Want to travel the world but have no one to go with? Then do it on your own terms and travel solo! Solo travel is one of the single most empowering, liberating and life changing things you can ever do for yourself. The vast majority of my travels over the last 20 years have been solo, including my first gap year, and honestly they have been the best thing I have ever done for myself!
What Does Solo Travel Mean?
Solo travel simply means taking that leap and enjoying travel on your own without waiting around for someone else to go with you. It means being able to do whatever you want whenever you want without having to compromise for anyone. Travelling alone means that you can completely indulge yourself with your own interests. When you only have yourself to worry about you can choose to fill your day with activities and sights that interest you and you alone, you can choose to have a lazy day on the beach with a good book, you can fill your day with activities you enjoy doing and stop to eat at every food vendor or restaurant you come across, you can sleep in when you want and go out and party if you choose to. The only person you have to answer to is yourself and that is an unashamedly selfish and wonderfully intoxicating and empowering thing!
Learning To Be Happy In Your Own Company.
Solo travel means learning to love your own company. It means you can take the time to truly discover yourself, learn to love who you are as an individual and follow your own dreams.
There really is nothing more empowering and freeing than being able to be in your own company for long periods of time and actually liking it! When you learn to like yourself for who you are, when you love spending time in your own company you become a dangerous human being. You have proven to yourself that you can survive anything the world throws at you alone. You can think and act independently and rely on no one. You are one of those rare souls who does not require a relationship to survive, who does not tolerate endless negativity in your life, who enjoys company but does not need it, who understands and accepts your own flaws and imperfections but celebrates your own virtues. You are invincible!
Is Solo Travel Dangerous?
One of the biggest concerns most travellers have before travelling solo is of safety, and that is not an unreasonable concern. After all setting out to do anything on your own can be daunting, especially when most people will tell you the world is not safe when travelling as a group, never mind alone, and that solo travel is too dangerous, too risky. The mass media will have you believe that the entire world is just a wretched hive of scum and villainy and every female blog that mentions solo travel focuses on safety with the implication being that it is dangerous. But is that true?
Well, no, it isn’t. Travelling the world in general is very safe and so is travelling solo. Of course there are risks out there, and of course travelling solo does bring up a few specific risk factors of its own, not least of which is that you don’t have a safety net of someone watching your back, but these are not risks that can’t be minimised with reasonable common sense precautions and a little bit of knowledge.
Is Solo Travel Lonely?
After safety the next big concern of solo travel is simply being alone. Doing anything alone in and of itself is something that is very far out of most peoples comfort zones, and a lot of first time travellers can feel very uncomfortable doing simple, everyday things like eating at a restaurant or visiting an attraction alone, and many worry about feeling lonely. The truth is, it isn’t like that at all, and you will soon become comfortable with dealing with the initial awkwardness of solo social situations.
There is a huge difference between being alone on your travels, and being lonely.
Of course there will be times you will be lonely, there will be times when you feel homesick, or down, or just not yourself, these emotions are normal and you would often feel them at home, so why would travel be any different? The trick is to realise that these are normal, but temporary emotions, and they will pass. They will pass and become increasingly less common, and you will find that the fun, awesomeness and benefits of solo travel far outweigh the bad, and that for those times where you do feel like a little company there are always people to meet and spend time with on the road.
The fact is there are tons of travellers out there travelling solo or in small groups, and you meet so many other backpackers in hostels, transport hubs or just exploring new places that even the most introverted can find it easy to make friends. Many backpackers end up travelling together for a while or teaming up to save money on transport or tours. The best thing is you can still go your seperate ways when you want to be solo again. Solo travel gives you the best of both worlds.
Solo Travel Tips.
So you’ve seen the light and are ready to take your first solo travel adventure? There are still a lot of litte hints and tips you can take advantage of to make your solo adventure a little smoother. Read these top tips earned over twenty years of solo travel.
Solo travel is one of the best ways to travel and see the world, and one of the best gifts you can ever give to yourself. If you ever get the chance to travel solo, seize it with both hands!