One of the most common reasons not to travel, other than money, is not having someone to travel with. Many people think solo travel would be boring, lonely or even unsafe. But that's far from the reality.
I've traveled with friends, family, and partners, and I've traveled alone many times. In the process, I've discovered the benefits of traveling solo far outweigh any of the negative aspects.
Freedom. Solo travel means freedom. Freedom to do what you want when you want. There are no compromises that need to be made. You won't have to worry about missing that sight you always wanted to see because you're stuck in some shop while your travel buddy searches endlessly for that perfect outfit or souvenir. And what happens when the person you're traveling with has a completely different idea of how they want to spend their days? Going alone allows you to indulge in total selfishness, and a little of that can definitely be a good thing.
New people. When you're traveling alone, you're much more likely to meet new people and perhaps even make new friends. When you travel with others, you usually stick together, which makes you less approachable, as well as less likely to wander away and introduce yourself to someone else. Many of my favorite people were met because I made an effort to start a conversation with them, or was simply more open because I was on my own. It's a great way to enjoy a more authentic travel experience and even get in on insider tips too.
Resting without guilt. Travel can be exhausting. And sometimes, it can even make you cranky, especially if you've gotten lost countless times or had to endure any of those other inevitable bumps in the road. It's those moments that all you really want to do is absolutely nothing. When you're alone, you can.
Confidence. If you're shy and/or anxious about travel, traveling solo can really help you break out of your shell and become more confident. Yes, at first, just the thought may conjure up a panic attack, but once you do it, you realize you can, and your confidence continues to build. You can practice breaking out of your shyness without worrying about making a fool out of yourself, because it doesn't matter - who are they going to tell? The whole office? Your neighborhood back home?
You become a better problem solver. When you're traveling with a friend or family member and face a challenge, you may get used to relying on them when something goes wrong. Taking a trip on your own means you'll have to figure it out yourself, which further builds confidence, and helps you to become a better problem solver in many other aspects of your life.
Simple planning. Planning a trip on your own is infinitely easier than trying to coordinate flights, accommodations and so on, with one or more other people. And then there's the budget aspect too, it's a lot more difficult when you have to accommodate another's priorities. Maybe you'd prefer more upscale lodging and eating simply, or vice versa?
While there are many positives that come with having a travel companion, traveling solo is really something everyone should try at least once. Who knows, you might just find you prefer it!
If you need some ideas when it comes to solo-friendly places, check out 24 Stunning Destinations Ideal For Solo Travel.
After spending much of her life in a cubicle, at 40-something K.C. decided to finally LIVE. Today, she is always on some sort of adventure, or writing about it.
She hopes her journey will inspire you to do the same.