All the movies, the songs, the shows show us glamorous pictures of traveling with our buddies, exploring the unexplored and creating beautiful memories with each other. That all-girls road trip across Europe you and your friends have been “planning” for over five years now? That crazy idea of skydiving that you and two of your best friends came up with one drunk night? That solemn promise made twenty years ago to your long-lost first-love to meet in front of the Eiffel Tower in the City of Love? (Okay, maybe not the last one, but I’m hoping Nicholas Sparks adapts it into another novel soon.) All of these things sound extremely fun and crazy and wild and when you’re old, you’ll have a great story to tell your grandkids. Delightful.
Let me burst your cozy little bubble: More often than not, these plans are gonna fall through, either because someone got a highly demanding, but well paying job (who knew your friend was capable of it, right?) or someone had a kid or they just changed their minds. What story will you tell your grandkids then? The story about “That time we got drunk and made plans to skydive but we never did”?
Screw that. Why don’t you go and create your own crazy stories? Here’s why traveling solo is the best treat you can give yourself.
There’s no waiting around to make plans
Here’s the thing. Traveling with friends, family or loved ones is an extremely fulfilling and amazing experience. There’s tons of laughter, banter, joy, love, shared experiences, memorable stories, etc. Everyone should travel with the people they love. It’s delightful and I’m not gonna be the one to put you off of it. But before the trip comes the dreaded planning. The endless “Nope, June’s no good for me, let’s try September” and “I can’t in September, I have, like twenty meetings that month. Let’s go next year” and on and on and on.
But if you just decide you want to go scuba diving in freezing January, just go for it. You’re allowed. You don’t have to wait for anyone to confirm if they’re on board with the plan and when. You don’t have to wait till May to do something you wanted to do in January.
Book those tickets, and just go. You’re free to make your plans, and you’re free to cancel them. If you decide you don’t want to go after all, or you came up with a whole another brilliant idea, just switch up your plans. It’s alright. You’re not letting anyone down.
There’s so much to do, and no reason to compromise
Traveling with people is ton of fun, and recommended for everybody. But it’s also an endless series of negotiations and compromises. You and your travel partner need to be constantly understanding and aware of each other’s needs and wants. This includes managing finances, itineraries, food habits, travel destinations, even ideals.
When you’re alone, you focus on nobody else but yourself. You indulge no one else. If you want to try out that incredibly expensive exotic cuisine, do it. There’s nobody to remind you that your shared finances wouldn’t cover the cost of this meal. If you want to look at twenty different places in a single day, and then sit like the bum the next day, go for it. While traveling solo, you do want you want to. You go where you want, for as long you want.
If, for example, you decide you want to learn surfing, sign up. Enjoy your long hours having fun riding the waves, guilt free, because There’s no one waiting for you on the beach. Learn the language. Try out the food. Explore undiscovered territory. You’re responsible for yourself and no one else.
You get to focus more on the journey
Distractions are a part of life. However, the beauty of traveling is that even distractions add to the sensation and experience of the journey. But if you’re traveling with a partner, a part of you is focused on them. You’re aware of them and their movements, reactions, wants and needs. It’s not a bad thing. But if you’re alone, every part of you is focused on taking in the sights, sounds, smells, whatever it can get to add to your experience.
People recall a place more vividly if they had previously visited it alone. This is because they concentrated more on relishing the essence of the place, without someone constantly talking to them. They looked at everything, heard and saw and smelt everything that they otherwise wouldn’t have had they had a partner with them
Traveling is about the journey, because the destination is constantly evolving according to your plans. Any worn traveler would tell you that relishing experiences as they come your way, instead of waiting to get to an experience is what distinguishes travelers from tourists. If you’re going solo, these experiences come at you ten fold, and There’s no wall to stop them from engulfing you completely. Trust me, its a delightful feeling.
You grow, as a person
Traveling alone is said to be the most eye opening journey ever. It may seem un-doably scary at first, but as you travel you are constantly learning. You have to interact with the locals to get by, regardless of whether you’d like to or not. how else will you know the best places to see and to eat at?
Traveling is never a surefire thing. You make mistakes, you get lost, things just might not work out. These things happen. When you’re traveling alone, you have to figure out a way to get out of a pinch on your own. When things don’t work out, you learn to let it go and realize that not everything works out the way you want it to. This realization comes easier if there’s no one you disappointed when your plans failed, so the guilt factor is zero.
Traveling solo makes you social, confident, and more all around balanced. You also meet great new people and fellow travelers and connect with them and maybe learn a few of their travel secrets or hidden spots known to only a few people.
You do you.
its all about you. its about what you want. its about what you feel.
It’s the best treat you can give yourself.