Do you like traveling? Would you like to do it alone?
A lot of people I know hate traveling by themselves.
While loneliness is a reality for solo travelers, and safety is also a big issue especially for women, there are many ways to address these. For me personally, the benefits I get from traveling solo far outweigh the risks.
If you need to be convinced about the beauty of solo travel, check out my reasons for doing so.
You are free to go whenever and wherever.
“The man whо gоеѕ аlоnе саn start today; but hе whо travels wіth аnоthеr muѕt wait tіll thаt оthеr іѕ ready.” -Thoreau
If you feel like sleeping in, and just reschedule watching the sunrise at 4am in Angkor Wat, then you can do so. There will be nobody else to pester you about following your itinerary to the letter. Want to interact with locals more by taking the public transport? You can easily do it, since you have no one else with you who’s always afraid of getting mugged on the bus or train.
You can go as slow or as quick as you like, sleep wherever and whenever you want, eat the food you feel like eating. Freedom–this is the most important reason why I travel solo.
You will meet new friends.
When you travel alone, there are greater chances of meeting new friends. I’m naturally an introvert, but when I’m traveling, you can find me talking to fellow travelers more. I usually don’t do this when I have a travel companion; after all, when you’re with someone, the tendency is to stick together.
I have met so many wonderful people in my travels, and I’m glad to have crossed paths with them. While I haven’t seen them again, nor even remembered their names, I will always appreciate the time that we’ve spent together.
Locals will befriend you more when you’re alone.
I have noticed this several times during my travels. Local people usually express surprise when they see that I’m traveling solo.
After a brief explanation of why I do (because they always, always ask!), and a brief chitchat of where I’d been and what I’d seen, they usually invite me to their homes, either to join them in a meal or to meet their family. This is a priceless moment for me!
If you’re not used to going on a trip by yourself but you would like to try it out, here are some tips to help you plan your itinerary:
- Stay at a hostel and choose a dormitory room. You will find a lot of solo travelers there that you can hook up with, whether for a meal or a trip together. I met an American English teacher from South Korea in Borneo Backpackers Hostel when I was in Kota Kinabalu and we went whitewater rafting together. I always use Hostelworld to look for the best deals, whether I’m traveling to Asia or in Europe.
- Join а tour group. I’m usually a DIY traveler, but there are times when I join a tour, not only to reduce expenses but also to meet other travelers. When you’re on the road for some time, you would definitely want the opportunity to talk to someone else beside yourself!
- As much as possible, avoid destinations for lovers or families. Seeing most people traveling with someone else can make you feel lonely, something that I had experienced in Berlin.
- Be safe. Read my safety tips when traveling alone.
There are many advantages to traveling solo. All you need is the willingness to go out of your comfort zone, and you will definitely enjoy solo travel.
Have you traveled alone? Why do you like it? Do share!