10 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD TRAVEL ALONE
Making the decision to step out of your comfort zone and travel alone can appear scary and exciting at the same time. Here’s why you should overcome your fears and travel solo at least once in your life.
Spending 7 months on the other side of the world, completely alone and at the age of 18 – to be honest, it scared the shit out of me at first too. However, I can truly say that travelling through New Zealand and Australia was one of the best experiences I’ve made in my life so far.
1) You’re way more flexible
One major advantage of travelling alone is that you can do what you want to whenever you want to.
You have the possibility to change your plans spontaneously since you have no obligations toward anyone else. Only being responsible for yourself allows you to seize every opportunity coming along your way and no one will be able to hold you back (except for your wallet maybe).
2) Leave that boring comfort zone
Getting out of your cosy home and out into the big, wide world can seem like an impossible step to take. But I guarantee you – it’s totally worth it. Yes, sitting on that plane alone at the beginning of your adventure will not be easy. But so rewarding.
3) Making new friends is way easier
When you’re alone, others are much more likely to reach out to you.
Especially sleeping mostly in hostels will make for excellent chances of getting in contact with other travellers. Talking to people during meals or in your dorm room is always a great opportunity to get to know new people. Hostels also often offer various activities in which you can participate like movie nights, going to a bar, etc.
4) Develop your own way of looking at things
When you’re travelling with a friend (especially if it’s someone you’ve known for quite a while), it’s only normal to think more or less similarly about the experiences you make.
Generally, you are more likely to keep an open mind if you’re alone because no one will influence the way you perceive something.
5) It boosts your self-confidence
Although you might not feel comfortable or confident at all at the beginning of your journey, this is probably going to change fairly quickly. Having to tackle potential problems by yourself will make you eventually feel invincible and as if you could do anything.
I had this feeling especially after I came home. When I thought that something might be really difficult for me, I just reminded myself that I travelled to the other side of the planet all alone – and this made the problems of my everyday life appear so much more solvable.
6) It’s the little things that make all the difference
With a little luck, you’ll profit from the small possibilities which can open up basically anywhere and at any time.
Whether you’re looking for a job or trying to find a free bed in a fully booked hostel – you’ll have a better chance of finding something when you’re only in need of one, and not two or more, free spots. If you’re really lucky, you might even get a free flight upgrade.
7) The best company is yourself
There will undoubtedly come a time when you can’t find a travel buddy in a hostel or anywhere else, so you’ll have to spend some time all by yourself. Now, you could either see this as a bad thing or rather as an opportunity to get to know yourself a little bit better.
Most of the time, we’re so busy trying to get others to like us that we sometimes forget it’s most important that we even like us ourselves. Spending some precious “me time” can actually be quite relaxing because you don’t have to constantly make small talk with others but instead you can just tune out and focus on yourself.
8) You’ll never be truly alone
There are so many people out there travelling on their own and I’m pretty sure that most of them can relate to your problems and fears. While this point might seem to contradict the previous one, I say with 100% certainty that you’ll always find someone to talk to if you really need it.
If you’re, however, a bit more like me and you rather like to retreat into your shell and deal with whatever’s bothering you alone or with someone you know really well – then don’t forget that we’re living in the age of social media where your friends and family are just a Skype call away.
Just hang in there, you’ll get through the tough times – and honestly, these were the experiences that made me feel even stronger afterwards.
9) You have total financial control
When I was out of money towards the end of my trip in Australia, I desperately tried to get a job – but, since I had only two months left, no one would hire me. I then decided to use the platform HelpX which allows you to stay at other people’s houses for free if you help them with household chores like cleaning up, working in the garden and stuff like that.
Sometimes, it was quite challenging for me to come up with creative ways to save or earn money, but it taught me a lot about financial management and made me value all the things I have even more.
10) It turns you into a storyteller
Even several years after you’re back from a trip, you’ll still think about all the experiences you made there. The memories of your adventures make you unique and no one can take them away from you.
Moreover, the many weird, funny and extraordinary memories you collected will make for great anecdotes that will surely make some conversations a lot more intriguing.