Traveling alone sounds scary, doesn’t it? You have to figure everything out on your own without anyone there by your side. You have to eat meals by yourself. You’ll get lonely. Well, after having traveled by myself, I will say that these things can be true, but they don’t always have to be. Traveling alone can have a multitude of benefits, which is why it should be one of your New Year’s Resolutions!
You’ll be open to meeting more people.
It was only on those solo travel trips where I was more open to meeting new people. When traveling alone, you pretty much have to. And while traveling alone, I met so many interesting and different people because of it. I met expats who started their own breweries and bars abroad. I met a middle-aged Australian woman traveling by herself to see family and her own daughter studying abroad. I made friends with a German woman, who told me all about German Christmas traditions. I met an Irishman who had traveled by himself all over the world for three years. Once I met a group of friendly Dutch guys who grilled me about American politics. I even made friends with a girl from North Carolina, who I convinced to go to a Beatles festival with me. I am so glad I traveled alone because had I not, I never would have met any of these wonderful people who taught me so much about their own cultures as well as my own. When traveling with others, while it may be fun and more comfortable, you’re typically more closed off to meeting new people than when you’re alone. Traveling alone just gives you all the more reason to meet people and have some of the most meaningful and authentic travel experiences as possible.
You can do what you want.
While abroad, I quickly learned some of the downfalls to traveling in groups. Whenever there’s a disconnect in a group about activities that people want to do or the amount of money that people want to spend, you won’t get quite as much out of the experience. The beauty of traveling alone is that you can do whatever the hell you want and no one is going to complain about it or need any convincing. It’s also nice to be able to quickly make a decision without having to consult a group every time you want to do something. Instead, you just think, go and do it. It’s beautiful.
It helps you grow.
While traveling alone may be scary or lonely at times, struggling through those moments and persevering on your own makes you a stronger person. We only become stronger in life by doing what we’re afraid of, and solo travel is one of those things for a lot of people. Not to mention, it can actually be so much more fun than group travel! Taking several solo trips has definitely helped me grow as a person and become more confident in myself. I’ve always been a shy and introverted person, so purposely putting myself in situations outside of my comfort zone has very much helped me. Conquering my fears and doing something like navigating a foreign space all by myself has made me feel like I can do almost anything.
So, take a chance. Do something that scares you. Do what you want. Be true to yourself. Travel alone and grow as a person because of it.
To read more about my first experience traveling alone, check out this blog post on my trip to Dublin, Ireland.
Do you have any experiences traveling alone? What was it like for you? Please share in the comments below!