This quote by Henry David Thoreau says it all, “The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.” Travel is great whichever way you attempt it, but traveling alone is a definite eye-opener. You stop focusing on the other person, and their judgment of your actions and focus on what is really important – the vistas in front of you. If you haven’t attempted traveling by yourself before, give it a try. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. When you rely on yourself for everything, without looking to your partner or travel group for assistance, you’ll find that you are more than capable of managing the world on your own.
1. No Time Wastage On Logistics
Imagine the sheer logistics of traveling with a group–working out vacation times, budgets, luggage limits, ticket bookings, hotel accommodations and the many discussions! When you’re ready to go solo, all you do is plan just for yourself and be flexible to change your plans at any time. It’s so freeing, you won’t believe it!
Get Inspiration: 10 Indian Solo Female Travelers spreading their wings in the sky
2. You won’t have to live with another’s fears
We may not realize it, but we’re always influenced by people’s opinions in life. For example, say you want to try bungee jumping but your partner frowns upon it. When you’re traveling alone just do your own thing. Face your own fears, go and dive with sharks in South Africa and bungee jump in New Zealand.
3. You’re The Decision Maker
There’s always a pecking order in any travel group; someone or the other is the leader. When you travel solo, you’re the leader and you’re the decision maker. Being in charge of your life out there is a very empowering thing.
4. You Can Consider Multiple Career Options
When you decide you want to be a solo traveler, you can opt to work as you travel, or choose a career that allows you to pace your work. You can take more trips, and even consider making travel your work. All this is possible because you don’t have to worry about a travel group.
5. You Can Change Your Plans On A Dime
When you’re no longer dependent on a travel partner, you can change your travel plans on a dime. Want to shelve the original route and go somewhere else? Just hitch up that backpack and get those visas ready. It’s all up to you; you’re the master and you decide how to travel alone.
6. You Have Total Control Over Expenses
Want to stay at an expensive room just for one night? Want to pick up that expensive bag for your mom? Go ahead. If you make mistakes, you’ll have only yourself to deal with. When you’re traveling by yourself, you don’t have to answer to anyone else; this makes you more financially responsible.
7. There’s No Buffer Between You And Actual Experience
Shared experiences are wonderful, but they are not exact. We miss out much while observing others’ reactions to those experiences. A partner or group tends to create a buffer between you and your travel experiences. Without those, your experiences will be so much more intense.
8. You Can Travel At Your Own Pace
If you want to spend more time in the desert checking out that wonderful sunset, you can. Or if you want to stay longer at a place without sticking to your itinerary, you can. What you do with your schedule is your decision, no one else’s.
9. You’ll Be More Focused On Your Destination
When you’re alone, you’re free to focus more thoroughly on your destination and engage more directly with your surroundings. Solo travelers report more vivid memories of their travels, because their attention was fully focused on their surroundings.
10. Your Confidence Gets A Big Boost
When you set out on your first solo trip, you’ll be justifiably full of trepidation. No matter how many times you’ve traveled with others before, going it alone requires courage and confidence. Each day of your travel will help build this very necessary confidence. By the end of your first solo trip, you’ll be a different person; in fact, your friends will be able to tell the difference.
11. Traveling Alone Opens Up Possibilities Of Adventure
At first, you might book tickets to a relatively tepid travel destination like an urban city. As you continue to travel alone, you’ll feel free to attempt more adventurous travels, such as a solo trip into the villages of Africa, or the jungles of Malaysia.
12. Traveling Helps You Learn More About Yourself
It’s only when you travel solo you’ll understand who you really are. You’ll find out who you are, what you care about, what your limits are, and what you like to do with your time. When you travel with others it can be great fun but you’ll only see yourself through their eyes.
13. You Can Cross Off Your Bucket List Faster
How many trips can you manage in a year when you travel as a group? Maybe one or perhaps two if you really love travel all that much; however, when you travel solo, you can make a list of places you want to visit and cross off your bucket list faster.
14. You’ll Get To Meet More People
Solo and don’t have anyone to translate for you, or get things done with their better language skills? Don’t worry; just look around and you’ll meet other travelers who have similar skills. Or, turn to the locals and ask for help. You’ll find that you manage just as well, if not better.
15. You Plan Your Own Activities
When you’re part of a group, each person will have an opinion about where they want to go and what they want to do. If you’ve ever felt hesitant to state your opinion or get to spend the day doing what you want to do while traveling, you know what we’re talking about. When you travel solo, you’re free to spend time on ‘waste’ activities like a Spa engagement.
16. Solo Travel Is Empowering
Traveling solo makes you smarter, more aware of your surroundings, and more capable of dealing with various situations. Since you’ll no longer have someone to push to the front, you’ll be at the forefront of all situations. So whether you’re arguing with your hostel owner about bed bugs or negotiating a trip with a local, you’ll feel utterly empowered and powerful.
17. You Can Expect Better Hospitality Services
Hotels do welcome travel groups as more people mean more money, but then dealing with groups can be finicky. As a solo traveler, you’ll find that you’re the recipient of better hospitality services, and even little ‘favors’ like an extra pillow or an extra olive in your cocktail. Somehow, locals admire solo travelers, especially female solo travelers. So take advantage of this natural sympathy, and ask for a room upgrade with your best smile!
18. You’ll Get A Much-Needed Detox From Technology
We have developed such unhealthy addictions to technology these days. We’re unable to even go to sleep without placing our smartphones next to us, attending to tweets half the night. When you’re traveling, there’s no guarantee of internet reception, so you’ll not be tweeting anyone except when you can. Plus, with no partner to call, you’ll soon forget about your smartphone, except to take photos and videos. You’d rather get addicted to travel, wouldn’t you?
19. Travel Increases Your Compassion Levels
It’s only when you travel that you’ll realize how the rest of the world lives. Television does a darn good job but nothing like coming face-to-face with starving people in Ethiopia or misused animals in some corner of the world. You’ll feel great sympathy for the world, and overflow with compassion for people who live with lowered expectations of life.
20. You Become More Comfortable In Your Own Skin
When you don’t have to put on appearances for others in your group, you become comfortable in your own skin. You wear what you want to wear, without judgment, and without rancor. You become less aware of yourself and more aware of your surroundings and the road ahead of you, which is the mark of the true traveler.
21. You’ll Be Forced To Face Your Weaknesses
When you’re part of a group, someone takes care of the logistics, while someone else is in charge of the GPS. When you travel solo, all of a sudden you’ll be forced to face your weaknesses. Problems finding places on the map? Issues with language? Not sure what sort of extras to ask for while booking hotel rooms? Not confident of speaking to local people? Well, you’ll have to learn to tackle each one of these weaknesses and get going.
22. You Will Become More Self-aware
When you travel solo, you realize that you occupy only a tiny portion of the world. This realization will bring in much-needed humility and a sense of self, without any inflated sense of self-importance.
More and more people, especially women, are choosing to travel alone these days. The emotional environment is shifting. Solo travellers were considered, ‘lonely’, and ‘in need’ of a partner, but solo travel is major fun and people are discovering this. Solo travel is not just traveling the world; it’s about traveling within, and discovering yourself each day.