Pros of Solo Traveling
Anyone who knows me may think that I'm a solo traveler because it sure does look like it but in all actuality, I've never been on a "solo trip". Most of the trips I've taken has either been alone but headed to people I know, people I'm going to meet for the first time(I've met a lot of people through Instagram) or with someone I know. As crazy as it sounds, I've technically solo traveled while with others because portions of the trip I've been alone to explore and do what I wanted. Traveling with others can be extremely fun, memorable and enriching with experiences but who goes to say traveling alone doesn't offer the same things? Because it does!
Solo traveling for anyone I believe can be a bit scary the first time because naturally as human beings we usually feed off the energy of others. Traveling alone causes you to have to fetch for that energy in other people you don't know. But, trust me solo traveling isn't as bad as it seems and I'll tell you a few reasons why.
1. Who are you?
I'm sure you've heard it before but traveling alone allows you to really find yourself. When you go out alone you need to face who you are, what you really care about and what you want to do with your time. Maybe, with others you tag along for the long museum visits and anxient library tours but in reality when alone you find out that you actually hate those things. You learn that somethings are better done in multiples and some things are uniquely for being solo.
2. You'll meet more locals
When traveling alone the lack of familiar people to interact with forces you to engage much more with your immediate surroundings. Unable to rely on your travel buddies to ask questions for you, keep you entertained on a bus ride or use their better language skills puts you in direct contact with a local. Solo travelers can also be a bit more approachable whereas if you're with a group, an outsider may be hesitant to intrude. But, if you're by yourself it may be much easier to strike a conversation with you or vice versa.
3. Nothing has to work out
When traveling with others we are quite selective with our plans because we want to effectively use the travel time. If, one of these activities doesn't work out it can be the source of conflict and guilt amongst the group. But, on a solo trip if you change your mind or make the wrong choice(s) there is no one else to worry about but yourself. Therefore, you won't feel guilty for ruining someone else's travel days.
When traveling alone you can simply make a decision and move forward. This can apply to small and large, from decisions such as where to eat or ending the trip early.
4. You have control of your money
Of course, you technically always have control of your money but traveling with others can cause you to under or over spend depending on what it is. With solo traveling, you get to decide if you want to stay in a $5 hostel or a $3000 oceanfront villa. Want to eat at the small street vendors? At the 5-star restaurant? Buy groceries and cook your own dinner? All of it is up to you and quite frankly I enjoy that kind of freedom. As a solo traveler you have the last and only say in every dollar you spend.
5. It builds confidence
For the most part I can say I'm a pretty confident gal but I sometimes am terrified when faced with the actuality of being alone while traveling. What did I do?
Gave myself a pep-talk: YOU CAN DO IT! I kept telling myself those words because it's been done before, not by me but by someone therefore I am capable of it too.
Make a plan: If I wanted to see a couple places, I would note them and when I got to one of them I would ask others if they were headed to any of the ones on my list so I could tag along.
Approach Others: This may not be easy the first time but seriously this is the easiest way to make a new friend. Throw yourself out there because more than likely there is someone out there thats traveling alone as well.
"Hold company with yourself so sacred that even when you are alone, you are whole." AVA
Being alone means no one is your direct crutch so finding your way after getting lost or managing to get yourself out of a jam can give you a new sense of confidence and faith in your resourcefulness. This reality has helped me in many " solo" situtaions and has carried over into my life at home.
So, if you're still thinking if you should or shouldnt I say you should at least give it a try! What's the worse that could happen? You'll never know until you go for it and even if it doesn't go as well as you expect it would be a lesson learned for the next time.