There’s no denying it’s an amazing experience to travel with your partner or your friends because you have someone there to share the experiences and adventures. That being said, I can’t stress enough the importance of everyone traveling solo sometimes – at least once in their life. Traveling solo is a completely different experience and you get completely different things out of it that you won’t if you’re with someone else. Here are just some of the reasons why.
Interact With Your Surroundings
Traveling solo gives you a much better opportunity to interact with the culture of the place you’re visiting. It’s a lot easier to fit in as a single person and you can often mingle with locals without looking too much like a tourist. When you meet locals like shopkeepers or public transportation drivers, they’re much more willing to talk to you and share their lifestyles with you. Who knows, you might even find yourself getting invited to a local’s house to share a meal and learn more about each other.
Make Connections Easier
It’s a lot easier to meet other people when you’re traveling by yourself. Whether you’re at a pub, a restaurant, or a hostel, solo travelers attract each other, whereas people won’t really approach you if you’re in a pair or couple. Once you have a network around you of solo travelers, you’ll find you’re rarely actually alone, but you have the luxury of doing what you want to and finding people that are like-minded. These are a lot more options than if you were with a companion and you had to pick an activity that suited both of you.
Follow Your Own Schedule
Similarly to the above point, when you’re solo traveling, you can do what you want, when you want to. You can sleep in all day or wake up early, spend a day on your own if you’re feeling introverted, go to the local market you wanted to check out or a show in the town square. Whatever you want to do, you can, and this freedom cannot be overstated. When we travel in groups or with a partner, we make so many compromises, often without realizing it. When you’re by yourself, you can decide exactly where you want to eat, whether it’s street food at the market or splurging at a fancy cafe and bringing your book for the afternoon.
Traveling solo also helps you avoid conflicts that you can have with a travel partner. When you spend all of your time with one other person, it’s natural that you will sometimes have conflicts, especially when in stressful foreign environments. By yourself, this is not a worry and you can travel stress and conflict-free.
Boost Your Confidence
When you travel by yourself, you get a feeling of true independence and confidence in yourself that makes you feel like you can do anything you set your mind to. We forget so often in our daily lives that we are lucky enough to have the freedom to do whatever we set our minds to, and making big and small decisions on the road on your own can revitalize that.
Traveling alone makes you feel like you don’t need to rely on anyone else, and that’s fantastic for your self-esteem. You make the decision you want to and you take responsibility for that choice, without having someone else decide for you. This is even truer of solo travel in countries where English is not widely spoken and you need to navigate different customs.
All that being said while traveling solo is a fantastic experience you also want to share certain trips and experiences with a special someone else. Sharing a trip with someone gives you shared memories years later and also offers certain comforts and security aspects that traveling solo doesn’t. It can also get lonely on the road, and you may start finding it difficult to engage in new friendships every time you arrive in a new city. So while solo traveling is a must for everyone, don’t think that you should only travel that way forever because you might lose out on incredible shared experiences.
Michael Dehoyos, a writer at PhdKingdom and OriginWritings , shares his travel and lifestyle inspirations and tips. He enjoys helping others explore different possibilities abroad and expand their horizons.