I can’t help but roll my eyes when people are shocked at the idea of doing things on my own.”OMFG, you went to the movies alone!?”…BFD. “Why are you eating lunch alone?” Because I freaking want to that’s why.
As a solo traveler for the last few years, I am a huge advocate for this new movement and idea that it is OK to do things by yourself. If doing simple things like eating out or going to your favorite bar for a little de-stresser after work isn’t one of the most liberating experiences, imagine what traveling alone can do for you, for your soul.
Traveling has become a part of who we are as humans, booming this industry and making way for this new generation of explorers of neo-nomads. No doubt though, there has been a long time stigma placed on those that choose solitude over herds of friends or loved ones.
I am here to debunk that idea, and let you in on the best kept secrets of why taking your next trip on your own time, budget and effort is the best thing you could do for yourself. Because if you don’t like spending time with you, nobody else will.
4. Your budget. Your rules.
Many peoples ideas of a vacation is staying at a luxury 5 star hotel, going to the best restaurants and doing a nice bit of shopping on the side. That sounds all great and dandy, but what about just having the experience of being somewhere new?
Traveling on a budget is a bit more realistic for our generation. Seeing a new place isn’t about going out of your way to travel like that posh European couple staying at the fancy “W” hotel. How about finding a nice economical flight ( even if that means sacrificing for a layover here or there). Eating at those hole in the wall places the locals love so much. Then spending your money going snorkeling off the reef or taking a stroll through that museum that happens to be housing an original Monet painting you’ve been wanting to see all your life?
Traveling is about the culture, and doing it alone isn’t about keeping up with the Joneses, you do enough of that back home.
3.You pick your destinations.
So you have the dates set, your budget is calculated and you’re ready to pick your next travel destination! Where do you want to go? Picking a place can be as easy as pulling out your handy bucket list and scratching off that city you have been dying to see for so long.
Now imagine this: You are at a circus. Everyone is watching you, waiting for you to jump through that ring of fire. You know its scary. You know you could get hurt.In the end you decide you have no choice but to do it no matter what the consequences. You just want to hear the clapping and cheering, and watch the smile on their faces, because in the end that will make you feel better about whatever decision you make.
That’s what traveling with a group of people is like, and how it feels to have to please everyone regardless of your own happiness. Save yourself the possible burn marks and the inevitable regret you will feel once you are on the plane. Travel solo.
2. Meeting New People.
It is no secret that being a solo traveler automatically makes you interesting and brave to people you meet. Your story will always seem intriguing to others even if the story is as simple as you got on a plane and left. Even with more and more people doing it, encountering someone that travels on their own is still quite the surprise and something that will attract others to you instantly. So, if your fear of traveling solo is being lonely, trust me you have nothing to worry about.
Now, not everyone has to go out there and be a social butterfly. If it is your thing, just research some popular cafes or bars and strike up a conversation with that cute bartender or that person sitting next to you. Being somewhere new and alone is the biggest incentive to meeting new people. When you travel with others you are not forced to be social with someone other than your friends.
If you do enjoy the solitude, then go ahead and be your own one person wolf-pack. More power to you!
1. It is chicken soup for your soul.
The idea of traveling somewhere unknown for the first time where in the end you end up finding yourself sounds like something out of a book. But I am here to tell you, it is actually a VERY real thing.
Whether its taking a spiritual journey through the ruins of Machu Picchu,and finding yourself meditating at the top of the mountains. Or exploring through the jungles of Brazil and drinking ayahuasca with the indigenous people only to have a spiritual revelation about your life (both of these are real stories, told to me by friends and family). Traveling alone fills you with more enlightenment and more knowledge about yourself than you ever thought possible. You will laugh, you will cry, you will do things you never thought you could do.
If you have never taken the chance to go on a trip by yourself because it was “too scary” or “too weird”, you don’t know what you are missing out on. I implore you to plan your next trip ASAP and make it everything YOU ever wanted it to be.