You might think traveling solo is something only introverts or lonely people do. At least that’s what I thought when I was in my 20s. Then, by pure accident, my first solo trip turned out to be a trip by myself. Unexpectedly, it brought me so many discoveries about myself that ever since solo trips are my priority when it comes to planning a trip. Though, of course, I still enjoy traveling with family and friends when we have such an opportunity. Here’s what I think are the advantages of solo travel:
1. You get to truly know what you like.
You don’t have to spend half a day at a flea market because your partner loves hunting for vintage stuff. Or, you don’t have to go sailing because your best friend has always dreamt about it but is afraid to go alone. You can be yourself. 5 hours in a museum? Go ahead! In bed till 2 pm? Go ahead! Take time to understand what you really like to do, where you find joy, and what brings you inner peace.
2. You are free from anyone else’s opinion!
In particular, you are free from the opinion and expectations of your family and friends. So, when you get to understand what you like, don’t be afraid to actually do it. Do you feel like skipping a tour inside the main cathedral to go to the zoo instead? Do it! There’s no one here to judge you. But be ready for when you get back and everyone asks you if you’ve been to the cathedral.
3. You have more flexibility and freedom.
It’s easier to change routes, locations, accommodations, and even return tickets when you are traveling by yourself. If flexibility is important to you, it doesn’t get better than traveling solo!
4. You get to better understand who you are.
Deep inside you, when there’s no one to push or judge, no one to impose limits and restrictions, who are you? Are you an adventure seeker or even an adrenaline junkie? Are you a curious soul who wants to see and try as many things as possible? Maybe you’re a peaceful warrior who finds their peace in contemplating? If you haven’t figured out it yet, a solo trip is a perfect occasion to reflect on yourself and your life.
What I have learned during my solo trips has brought major changes to my journey of self-love. I realized I am brave and quick thinking, and I can easily adapt to changing obstacles. I don’t think I would ever discover how strong I am if not traveling alone and having to decide and solve all the issues by myself. So, that was one of the most important advantages of solo traveling.
5. You have more opportunities to socialize and learn.
You’re going to make new friends and learn about new cultures and traditions better if you’re on your own. Traveling and learning about new cultures can not be separated. Only traveling without exploring that specific culture would be a big lack of your trip.
6. You have a chance to overcome your shyness.
You’ll ask strangers to take pictures of you or you have to master taking selfies. Being forced to ask others about things you need will create some new occasions to interact with people and let you overcome your shyness.
What Advantages I Got From My Solo Travel?
My first particularly important discovery from a solo trip was that it’s okay to be lazy when you travel. You don’t have to be super productive and rush everywhere. If you asked me about my favorite memory from my solo trip to Zagreb, I would first tell you about the day that I spent sitting in a nice café in a city center filling pages of my new travel sketchbook with its first drawings. I don’t think I got to see any tourist attractions that day, nevertheless, it really stands out in my memory. Finally, it was while traveling by myself and thinking about what I like to do in life that I came to an idea to make travel sketches. That idea has brought so much joy into my life.
Some moments can only be lived once. That includes the thrill from your very first solo trip. Though you might not experience the same emotions during your next solo trips, they are definitely going to bring you new discoveries every time. That’s because each time you travel alone you learn something new about yourself. That’s why when I feel stuck, I book a flight.
Let me know what advantages of solo travel you had in the comment section!