Most of “steady Eddy” people can’t imagine themselves traveling on their own so they always take their friends with them, partners or join the organised group trips. Why? There are many reasons such as “It’s scary!”, “I don’t want to feel lonely”, “I need a buddy to have a beer with”, “Who would take pictures of me?” (that’s me!) :) Nevertheless, traveling solo is getting more and more common as it can be much fun and more unique experience for adventure hunters. Actually, the advantages of traveling solo are enormous. Here are a few of them I find the most rewarding:
1. Discovering yourself.
Traveling alone is a great opportunity for you to discover yourself, find out what you like and you don’t like about yourself and what you are really like. You can finally take a time to think about your life and decisions you have made. Going for a solo journey can be a great way to figure out what you really want and what really matters through self-reflection, focusing and sometimes meditation.
2. Gaining confidence, strength and learning new skills.
When you travel solo you might face some problems, make decisions and even take some risk on your own. All these situations will, with no doubts, make you stronger, braver and much more confident though. Being alone on the road is a great challenge and as we know the challenges make us grow stronger and wiser not only as travellers but also as human-beings. When traveling on your own you can learn many skills such as time management, decision making, etc. and test yourself.
3. More interactions with people.
When you travel solo you definitely meet more people as you are more determined to make friends not to feel lonely. That means you will interact more not only with foreigners but also with locals. You will be also treated differently as local people (more open and out-going with solo travellers) know you might feel lonely and miss your home. Therefore, you will be more open to new things, new people and enjoy more traveling.
4. More freedom.
You are the boss of yourself and you decide what to do and where to go. It gives you a lot of freedom in decisions making, plan changing and you are more flexible to manage your time. You take the control and have the power to lead.
5. No arguments or compromises.
The only one person who need to agree with you is yourself and there’s no need to meet someone half-way. It’s all up to you: where to go, what to eat, how much money to pay for something and you don’t have to argue about it with anyone.
6. It’s cheaper.
In most cases, you can find traveling solo cheaper than any other options. Firstly, nobody teases you with local delicacies so it’s easier to resist the temptation and spend less money on food (in my case sweets). Secondly, your travel companion might prefer move convenient and expensive way of traveling and it’s sometimes awkward to say “Sorry, it’s too expensive for me” or “I can sleep outside to make it cheaper”. Thirdly, you are more likely to buy less souvenirs and useless gadgets (I buy them a lot when traveling with someone for unknown reason).
To sum up, we should not be scared to set off for a solo journey! For some people it might be a tough decision and a weird feeling for the first days of solo expedition, but at the end of the day you will not regret it as it’s much more adventurous and challenging, it shapes your personality and gives you enormous possibilities to test yourself.
I travelled solo for more than 6 months. During this time I had so much fun being on my own and exploring China in a different way, more challenging and unique way. At first, I was excited and had much more interactions with locals than before, traveling with friends or Cez, then I felt a little lonely but never felt unhappy. I feel more mature and brave now which has had a huge influence on my personal life and my personality has grown a lot. You should try it one day and I’m sure you will find it rewarding!
Have you ever experienced solo traveling? Did you like it at all? What were the main benefits for you? Feel free to share your experience in comments :).