Solo travel appears to be all the rage just lately. What was once reserved for daredevil adventurers has become much more mainstream. People are traveling solo in order to discover more about themselves and to develop their skills and confidence as a person. Indeed, there are many benefits and things that can be learned from solo travel.
You Become More Sociable
Traveling solo forces you out of your comfort zone as is but it also opens you up to more possibilities socially. When you travel with friends, you have no real reason to interact with strangers. When traveling solo, however, not only do you appear more approachable to others, you also have to go and make that first introduction if you want to find some company to sightsee with.
You Learn to be Self Sufficient
When you travel alone you are exactly that – alone. That means that every hurdle that you face on your way around the world needs to be handled solely by you. Lost luggage, blocked bank accounts and getting sick overseas are not exactly the highlights of solo travel that people rave about but learning how to cope overseas with stress and to handle these situations by yourself can help you grow as a person and become more self-sufficient.
You Can Learn to Enjoy Your Own Company
Although we don’t hasten to admit it, many of us are not all that comfortable with our own company. Traveling alone can mean dining alone which can make even the most confident person feel awkward or uncomfortable. In the beginning, we feel self-conscious to people’s looks and possible judgements, but in time we learn to see this time as an opportunity for reflection or to practice mindfulness.
It Looks Great On Your Resume
Travel is one of those things that people often debate about on résumés. Some argue that a gap in work is a negative thing, while others insist that it enables you to build life skills. Where solo travel is concerned, the positive skills developed are all the more evident to your future employers – it shows that you are not afraid to take initiative, that you are a self-starter and that you are organized enough to manage schedules and budgets.
Travel On Your Terms
Traveling with friends and family is great, sure, however when you are traveling with someone else you are constantly having to compromise. When you travel alone, you can do whatever you want, whenever you want. So whether you want to sleep in until noon, or you want to get up at 7am to visit museums that your pals would think are an absolute snoozefest, you don’t have to worry about upsetting others when you travel alone.
Choose Your Travel Pace
Everybody has a different preference when it comes to travel. Some people are eager to hop from one country to another, collecting stamps for their passport. Others prefer a more relaxed pace – opting to “slow travel” and spend a little longer in each country that they visit in order to live like the locals do. Traveling solo means not having to compromise the speed of your trip for someone else. If you are traveling through Asia and you stumble upon a town where you’d like to stick around and hang out a little longer, you absolutely can without having to convince or seek approval from anyone else.
Solo Travel Comes with Perks!
If you are traveling alone, you are much more likely to be rewarded with benefits and perks than you would if traveling as a group. For example, airlines may bump you up to first class if they have a spare seat available since solo travelers are less likely to cause a disturbance than families with children. You may also find that service staff at hotels, restaurants and cafes are that little bit more friendly, and you may find more competitive vacation travel deals also when you only have yourself to consider.
No Risk of Fights or Hassle
Traveling with friends can be memorable and fun but it can also pave the way for drama. There’s no risk of someone having one too many cocktails on a Friday night and spending the entirety of the jungle trek you’ve been looking forward to for months complaining that they feel sick and hungover. You will never fight over your plans for the day as it will be you that has the last say in every decision.
You’re Not Waiting on Anyone Else
We’ve all got those friends who start out being completely eager and excited to head off on a trip together somewhere, and it’s only after you’ve planned every minor detail that they suddenly realize that they don’t want to go, or that they can’t make it for some reason.
When traveling alone, you don’t have to worry about someone else canceling or changing things at the last minute.
You Feel Free as a Bird
There’s something really exciting and empowering about being completely free to go wherever you please, particularly if traveling for an extended period of time. You’ll be feeling like a true wanderer that can roam wherever they please.