While it’s wonderful to travel with family and friends, nothing can match the unique experience of solo travel. Detached from your comfort zone, you are forced to try new things, meet new people and immerse yourself in the local culture. The lessons, experiences, memories and friends I made through going abroad alone have been invaluable.
Traveling solo brings a certain degree of freedom that is indescribable unless you experience it for yourself. Although every journey is unique and people take away various lessons through their travels, here are my top five reasons for encouraging others to take the leap of faith and go solo.
I can’t stress enough that if you are financially able and have the time—just go. Nothing in life is guaranteed. If you take the full advantage of all the opportunities you can, you’ll never look back on your life with regret. Like anything else in life, you can’t wait around on others or the “perfect moment” to travel. Always been dying to visit Rome, Thailand, or Brazil? GO, because you may never have the chance to again.
One of the biggest benefits of going solo is that you set the itinerary and pace of your journey. When you travel with others there is always a certain degree of compromise. When you’re alone you get to see exactly what you want when you want to—thus experiencing your trip to the fullest.
When you’re on your own for an extended period of time you can’t help but do some serious soul searching. No matter what life decisions you’re struggling through, by the end of your journey you’ll have a clearer grasp on what’s important to you and the mark you want to make on the world.
This one is huge. No matter how much planning goes into your trip, things happen and you learn to roll with the punches. Although you’re traveling alone, you will still need the advice, companionship, and knowledge of others. Instead of just interacting with your friends when you’re aboard, you have to rely on the locals as your source of insight. The added bonus? You’ll make some awesome friends in the process.
You will push yourself to the limit, and come out a better person because of it. When you have no one to fall back on but yourself you automatically learn to be resilient.
Going to a country where you don’t speak the language alone can be daunting at first, but after you conquer your fear you’ll realize you can do almost anything you put your mind to. You’ll gain an immense amount of confidence and figure out that things you previously thought were impossible are now on your bucket list.