People ask me all the time…
“Why are you travling alone?”
“Don’t you get lonely?”
“Aren’t you scared or worried about being alone in a forign place where you dont speak the language?”
I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of travel, but solo travel was never really on my radar. At first, I decided to travel alone because I was tired of waiting for my friends. I had been throwing the idea around with people who would say they wanted to go; however, wouldn’t take any of the necessary steps to make that happen. Eventually, I made the decision that I was done waiting, and going alone would be better than not going at all. I left my job, friends, family, and comfort of home for the unknown. This turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! I quickly realized how great it was!
In my opinion, solo travel is the best thing a person can do for themselves. Yes, it is scary and lonely at first, BUT that is quickly replaced by excitement and awe of being in a new place, experiencing new things, people, and culture. I feel it makes traveling far less stressful, as well. I only have myself to worry about. If I want to do something, I just do it. I don’t have to clear it with someone else or make sure it’s what they want to do. If I want to take a day to just relax around the hostel, I can do that and not worry about if the other person wanted to do something. It may sound selfish, but it actually makes things much easier.
Even though I travel solo, I feel like I’m never really alone. It’s hard to get lonely staying in hostels. Before my last trip to Europe I had never stayed in one, and now I think they are just the best! There are, for the most part, always people around wanting to get to know you and make new freinds. If I want to be alone, I just escape to the solitude of my bunk. If I want company, I can simply walk to the common room and be surrounded by people.
I tend to put myself out there much more when traveling solo compaired to when I’m in a group. I use my friends as a crutch and don’t feel the overwhelming need to walk up to people and introduce myself or find people to socialize with… because I already have people. The beauty of solo travel, too me, is the ability to take myself out of my comfort zone. We’ve always been taught ‘don’t talk to strangers’ well, when taveling alone, everyone is a stranger, and you’d be surprise how far striking up a friendly conversation with a sranger, say at a bar, can get you. Sometimes they are a local, sometimes a fellow traveler. Of course, there are the times when people are in their own world and don’t want to talk to you or make no effort. Oh well, onto the next. I’ve realized I really take away as much as I put in. If you’re social and outgoing solo travel will probably be a breeze. If you tend to be more introverted it will probably be more challenging, but like I said, being out of your element isn’t necessarily a bad thing , it’s actually the best part!
Now, even in saying all of this, I know solo travel is not for everyone, BUT if you think you could do it, I highly suggest it. I promise you, you will discover a whole new and exhilerating level of respect for yourself and what you can do ALL ON YOUR OWN. Beware: its addicting!