4 Reasons to Take Off Solo – At Least Once

So, the thought of travelling on your own somewhere could easily fill you with dread. I’m here to tell you why that’s kinda the reason you should go….

1. Solo Exclusive Experiences

Travel is not just ticking off all the things to do in a place. It’s the experience of being there. And honestly there are some experiences that you just don’t get when you’re in a group. It is very easy to do all the things AS a group; you go to the bar together, dinner together, dancing together and suddenly you realise it’s been two weeks and you haven’t spoken to anyone other than your group and waiters. Travelling by yourself you sit in bars alone – for about ten minutes. I made more flash friends in the three months when I lived in a hostel in Greece than I have in my life total. I have partied on the beach with South Africans, gone dancing with groups of local girls, learnt the rudest words in Spanish, Swedish, Greek, Russian – all because I was on my own and started talking to people around me.


2.Friendships

Because I was on my own on Santorini I had to talk to people. I made friends with the barmaid. Because I made friends with the bar maid, I travelled to Naples with her. Because we went to Naples together and I met her (now) boyfriend. Because we all got along so well we travelled together through Sweden, Turkey, and Greece for over 6 weeks. I consider these two people some of my closest friends, while revisiting Greece together last year we met a solo traveller at our hostel and she became one of our best friends –there hasn’t been a day since where our group chat hasn’t been active. Honestly if an amazing friendship is the only thing (it won’t be) that you get out of travelling solo – isn’t that worth it?


3. Other people’s problems, aren’t your problems

 There are very few times in life where acting in a selfish way isn’t selfish. When you travel in a group, everyone gets a vote on what you do. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you find yourself going into the twelfth designer store and for the twelfth time – you don’t care. You put up with it – and so you should, it’s not just your trip. However, when you’re on your own, your priorities are the only priorities. If you want to go to the tenth museum in ten days – go. If you want to eat four meals a day and sit in parks drinking coffee – you can. If you find a once in a lifetime opportunity – like 20 Euro flight somewhere random – you can take it and the only person you need to convince is yourself. You’re also restricted in your choice when you have to factor in other people’s proclivities. I have a friend who won’t stay in a hostel with less than a 95% rating online, in a no more than 4-person dorm, and only within a 20-minute walk from her favourite attraction – this meant her cheapest acceptable option for Paris was over 60 Euros a night (we did not end up going to Paris together, thankfully for my bank account). Times when your decisions are yours alone are incredibly rare in life, grab them where you can.


4. Self-Reliance

So many people don’t want to start travelling solo because ‘what if… I get lost’ or ‘what if there’s a problem and they don’t speak English’. These were my concerns when I started travelling. These things happen, you do get lost you do hit language barriers, but learning to deal with these things on my own is the single most empowering thing I’ve experienced. Yes. The earthshattering realisation that I could write what I want to say in Google Translate and show my grumpy, elderly, Greek receptionist what I meant was a massive victory for me in 2012. Booking hotel rooms on the go thanks to a particularly slow off season, massive victory. Putting feet on the ground for the first time in a new country and taking the metro instead of a taxi, massive victory. These relatively tiny achievements added up over time and now equates to an unwavering self-reliance and confidence. I can manage, I may not excel in every situation, but I can manage.
That fear you feel when you think about travelling by yourself, that is the reason to give it a go. You don’t have to go somewhere extreme for your first trip; pop to a country that speaks your language, take a weekend in another province, or jump in feet first and book a trip to your dream destination. The point is – do it, go, be on your own and find your own feet. Travelling with groups is in NO way inferior to solo travel and I will talk about why you should travel with a group (at least once) next week- Happy Travels!


 

 

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43 thoughts on “4 Reasons to Take Off Solo – At Least Once

  1. These are all such good points! I have always travelled with my best friend or boyfriend but I am finally going on a solo trip in May and I can’t wait! These tips are great, I agree you meet new people and discover new places whilst your solo!

  2. Reason number 4. Couldn’t agree with you more!! I get lost all the time in my hometown, didn’t stop me from getting on a one-way plane to SE Asia and then Australia and New Zealand. I can go wherever I want now, provided I’m sensible, I have (little to)no fear about jetting off somewhere new by myself.

  3. I really enjoyed this article. I have not traveled alone that much, but I did an internship where I was forced to get out of my shell and socialize with a number of people. That summer I learned a lot, and my life changed. I had lived 20 years in the same place, same town, and there I was miles away from home with 30 strangers.

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  5. Really really great insight into the positives of solo travel. I must admit, I rarely travel solo these days but not in groups either. I am fortunate to have found a travel partner that has similar sensibilities on nearly everything so there’s no compromise. But I’m with you that sometimes it’s good to be able to be selfish but also to be in a position that forces you to interact with strangers which leads to the most fabulous experiences!

    • That is so cool – I have found some friends I am happy travelling with and I’m about to find out what it is like to travel with a partner haha! The obligation to talk to people and make friends in probably my favourite reason 🙂

  6. Solo travel is so different from travelling with a group of friends. But as far as can I see, its very similar to travelling with a significant other, specially if you’re on the same wavelength and totally in sync.

  7. This post is so inspirational! And the reasons you point out are so true. They even work when you’re traveling as a couple. Even if you’re not alone and you have someone to talk to, you still meet a lot more people than when traveling with a group. Loved reading this post!

    • Exactly – I don’t mind a bit of window shopping but when everything is out of my budget and not my style it is just so repetitive, especially when i could be out in a museum or some ruins or eating! hahah

  8. Honestly solo travel seems amazing sometimes. When planning for trips in groups there is always an issue with what everyone wants. I rather go where I want to go and eat where I want to eat. No drama.

    • Exactly – I spent a day in Italy with a super picky hostel-mate and I nearly melted. Finding like-minded friends to travel with is key – I talk about travelling with friends in another post.

  9. If we weren’t a couple then we would both definitely solo travel. There is a lot of great things to learn and experience from solo travel. Self reliance and independence are an important thing to learn for the future.

    • I agree, the independence I got from Solo travelling has made so much in my life possible. Many people I speak to feel that travelling as a couple is very similar to travelling solo – you’re a unit, rather tan with a big group of friends with competing interests. ❤ I will find this out later in the year – first time travelling with a partner!

  10. Some great points! I haven’t travelled solo and this post makes me wish I had when I had the chance! I especially like the idea of just doing what I want and not having to worry about anyone else 🙂

    • Well it is never too late! I’;m skipping off overseas later this year and my boyfriend can’t get leave – back Solo once again! ❤ I'm trying to convince my sister to leave her kids with her husband for a week or so for an international sojourn with me too! 😄

  11. This post is exactly something I would write! A lot of times i have to explain to people why i like traveling alone and those are the reasons! Whenever I travel with friends I always get annoyed because we all want something different or we cant agree about where to eat and basic things like that. I have never met another people when traveling with friends because, why would I, i already have friends with me. And thats such a shame because for me the great part of travelling is meeting new people. I had the best and most authentic experiences when traveling alone so yes, completly agree with everything you said 🙂

  12. Your first two points are I think what most people discover quickly when they travel solo, that it’s all about different human contact. Not everyone we meet clearly is someone we want to meet, but I have some of the most amazing friendships simply because I talked to someone when travelling solo.

    • Oh I agree, there have been a lot of people i have encountered that havent been people I’ve connected with (some I’ve actively disliked) but the ones I have made a connection with are SO worth the ones I didnt 😄

  13. Oh, you are so right. I actually traveled solo a lot, especially when it comes to destinations with long flights etc. There was something about vacations and “just lying on the beach”, that was not that compatible with my desire to travel, explore and see something new! 😀

  14. I’ve been traveling solo for past few years and loving it! It not only helps me in moving out of my comfort zone but enjoying things binge free at my own pace!

  15. Great post and amazing pictures. Travelling solo is a journey of self-exploration. The experiences on the road will make us a better person.

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