Have you ever wondered why some people choose to travel solo more than with others, and how they grow the courage to do so?
I can’t tell you how many times I have been faced with the question “but how do you go alone” or the “you’re so brave. I could never travel solo like you.” The thing is- and it’s something I just can’t seem to shake no matter how many trips I go on- there’s just something so unique about exploring new destinations as a solo traveller that sets a fire in your soul. That fire that is unlike anything else is exactly why I always choose to travel solo these days. When you’re meandering through cities at your own leisure, there’s a certain romantic magic that lingers. You’re beckoned by your inner adventurer, answering to no one but where your feet will take you, the smell of food, the bustling people, and the desire to simply explore.
Since 2017, I have been travelling solo. I’ve travelled to over 30 countries, most of which have been entirely on my own. The more adventures I went on, the more I fell in love with solo travelling. I never had to wait for friends, family, or a partner to have the time off to go with me. I began to grow more confident and learned what I loved and what I hated about adventuring as a solo woman. It also opened up the doors to learning about my insecurities and overcoming some of my fears.
Travelling solo is the adventure of a lifetime. For anyone with a nomadic heart, if you’re trying to find yourself, if you lack travel partners that can and will commit to travelling, or if you want to try something new, I urge you to go.
How To Face The Fear If You Choose To Travel Solo?
The dawn of this new adventure is terrifying. Don’t worry- if you’re still getting there, I totally understand you. What if I get lost? What if someone kidnaps me? What if I get lonely? What if I don’t find the confidence to do it? What if what if what if?
We’ve all had those thoughts. Let me ask you something else though: What if you don’t go?
The truth is, solo travel can be lonely. You are running the risk of being in a dangerous situation (especially as a woman). And you might hate it.
But fear should never be the thing that holds you back, and the chances of anything happening are pretty slim.
I’ve never in my life felt lonely while travelling, nor have I ever felt unsafe. That doesn’t mean you won’t feel those things. I like being alone because I like my own company. I also take a tonne of precautions for my safety when I travel solo. If you do the same, I trust that you’ll have the most amazing adventure of your life!
If you have fears about travelling alone (especially as a woman) you can also read this post about overcoming those fears!
If you’re worried about telling you’re parents you plan on travelling solo? Here’s a post I wrote with my top tips and tricks to teach you how to do it!
Solo travel brought a new awakening to me. It’s taught- and is still teaching me- so much about myself, what I like, what type of person I want to be, the things that are important and the things that aren’t new values and beliefs, and a whole other list of incredible attributes that I am learning to love about myself and the world around me.
So many people are afraid to travel alone in fear of all the ‘what if’s’. If I have one piece of advice: Don’t knock it until you try it! It’s not for everyone, and so many people spread negative stories about the things that can happen when you are in a foreign city alone, but I’m here to tell you it really can be an amazing experience.
I really hope this guide inspires you to take the leaps and choose to travel solo. It’s an amazing experience, and one I recommend that everyone have.
There’s A Lot More Freedom From Travelling Solo
I absolutely love this part of solo travel, and it’s why I think everyone should choose to travel solo at least once in their life.
There’s no one to hold you back. No ifs, buts, or maybe’s. Thee’s no friend that wishes to do something else you don’t. No boyfriend dragging you along to a boring sports match or game shop you have no interest in.
It’s all you, girlfriend!
When travelling solo you have the freedom to do whatever the hell it is you want.
When you get out of bed each day, you get to decide absolutely everything. If you want to get up at 5 am and watch the sunrise- you can. If you want to sleep in until 11 am- you can. If you want to eat gelato for breakfast and then again for dinner- nobody is there to judge you.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve changed my plans last minute. How many days I’ve just relaxed if I needed a day of rest. How many times I’ll be wandering around a city and then just last-minute book a tour or jump on a train to explore a different district. It’s the absolute best way to explore, see more, and have a blast.
Your travels are your own and you don’t have to answer to anyone or anything.
Don’t get me wrong- I loved travelling with my partner, and I’ve had some amazing experiences travelling with my younger sister, but I always feel more at peace with what I do on a trip when I am alone. And there’s really nothing better than that!
Choosing To Travel Solo Equals Less Stress
When you travel with friends, unless you both share the exact same thoughts, desires, likes and dislikes, it is inevitable that at some point you will both have to compromise. It may be that you really want to go to an exhibition or it may be that you absolutely do not want to go to the Harry Potter Museum that your travel buddy is dying to see (seriously though, who doesn’t want to go to a Harry Potter museum?!?)– at some point, you will either miss out on doing what you want to do, be dragged along to something that doesn’t interest you, or get to do what you want but has to be the one lugging along your disinterested friend or partner.
No matter what it is, there’s a chance that this can cause an argument, a bad experience- all of which can snowball into a stressful time.
The reality is, when you travel with other people, you are constantly having to be aware of how they are feeling. When you take your buddy to a destination you are super excited about, your own feelings of excitement get squashed because you are too busy worrying about whether or not they are enjoying the experience as much as you are. If they aren’t loving it, how can you?
No one needs stress when they are travelling. No one needs arguments or crappy times.
That is why I try to avoid this as much as I can and would much rather enjoy independent adventures.
This Forbes article talks all about why solo travel is good for your mental health, and from experience, I couldn’t agree more! Less stress + more solo travel = a happy life!
Solo Travel Means You Will Create New Friends
Arriving in Canada back in 2019, with the intention of living there for a year or two, I had no idea what to expect. Would I make friends? Would I spend all my time alone, with my head in the clouds as I did at home?
Within the first half an hour of waiting for my visa, I’d made lifelong friends. Together, sitting there with tired eyes and the smell of plane and nerves and sweat dripping off of us, waiting to be granted a visa into the country, relationships were bonded over the simple fact that we were each travelling alone.
When you travel in the comfort of a group, you already have a pre-made group of friends. Sure, this means you have the comfort and ease of people you already know and love, but I’ve found this also means you’ll be sticking together like glue, and not as interested in meeting new people.
From years of travelling solo, I’ve made tonnes of new friends. I’d go as far as to say that I have more friends around the world from people I met on the road than friends I have at home. And this is all because solo travel gives you the courage to be open to these kinds of relationships.
Being A Solo Traveller Means You’re More Likely To Meet The Locals
Just like solo travel means you are more likely to meet new people and make friends on the road, it also means you’re more likely to form friendships with the locals.
Travelling solo means you are more likely to befriend the locals, because they will not perceive you to be a typical tourist. It means you might talk to them a little more in bars and restaurants and cafes. It means you might have to ask them for directions or recommendations because you don’t have a friend or partner to soundboard ideas off. These conversations open up the barrier between strangers, often sparking interesting conversations that teach you about life as a local.
By talking with the locals, you will get to fully immerse yourself in a new culture, and there is nothing quite like it.
Solo Travel Can Be Budget-Friendly
Although there are certainly some benefits to travelling with a group of people, for example splitting a hotel bill, a big meal, or a taxi ride, for the most part, travelling alone will save you money.
When you are the only person you have to worry about, it is far easier to stick to a budget. You won’t end up spending money on things you aren’t keen on, you will spend less on eating out because you are more likely to choose street food over traditional restaurant meals (because it’s not always easy asking for a table for one), and you can choose what and where you want to spend your money.
I can’t tell you how many times I cringed when my travel buddies would choose a destination for lunch, accommodation, or a tour. No one I’ve ever travelled with has been on a budget, and it can be hard trying to explain to them that a $30 meal at a restaurant in Santorini is totally out of my price range for one meal!
Solo travel stops this awkwardness from occurring, but it also allows you to take control of where your money goes, and what experiences you have.
There is also a huge sense of community amongst solo travellers which is reflected well in hostels (the budget and solo traveller hotspots), where a lot of sharing and swapping of items and foods occurs- meaning you can save some money!
Need some budget tips? Here are 46 easy ways to travel on the cheap!
Travelling Solo Means More Anonymity
Ever just wanted to dissolve into a new environment? To disappear from yourself for a while? Or, to recreate who you are?
Travelling alone allows you to do this and more. It’s one of the best things about it. I love those small conversations with people where you reveal very little about yourself. Or, the new identities you can build if you want, with no one having any preconceived notions of who you are. You can go days without interacting with someone if that’s what you want. And, you can filter the facts you wish to share with the world.
One of the reasons so many people choose to travel solo is to be alone. I love the fact that I can go somewhere, know no one, and just be with my thoughts, my books, and nature. No one expects anything of me, I don’t have to talk to anyone if I want to just be alone, and I can blend into the world without a chance of running into someone I know (small hometown problems, am I right?)
Being anonymous is one of the benefits that solo travelling has to offer, and from the anonymity, I find it often brings out my most authentic self. This is where the magic of solo travel kicks in, and that soul searching, fall in love with yourself beauty really starts to happen.
Related Solo Travelling Articles
I hope this post inspires you to choose to travel solo for your next adventure. It’s truly one of the most magical things you can do.