There are a number of reasons why people chose to travel solo. It could be as simple as none of your friends want to go, or you just want to travel. It could be something more meaningful, like you want to go on a self discovery journey and find yourself, or prove to yourself you can do it. You might even be running away from something, or just want a change, something new or want the freedom. The reason you want to travel solo is yours. However you will undoubtedly grow as a person, learn so much about yourself and what your truly capable of. Traveling will open your eyes and can be one of the best life lessons you will ever receive.
My favorite part of solo traveling is the ultimate feeling of freedom, there is nobody to answer to but yourself. (that can be hard enough at times.) Every decision you make is yours, right or wrong everything is your choice. You chose when to move onto the next destination, when to go on an excursion, you decide if you want to lounge around on a beach or trek up a mountain. You chose when you want to be sociable or not. If you travel in a group, sometimes you need to compromise and even sacrifice what you want to do in favor of what the group wants. In groups trips are organised to accommodate you all, when your solo traveling you pick and chose when and what you want to do. Everybody in a group has an opinion and wants to do different things but when you’re a solo traveler it’s all on you.
A common misconception is traveling solo means being on your own all the time; it doesn’t. Even though you are solo and will be alone sometimes, you will come across people every single day. From the airport flying out to your destination, to the hostel or accommodation you’ve chose, to activities you do. You will meet a mixture of travelers and locals it’s just up to you who you want to make friends with; there is no obligation. Ask any solo traveler and they will tell you how easy it is to make friends traveling.
When going solo try staying at hostels instead of hotels and AirBnBs. Hostels are an unknown entity if you’v never stayed in one, you just don’t know what to expect or what goes on in them. You might think of a hostel as just a cheap place to sleep but they can become much more. Hostels are not hotels, so don’t expect hotel quality. Hostels are more communal, good to meet new people which is great for solo travelers, the best of friendships have been formed in hostels. What you can expect is shared spaces, social hubs, shared enmities and like minded people, there will undoubtedly be other solo travelers there too.
Hostels can become the cornerstone of your traveling experience; I know people who had a better time in a hostel and the people they shared it with rather than the place they were in (myself included). Sometimes the hostel can become the closest thing you have to a home and give you some much needed comfort. When arriving in a hostel be open minded, be receptive to what’ going on; anything and everything can go on in a hostel.
Solo traveling can be one of the best experiences of your life. It all depends on your attitude though. It’s what you make of it. People will feed off your positive energy and vibe. Just be yourself because deep down who cares what people there think of you cause most likely you’ll never see them again. So get out there and make a fool out of yourself! Dance like there’s nobody watching! Most importantly be yourself, and remember that normal is boring!
Here’s a couple tips for solo traveling:
- Travel smart, act like you know what you’re doing even if you don’t.
- Enjoy your travels, take your time and don’t get stressed over little things.
- Pack light but practical (You’re carrying that backpack everywhere you go.)
- Be open minded, adaptable, receptive to change and be willing to grow.
- If things go wrong, look at it as part of an adventure not the end of the world.
- Be prepared for anything to happen.
- Put yourself out there to make friends. You don’t need to spill your life story just be open enough to make friends.
- Don’t be a travel snob.
- Keep important items like passports on you when traveling from one place to another.
- When you’re feeling lonely, try to not let it take over you.
- It’s your trip, you do what you want with it and how you want.