I love travelling with Carl, we are a great team, it is rewarding, relaxing and we get to experience lots of new things together which strengthens our relationship. But solo travel is awesome too. Going on vacation on your own isn’t any less of an experience than going with someone else. Solo travel is an eye-opener, a spiritual healer and a confidence builder.
Travelling alone you will find yourself even if you get lost. Here are my 8 Reasons Why Solo Travel is Awesome and why should you consider it at least once in your lifetime.
(Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means if you do buy items or book hotels via these links, I will earn a small commission. This is at no extra cost to yourselves, but it helps me to run this blog )
You have to rely on yourself
When I travel with Carl, I always rely on him. Most of the time on his sense of direction, because of no matter which map or Sat-nav I follow, I’ll get lost. Getting lost with others can be a pain, but getting lost on your own is kind of fun and pushes you to rely on yourself. I’ve learnt this while on my first solo trip to Faro when I struggled to find my accommodation. But I made it. I spent an entire weekend on my own and I loved it. I had no one to rely on, no one to tell me about places, it was me, myself and I. Solo travel teaches you to be your own best friend and to truly rely on yourself. At the end of the trip, it kind of makes you feel proud too.
It improves your mental health
It does. Big time. A while ago I struggled with very bad anxiety and panic attacks, and even getting out of our house to the store was a problem. To overcome my unknown fear and escape the stress, I booked that solo trip and went. It helped. Solo travel is the best cure for your soul, mind, and I’ve heard for a broken heart too. It makes you feel powerful and free, you become your own Super Hero. It saves you.
“Fill your life with experiences, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.”
It builds your confidence
Following the mental health improvement, solo travel also builds your confidence. It might be scary, especially for the first time, as we humans tend to fear the unknown, but overall, it does build your confidence. You learn how to put yourself out there. You learn that talking to people and doing things on your own isn’t actually that scary and your confidence will spike. Trust me, I know. I’ve done it and I keep doing it! I spent a few days road tripping around Cornwall, took surfing lessons, stayed in a hostel and met some amazing people. I even drove a boat in Portugal (okay, it was only for a couple of minutes but it still counts)… See, do you get my point? If I was shy, I wouldn’t have any of these memories. And at the end of the day, memories are what we live for.
You don’t have to make compromises
What I really, really love about solo travelling is that you don’t have to make compromises. It is selfish, but who cares? You are your own boss. You don’t have to argue where to go, what to see, where to eat or go for a drink. You can take a wrong turn, you can treat yourself to fine dining or cook yourself dinner at your accommodation, skipping the queue if you don’t want to wait. The list goes and goes on. When you solo travel, you can do what you want and go where you want, all without making undesirable choices.
You will love your own company
I know lots of people who would literally never, ever leave their partner to travel on their own. Or let them travel alone or with friends. Don’t do it. It is toxic and it kills your spirit. Solo travel will not only give you confidence, but it also makes you love your own company more. You will laugh at yourself when you do something silly (I did that after dancing on my own in Faro square while my GoPro was wrapped around a street lamp); you will treat yourself, you will listen to yourself. While working, going to the gym, looking after kids, etc. etc. having that daily routine – we don’t have time to listen to our souls, listen to our minds, finding out if we truly love our own company. Go somewhere on your own, even for a day, I guarantee you, that you will totally fall in love with your own company.
“Travelling alone will be the scariest, most liberating, life changing experience of your life. Try it at least once!”
You meet new people
Although you’re travelling solo, you never feel lonely. Or never too alone. People are everywhere. You will talk to them, you get distracted during your train ride while talking to a passenger next to you, interacting with people while making dinner in the kitchen of your hostel, joining strangers while watching the sunset at the beach, they offer to take pictures of you when they see your poor tripod is falling apart… We interact with humans on a daily basis, solo travel isn’t any different.
Own financial control
Want to upgrade your room with a balcony and view? Go for it. Want to spend the evening in your room with a bottle of cheap wine from the local supermarket and snacks? Go for it. Want to attend a free walking tour? Go for it. It is your money, do what you want and when you want.
Learn to be in the moment
I found my perfect moment when I sat by the Crown Mines in Cornwall, surrounded by nothing but nature and the most beautiful sunset I’ve ever witnessed. Until that point, I don’t think that I have ever lived in the moment before. It was so strong, so beautiful, I had tears in my eyes and I knew that was the moment of total presence.
With our daily routines, it’s really difficult to live in the moment. We have schedules, we have to bend to other people’s schedules and adapt to stressful situations like being late for work and the car breaking down. You need to travel on your own. You need to escape that burden of daily life. Follow your heart, the rhythm of your steps without any compromises and shifting unwanted distractions. Find that perfect moment. Live in that moment.
Do it. Do it at least once.