Solo Travel: The Greatest Things About Hitting The Road All On Your Lonesome
Travel is something worth sharing with a friend or loved one, but if you’ve been holding out on checking out your dream destination all because you’re unsure of who to take with you, I’m here to urge you to travel solo. Yes, go your own way.
Solo travel can be intimidating, scary and straight-up nightmare fuel if you’ve never done it before, but I can say that some of my greatest trips have been done in the company of me, myself and I.
So, whether you’re a total introvert, can’t manage to wrangle a travel buddy or are just searching for a completely brand-new experience, here are my five favourite things about solo travel.
Solo travel pushes you outside your comfort zone
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When travelling by yourself you’re forced to make every single decision solo – where you go, where you eat, where you sleep. And if you’re a naturally indecisive person (like me) you’ll learn to snap out of those bad habits super fast.
Being outside of your comfort zone is scary as hell, but necessary when exploring the world alone.
There’s nobody to shift responsibility onto (or to share it with). This means being the one to ask for directions, being the one to awkwardly get out your phone to Google Translate what you want to order for breakfast and ultimately being the one to take charge of everything decision you make.
Don’t get me wrong, it can be tough but it’s worth it – you’ll feel totally accomplished
It’s entirely your schedule
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We all have that super eager travel companion who is first to wake in the morning, seize the day and make the most of every single moment. We love them, we do. But sometimes wish they’d just chill out a little, right?
Arguably the very best thing about travelling by yourself is that you get to make your own schedule. Feel like a cheeky sleep in one morning? Go for it. Not ready to go back to the hostel just yet and keen on a few more pints? Do it.
A rigid schedule is something you’re used to back home, and when you’re on holidays the last thing you want to do is be answering to someone – when you’re travelling solo, it’s all you baby.
This isn’t however a free pass to sleep in and waste the days away – if you’re feeling sluggish just thing to yourself, what would my bossy friend do?
You’ll learn something new about yourself
The thing about clichés is that they’re almost always true.
Whether you’re used to spending time with yourself or not, exploring the globe solo will teach new things about yourself you never new existed. For example, I’ve always considered myself a bit of an introvert and not super great at making new friends. When you’re solo, it’s either build up the courage to talk to someone, or just be a loner. I chose to spark up a conversation.
It’s seriously as easy as, “Hi my name’s Brad, what’s yours?”
Through travelling solo I discovered that I’m not terrible at chatting with strangers, and once you get past that initial awkwardness it’s actually super easy. Unfortunately I can’t guarantee you’ll have the same experience, but I bet you’ll learn something new and special about yourself when on the road alone.
The destination is your number one priority
If you’ve travelled in a group before you’ll know how great it is, but think about how much time you spent worrying about other people when you could have been fully immersing yourself in another culture.
When you’re by yourself your main priority is you, and the country you’re exploring. You’re skipping all the unnecessary drama and have all the time to sample the local delights, so get amongst it.
You’ll meet more locals
As I mentioned earlier, travelling alone means you have more opportunities to meet new people.
Yes, bonding with other Aussies and foreigners at your accommodation is cool, but befriending some of the locals unlocks so many more hidden benefits.
They can introduce you to places off the beaten track you may have never considered visiting, hook you up with the greatest local eats and give you an entirely new perspective, and a more authentic experience. That’s something money can’t buy.
If you’re weighing up whether or not to take you’re next trip solo, I’m urging you to do it. Solo travel is a magical thing everyone should experience at least once in their life.
(Lead image: Jf Brou / Unsplash)