There are many advantages of traveling solo!
I rave about solo travel on this blog, especially solo female travel, because the experience does truly change your life for the better. I’m a much stronger person today thanks to my independent travels.
However I understand that booking plane tickets, reserving accommodation, and actually following through with your dreams are big and scary first steps. Honestly I understand your hesitation. It IS scary going to a new city or country where you don’t know a single soul. I’ve been there multiple times myself. I even canceled a trip to Spain over fearing too much. It’s easy to psyche yourself out of a potentially exciting adventure.
There are many advantages of traveling solo, though. A million of them. These positives will outweigh all of the initial uncertainty. They have a more lasting impact on your life too. I promise.
Below, I’ve listed my top five advantages of traveling solo. I sincerely hope they inspire you to get out and see the world on your own terms.
1. You Meet Incredibly Cool People
You meet way more people if you’re alone than if you’re traveling with family or friends. Believe or not, if your goal is to connect with locals and other travelers, then setting out on your own is the best way to accomplish that goal.
A single person is more approachable than a whole group of friends. I’ve had people start conversations with me in hostels, on day tours, multi-day tour packages, in parks, in cafes, you name it! I also feel like you lose a lot of your reservations when the spirit of travel takes over. You’re more willing to open up to people and listen to their stories and perspectives. A few of these random conversations, in the hostel common room or in a bus seat, have paved the way to wonderful friendships.
You build a really cool (and international) group of friends when you travel alone. It’s amazing.
How do you meet people? Check out my nervous girl’s guide!
2. You Choose Exactly How to Spend Your Time
You can schedule whatever you want if you travel solo! Everyone has unique interests. Museums, hikes, shopping trips, food tours, you name it! When you’re traveling with other people in tow, “compromise” is the name of the game. You can’t do 100% what you want to do, because you need to take other people’s ideas an feelings into consideration. Compromise is an essential part of being a good friend.
But if you’re alone, you can fulfill all your wanderlust-y desires without a second thought. Wanna sleep in? Do it. Wanna splurge on shoes at that funky local boutique? Do it. Wanna find all the most instagramable street art? Do it. You are free, my friend, free!
Solo travel gives you permission to be totally selfish. And it’s beautiful. Especially if you’re the type of person who gives too much to other people (*cough* me *cough*).
Not sure where to go? Here are my 12 best destinations for solo female travelers.
3. You Build An Amazing Amount of Confidence
I think we all have moments where our self-esteem is low. You can be the most self-assured person on the planet, but still experience self-doubt or loathing. I don’t think social media helps either. We see everyone posting shining smiles, and then wonder what the heck is so wrong with us? Why can’t we feel happy too? Why can’t we earn more money? Why can’t we find a person who loves us like we deserve? It’s a vicious cycle.
Solo travel, on the other hand, can help you regain your crown of confidence. By traveling alone, you prove to everyone (and yourself) that you’re smarter, braver, and more resourceful than you ever thought possible.
For example, we all know that I’m scared of flying. But I’ve managed to sit my butt on a plane for over 10 hours in one day. I don’t let fear control my passions and neither should you.
Feeling overwhelmed? Here’s what to do if you feel anxious on your solo trip.
4. You Discover So Much About Yourself
Solo travel gives you needed time to reflect on who you are. We’re all complicated. The noise of daily life rarely gives you the opportunity to truly understand yourself. And understanding yourself is so so so important if you want to be fulfilled in life. When we’re unaware of our needs, we open doors that let people take advantage of us.
Finding yourself in a brand new place, with no strings attached to anyone at all, gives you time to truly reflect. You learn how to enjoy your own company, to appreciate your own thoughts, and to realize your great worth.
If you come to love yourself, you will attract people and situations who give you the same amount of respect and affection. Promise.
Here’s how solo travel helped my anxiety. You will change for the better too!
5. People at Home Respect You Like Crazy
Haha, not to brag or anything, but in my case, a lot of people have mad respect that I’m a solo female traveler. I guess we’re a rare breed in the United States, I don’t know. People are interested in my travels. If I haven’t seen a person in awhile, I’m asked about traveling tips or if I have any new adventures planned. I’m seen as an expert. Cool, huh?
All I can say is if you travel solo, your friends and family and co-workers will have a lot of respect for you. The fact that you can step out of your comfort zone and live on your own terms is inspiring for them. You may even encourage someone close to you to book a solo trip too!
Self-love is most important. Still, having so many people admire you doesn’t hurt your ego either. Get it.
What are some other advantages of traveling solo? Share yours in the comments section! Thanks!