Travelling alone isn’t as scary as it might sound. There is nothing wrong with it at all. Over fifty percent of the people I met when I was travelling around South East Asia were also travelling alone. In fact, I’m prepared to put my head on the chopping block and make the claim that travelling alone is a far more authentic traveling experience than traveling with friends. It’s something you must do!
I’m this post I am going to list the five main benefits of travelling alone. I hope this convinces any potential solo traveler reading this that traveling alone is a great idea for them too.
1. You make every decision.
One of the main benefits of travelling alone is that you are in control of every detail of your trip. There is no need to compromise on what you want to do, where you want to go or how long you want to stay. You make every decision which means you can completely plan the trip around your personal tastes. Travelling alone allows you to be very self-indulgent. I love it!
2. Forced to meet new people.
It’s funny because I’m kind of anti-social and before I went on my backpacking trip, I didn’t really think too much about meeting other people. Sure, I thought it would be nice to have some company now and again but that was never the reason I was doing it. Now looking back, I feel that the encounters I had and the experiences I shared with the other people I met where some of the best and most memorable moments of the trip. Who would have thought?
Travelling alone makes it far easier to meet other people. There are plenty of other solo travellers out there and everyone is keen to meet others– just like you. You can hop from one group to another and befriend some cool people in the process.
Of course, you can still meet people when travelling with others but it is a little more difficult as you have a friend to rely on. When you are alone you are almost forced to meet new people due to the situation you’re in. Just say hello!
3. Time for yourself.
Some people may appreciate this more than others but personally I loved having the time to myself. I don’t know if I could deal with three months constantly being with the same person or people without my own space.
When you are travelling alone you have plenty of time to think about life, read, listen to music and really take in the things you are seeing and the experiences you have having. This abundance of alone time made the trip that much more rewarding for me.
4. More booking flexibility.
When you are travelling alone you have so much more flexibility. You can easily turn up in a new town or city on a whim, without booking and easily find a place to stay. This relaxed attitude toward travelling becomes harder and harder to pull off with the more friends you have travelling with. You may find yourself having to book each hostel in advance to make sure that you are guaranteed a room together. The same applies for other types of bookings such as activities and transport too.
5. True freedom.
The final and greatest reason to travel alone is the experience of true freedom. There is no doubt, at least for me, that this is the most rewarding aspect of travelling. I love the feeling of being in a strange place with nothing to rely on but my own hands and mind. The challenges you face are yours alone to conquer and conquering them makes you feel unstoppable. You can go anywhere. You can do anything. There is nothing there to stop you. When you travel alone you walk on the earth as a modern-day human unshackled from obligation and society. You are free…until you run out of money.
Also published on Medium.