For those who haven’t travelled alone, the very thought of it can be quite intimidating. Venturing into new countries, places where you no one and are alone. As someone who has travelled alone extensively, I find this predicament refreshing – an opportunity to discover a new place, filled with new people, at my own pace. But it wasn’t always this way; when I first started travelling over 2.5 years ago, I was filled with anxiety and uncertainty. Many people find it weird that I love travelling alone, and even sometimes prefer it, but there are heaps of benefits to traveling alone:
1) You’ll meet more people
I’ve travelled with friends and partners from home and I find that when I’m travelling alone I meet more people – I mean, a lot more people. When you’re by yourself, you make more an effort to meet new people because you crave company. When I travel with friends, I can quite often be so content in their company, I don’t bother going up to another solo traveler in a restaurant and asking to share their table. I think when you’re by yourself you’re a lot more approachable, which helps with meeting new people.
2) You’ll have better local experiences
Countries in places like South East Asia are great for meeting locals – many of these countries are very, very warm to foreigners and love showing off their English skills. Travelling in a big group can come off as intimidating and locals are less likely to want to engage with you. I’ve had some of my best local experiences when I’ve been alone in a new place, wandering around lost and a kind local has offered me suggestions or advice. Sure, this can happen when you’re traveling in a group, but again I think being alone makes you a lot more approachable
3) You get to do what you want
Compromise is a big part of travelling with someone else: you need to find a middle ground so that both of you get to do what you want. I’m not big on compromising when I’m on my travels – it might sound rude, but generally I go somewhere with the intention of doing certain things and if someone doesn’t have the same goals in mind, well, I’d rather go off and do my own thing.
4) You’ll grow a lot as a person
Travel will change you regardless of you head solo or with a whole classroom of friends from back home. But being by yourself, coming across problems and overcoming them – by yourself will help you grow in a dramatic way. You’ll get over your fears of eating alone in restaurants, worries of making no friends and uncertainty about arriving in a new city alone. It is challenging, at times, travelling alone – but I believe that the most challenging things in life are what shape you the most.
There are so many benefits to travelling alone, these are just some of my favourite ones. Have you travelled alone? What did you gain from the experience?