovering new places, meeting new people, and maybe finding a new you?
Whether you're a young person going off to college, a business owner needing a break, or a parent with an empty nest, wanting some alone time, right now, you're the youngest you'll ever be. We don’t know what tomorrow may bring and things like health or additional responsibilities might make it even harder to follow our dreams.
The best part of solo travel? Solo travel gives you the freedom to step away from the usual chaos of life. You get to spend time with yourself and really think about things. It's a chance to meditate, reflect, and understand yourself better while exploring the world. For many, traveling is a way to learn more about themselves. And with the world becoming more connected, there are more reasons than ever to explore and understand more about the world and yourself at the same time.
Reasons For Solo Travel
There's no doubt about it: travel broadens the mind, gives you confidence and makes you appreciate the little things. Here are plenty of other reasons why you should just get up and go…
Why Solo Travel?
- You feel like taking a year off work
- You're stuck in a rut
- Your friends abroad insist you come out and visit them
- You want to see the 7 Wonders of the World
- To be the envy of your friends
- To see how other countries spend their new year
- You want a warm, sunny Christmas
- You're chasing the sun around the world for that year-round tan
- You've just split from your partner
- You've had a windfall
- All your friends are going
- You've just been made redundant
- If you don't do it now you never will.
Did I also mention that travelling tightens the purse strings and teaches you how to live on a budget – a valuable life skill! Solo travel equals freedom but I'm 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).
Although travel will force you out of your established comfort zone, disrupt the predictability of your daily roles and goals, and plunge you into uncomfortable situations, it will also renew you in ways that you could not have imagined.
There’s no denying it, you may get lonely and maybe even homesick 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…
The Solo Travel Mindset
“In each of us dwells a wanderer, a gypsy, a pilgrim.’ Phil Cousineau
To travel alone does take courage and it also takes a mindset that you can do it. You may have doubts come up especially if there are people in your life who might not get why you'd want to drop everything and go off on your own. Most people like being around others, and solo travel might seem a bit strange to them. But they will soon notice the change in you when you return.
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).
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.
If you want to explore the Sistine Chapel, surf the waves in Peru or learn a new language in a new culture, make it happen. Don’t sit around and wish for it; it takes action to move your life ahead and travelling can help you discover a part of you that you didn’t even know was there. For me solo travel equals freedom, confidence and self-love. It can mean that for you too.
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? I certainly think so. The hardest thing about solo travel…is making the decision to do it!
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.
These resources will help make sure your trip is a success and give you some extra empowerment to move your mindset from thinking about travelling alone to actually doing it.
Articles For Empowerment
- Common Myths About Traveling Abroad
- How Solo Travel Changes You
- What Solo Travel Teaches You
- Solo Travelling Quotes
- How To Deal With Homesickness Abroad
- How To Avoid Culture Shock
- Reverse Culture Shock
- Traveling Alone With Anxiety
- First Time Flying Anxiety
- Challenging Yourself
- How To Get Over a Long Distance Relationship
Stories For Empowerment
- Solo Travel After Divorce
- Traveling Solo To Find Yourself
- My Solitude Journey
- Solo Travel Experience Stories
- Solo Travel Stories
- Moving Abroad in Your 30s
- Solo Travel Over 50
- Solo Travel Over 60
- American Expat in the UK
- Transformational Travel
- Interview With Hippie in Heels
- Interview With Cherie King
- How I Started My Solo Female Travel Blog
- My Solo Travel Insights