It’s Friday here in Brisbane, so I thought I would write a fun post about one of my favorite topics – Travel.
Recently I wrote a post for SheNOW highlighting my top ten tips for solo women travelers. Traveling 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 glorious reasons why you should travel by yourself.
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.
Related post – 12 Ways Travel Can Change Your Life
You meet amazing people
I understand the reason a lot of people don’t travel alone is that 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 traveling 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. Traveling 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.
Related post – How to Meet People When You Travel By Yourself
No peer pressure
Traveling 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.
Traveling 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 traveling 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 along, the group was 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’m 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 traveling together.
It gives you time to do some soul searching
Solo travel is the perfect time to do some soul searching.
Traveling by yourself can give you 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.
Related post – 12 Thought-Provoking Travel Quotes
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. Traveling alone might not appeal to everyone and I respect that. My point is you never know until you give it a try.
Related post – 6 Excuses People Use For Not Traveling Alone
Making decisions and sorting out problems when they arise all help build your self-esteem. There is 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 traveled much on your own? Do you think you could benefit from a solo trip?
Please share this post with your friends via social media – it might just give someone the inspiration to book their first solo trip!
Read Next – Know Your Own Worth
When I saw your post title I told myself : You have to check it out. It is for traveling 🙂
I am 100% aligned with you. I love traveling but I hate traveling with groups. I love backpacking 🙂
In 2011 I traveled around the world for six months and I traveled with my fiancé but we traveled by yourself. At the beginning I was not confident and I was a little bit afraid of this type of trip. But at the end of the trip I was a big fan 🙂
People who don’t travel by themselves they loose such great things and experiences. It is a pity.
Greeks usually don’t travel by themselves. But I am different and I love it 🙂
thank you for sharing with us. This photo of Eiffel tower reminds me many many souvenirs!
Thanks so much for the comment. Always lovely to meet a fellow traveler.
Those long trips are just the best aren’t they. So great to hear you had a fabulous time. I went overseas for 8 months back in 2003 and I was totally hooked. It really opened my eyes to the amazing opportunities that are around and to some of the incredible things people are doing.
I love that photo of the Eiffel Tower even though it is such a touristy shot. For starters I love the fact that it is crooked. The photo not the tower. The photo was taken by an American guy I met on the footpath outside a hostel. The hostel dorms were full and we decided to share a room together (just as friends). I had met a female traveler at the airport as well and the three of us had a wonderful couple of days exploring Paris together. Most likely none of that would have happened if I had been travelling with a girlfriend as we would have been talking to each other instead of meeting people.
I didn’t know that Greeks don’t normally travel by themselves. Interesting. Glad to hear you are different though. I am a big fan of different!!!
Lovely to see you here again, I look forward to next time.
Thank you for sharing this experience! We have met many travelers during our trip too. While preparing our six month trip we met many people just to take some tips and advice from them. All of them were saying how many travelers you may meet while traveling especially in a backpacking mode. Before the travel it was hard for me to believe it. Now I know it is 100% true because I saw it!
And yes, I think Greeks are afraid of traveling alone. They prefer the groups !
During the six month trip we met just one Greek!!!
Have a good day Thea!
Thanks so much for writing back. I know what you mean about finding it hard to believe about meeting people. It’s one of those things that you have to experience to wrap your head around. I have been staying in hotels the last couple of trips which makes it harder to meet people but I still try to start up conversations whenever I can.
One Greek in six months! Would I be right in assuming you met plenty of Australians over that same period of time?
hehe Thea, you are right.
I met many Australians during the trip….I also went to Australia! I stayed there for a month. You are from Australia, aren’t you?
Great people and great country 🙂
Have a good day!
I am indeed Australian. I live in Brisbane. I lived in Sydney for 10 years as well, so have a bit of a soft spot for the city. I love to visit and catch up with friends whenever I get the chance.
I hope you had a wonderful time for the month you were here. We do have a great country. In general Australians do love to travel and we are quite a friendly bunch, so I had the feeling you might have met a few along the way!
Have a great day Lenia.
I totally agree with you. Everybody should travel alone at some point. I started traveling alone very, very early, namely at the age of 13. My parents allowed me to visit friends in Chicago and I had a blast exploring the city on my own. From that point on, I was addicted to traveling alone and have been able to see many cities in the US and a lot of them here in Europe.
I guess that starting to travel alone at such an early age took away most of my fears and I am confident that I can find my way around everywhere, no matter which country.
Now that I am married, I enjoy traveling with my husband, but it is definitely different. He likes to do completely different things than I do and the compromises we have to take, do sometimes hurt my travel experience. However, there is always the opportunity to simply separate for a day, so that each person can do whatever they like.
Thank you so much for the fabulous comment.
That is great that you got to travel by yourself at such a young age. Like you said it built up a lot of confidence.
Because I have traveled so much on my own, it can get interesting when I travel with friends now. I normally need to take a bit of time out (as you mentioned you do with your husband) to do a few things that I want to do that I know they won’t be interested in. I think my friends found it a bit odd at first. Shopping is sometimes an issue. I am not a person who enjoys shopping all day, a couple of hours and I am usually ready to move onto something else, so I have to be polite about it and let my friends know I will meet up with them later.
Thanks again for stopping by and I look forward to seeing you here again soon.
I can completely relate to the shopping issue. 🙂 I am not a big shopping fan either (which my husbands is super glad about…). Good for you for sticking to what you like even if others find it a bit odd at first.
I smiled when I read your shopping comment. So glad you agreed. Not sure where the myth came from that all women love shopping. So not true for everyone!
As always, lovely to see you here. 🙂
Couldn’t agree more…..the stories we all can tell. You think you know someone and then BAM you realise you could be travelling with a psycopath. Jokes aside…..I think very carefully before agreeing to travel with anyone anymore. It can ruin a friendship. Besides that…..travel is my passion, I want it always to be joyous. Plenty of new friends to be made at your destination.
Thank you for commenting. Much appreciated. Always wonderful to talk to other passionate travelers, particularly ones that appreciate the art of travelling solo. Traveling with people definitely brings out personality traits that we may have never seen before.
You are right, travel should always be joyous and it is great fun meeting new people at your destination.
Lovely to see you here, I look forward to chatting again soon.
Good post, Thea. Naturally, I agree. 🙂 The peer pressure one….very good point. I have a friend who has invited herself along on a couple of my trips where I had certain things planned that I wanted to do (and I told her this ahead of time), and wouldn’t you know it, we wound up both times doing what she wanted to do and not what I had planned to do. I wound up resenting her both times (even though of course I am just as much to blame for not asserting my own agenda). Some people are just naturally better at getting their own way than others; if you’re not one of those people, you should really travel alone.
Thank you so much for commenting. Appreciate it! Thanks for sharing what happened travelling with your friend. It can definitely be hard to stick to our guns sometimes.
As you mentioned, some people are better at getting their own way. Come to think of it, as soon as I read that section of your comment, it gave me an idea for a future blog post. I hope you don’t mind me stealing that. 🙂
Lovely to see you here.
Great article! My favourite part of solo traveling is the people you meet. Some of my greatest friends are scatered all over this world, and I would never have met them had I not not been traveling alone.
Thank you so much for your comment. Lovely to have you here.
I am so glad you enjoyed the article. I hear you on the friends scattered all over the place, it’s fantastic isn’t it! I will have to pop over and check out your blog.
Thanks again for stopping by and I look forward to seeing you next time.
Couldn’t agree with you more!
Now…how did you convince your parents. Bc that’s still a sticking point even though I’m nearly 40!
Thank you so much for commenting. Lovely to have you here.
So glad you enjoyed the post. Now the parent thing. 🙂
My Mum doesn’t like it one bit when I travel by myself. She seems focused on when I am due back more so than what I am actually doing while away. When my brother travels with his family she worries but not as much or maybe in a different sort of way, considering there are 4 of them. She does love email though. I am pretty good and try to write to her regularly, even if it is the shortest email she is happy and it gives her peace of mind. I remember when I first started travelling there was nothing like that. It was all postcards and to be honest I was terrible at sending them so my first trip to the US for nearly three months must have been torture for her. I think I sent one postcard, though from memory I made a couple of quick calls to let her know I was okay as well.
When I bought my townhouse, Mum was thrilled because she thought that would kill my travel bug for a while. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I was about to book a trip to Croatia and Ireland for 6 weeks by myself. Basically ages ago I told her flat out that I will never stop travelling and she is slowly getting her head around it.
Again lovely to see you here and I hope to chat to you again soon.