It has been said time and time again that traveling the world will open you up to unexpected experiences from which you will return an entirely different person. This is especially true of solo travel.
Traveling on your own is underrated, but it can be difficult to get started. The usual suspects that prevent people from traveling alone are fear and finance. You might be worried that the trip will be too expensive for you to take or that it will be unsafe to travel independently.
Neither of those things could be further from the truth! Whether you are traveling domestically or internationally, flying or taking a train, on a budget or splurging on luxury, taking a trip on your own will undoubtedly end up changing your life for the better. It’s not the destination or the expense; the magic is in the experience.
Traveling alone means there is only one person responsible for your choices: YOU. If you are comfortable making decisions and appreciate the flexibility of not having to negotiate your wants, this is an excellent opportunity to be in your element. For others, it will bring you out of your comfort zone.
That’s a great thing!
Traveling solo will put you in the position to be more forward, more confident, and more accepting of your decisions. With nobody around to help in the decision-making process, you will be forced to decide where you will lay your head to rest every night, which restaurant to dine at for lunch, and whether or not to wake up at the crack of dawn and catch a magnificent sunrise.
It’s all up to you.
Traveling alone doesn’t mean being alone the entire time. When you choose to travel solo, you are fundamentally taking control of where you go and what you will do. You are also in control of who you meet.
When you travel alone, it can make meeting new people easier than if you had a companion or group. People rarely approach or strike up a conversation with couples or groups of people, worried that they may interrupt a conversation. And travelers with companions rarely steer outside of their groups.
Going alone will give you ample opportunity to have conversations with strangers, whether you choose to make small talk or need to ask for directions. Who knows where these brief encounters can take you. Often, they can turn into a longer conversation, a meal together, or even a long term friendship!
Like travel, personal happiness is a journey. Happiness can be fickle, just out of reach when we need it or suddenly appear when we least expect it. Traveling alone will put you on the path of taking responsibility for your own happiness and learning how to be happy more consistently.
Solo travel broadens your horizons by introducing you to new places, new people, and new ways of doing things. We sometimes get caught up in the world that is within our proximity and forget that there are infinite ways to be. Traveling alone might spark something special within you that brings you joy, unlike anything at home.
In the worst of cases, if your experience was dreadful, you will return with a new appreciation of home. Just don’t get turned off from travel and keep venturing into the unknown to discover some of the other benefits of traveling alone that we might not even know about yet.