Since travel became popular few decades ago, the term solo travel has started to pop up more. To travel solo simply means to travel alone. While the first time travelling solo feels like the most unattainable goal and feels unsafe for some people, once you’ve done it you are hooked. Everything that you learn makes you grow as a person and become a better and more aware of the world surrounding you person.
Why everyone should travel solo at least once
You start asking things
Whether it’s on the street, in a hostel or to random people in a restaurant. In the era of Internet where almost anything is available after a couple clicks, we’ve lost the ability to ask for what we need. To ask it to other people.
When you travel solo you loose the fear of asking. You find yourself in a country without data and maps, not knowing exactly where the place you want to go is. And your only option is to start asking on the street. It feels weird the first few times, feeling shy. But once you’ve done it for a while it feels natural. Whether the question is about where that attraction is, how to get there fastest or the best restaurant for locals in town.
Connecting with your instincts
Humans are an instinctual specie by nature but nowadays most of us ignore that side of us. We are mostly in safe environments and don’t need to rely on what our gut is telling us. When you are travelling alone some things feel uneasy. They are not necessarily dangerous, but because you are not completely sure about whatever is happening, it is better to not go with it. It can look like the best opportunity of your life (I was offered to go on a private helicopter to the Great Barrier Reef – but I was not feeling it safe!) but the thought of “hmmm I’m not sure” is not the best one to start with. The end goal is for you, solo traveller, to feel great with yourself. That includes your basic instincts as well.
Opens your mind
Going out of our comfort zone makes us open-minded, broadens our perspectives and makes us eager to learn from other people’s minds, cultures or traditions. At the end it is all knowledge that ultimately will make you grow. From learning about weird traditions of some place far away to having a cooking class with a local. The new experiences might be something you had never thought of before, but while you travel alone situations open their doors and windows to you.
There is no need to wait for anyone
Even on the best small groups tour targeted specially at your traveller type you find yourself doing something that maybe doesn’t appeal you or waiting for someone. Although you may choose to wait for someone on occasion, travelling solo is solely about you. I can decide when to move, get a bus or wake up. I can decide to sit down my legs can’t carry me anymore or dance in a club until they kick me out. Realisation that your plans are open to whatever you decide is a powerful and liberating – why not – feeling.
Becoming a tourist in your own city
To me one of the most important things. Travelling is all about adventure. Discovering new places. Exploring cities, castles. Trying restaurants, browsing Instagram latest trending hastags and sharing stories with people you meet. The adrenaline while you are travelling doesn’t stop.
So why, when we get home, we stop doing all of that? Perhaps one of the most difficult things to do. Honest opinion? Our comfort zone exists for a reason. We have our group of friends, our established meeting points and events. It requires double effort to go out to a new restaurant just to try it, to have a drink at the new pub around the corner or to get lost in your own city – because you already know what you like in it.
Word of advice? When you manage to start trying new things in your own city, you will realise how many things you still have left to see and discover to be a better local.