It’s Friday here in Brisbane, so I thought I would write a fun post about one of my favourite topics – Travel.
Recently I wrote a post for SheNOW highlighting my top ten tips for solo women travellers. Travelling by yourself can feel daunting at first but it can also be an amazing, enjoyable, liberating experience.
I personally think that everyone should travel alone, at least at some point.
Here are my 8 reasons why.
Freedom, freedom and more freedom
You can go wherever you want (travel visas permitting). You can rock up to a major railway station in Europe and choose between two trains heading to completely different countries.
You can spend all day wandering through a museum or lying on a beach. Whatever takes your fancy?
You are not locked into a rigid itinerary having to up and move every day. If you like a particular place, you can stay for a week or as long as your holiday allows.
For someone who values and appreciates a sense of freedom, this is a wonderful feeling.
You meet amazing people
I understand the reason a lot of people don’t travel alone is because they worry about being lonely. They worry about not having anyone to talk to. For starters being alone and lonely are two completely separate issues (but I think I will leave that juicy topic for another blog post).
The truth is travelling by yourself means you can meet people if you want to.
Let’s face it. When you travel with friends, you tend to stay in the company of your group. Travelling as a couple or group can actually make you quite antisocial. You don’t need to reach out to people for companionship, so you don’t make the effort. In turn, other people may find approaching a group intimidating.
Admittedly solo travel might be a little harder for extroverts, but with your outgoing personality it won’t take long before you are the life of the party.
No peer pressure
Travelling with a group of friends can sometimes mean you end up doing what everyone else wants to do on your holiday. This can lead to feelings of frustration and resentment when you get home.
Travelling by yourself means not having to agree, disagree or argue with other people. It means not being outvoted or frowned on by the group.
It’s all about you
Solo travel is the perfect time to discover exactly what sorts of food, hobbies and activities you like. Not what your partner or your family (who may rule the roost or have a strong influence over you at home) likes but YOU.
Solo travel is all about discovery, adventure and trying new experiences.
You are in control of your money
There is no one being stingy when you want to treat yourself or someone else spending a fortune on a round of drinks that you suddenly need to put in for. No expensive day trips that other people talk or guilt you into.
You can spend your hard earned money on exactly what you want.
No annoying travel companions
I’ve done group tours as well as travelling on my own. All of the tours I have done have been a total blast. I had a fantastic time. I’m sure at some point I will do another tour (most likely when I head off to Africa or South America).
My first big trip overseas was a TrekAmerica tour. Come to think of it, it was two TrekAmerica tours back to back, followed by a Contiki tour. With the second TrekAmerica tour, by the time I came long, the group were already a month into the trip and some of them were not getting along. No one wants their holiday to be filled with fighting and backstabbing. The girl that I befriended was even considering going home early. The horror!
Needless to say my presence calmed everyone down. Okay, I made that part up. What happened was I settled into a small sub-group and we all enjoyed a great time together over the next month.
I am sure there are the occasional group tours that don’t end well. I’m equally sure a few good friendships have come to a screeching halt after travelling together.
It gives you time to do some soul searching
Solo travel is the perfect time to do some soul searching.
Travelling by yourself can give you the space and time to have a close look at your life. It can be a personal journey of reflection as well as a relaxing way to take a break from the everyday demands of life.
Increased self confidence
When I tell people I travel alone they sometimes say – I could never do that.
I think those people would be greatly surprised at just what they are capable of. I probably thought the same thing at some point myself.
Most likely what these people mean is – I don’t want to do that – which is fine. Travelling alone is not for everyone and I respect that. My point is you never know until you give it a try.
Making decisions and sorting out problems when they arise all help build your self esteem. There is a unique confidence that comes with being the facilitator of your own happiness and joy.
Independence on the road, translates to having more confidence and independence when you get back home.
Have you travelled much on your own? Do you think you could benefit from a solo trip?
Please leave your comments in the section below. I look forward to hearing about your travel adventures. If you enjoyed this post, please forward it onto your friends.