Travelling the world alone - it’s a daunting prospect, and one which might beg the following questions: Who’s going to plan the daily activities? Who am I going to live with? Who will direct my arm while taking a photo of me leaning on the Tower of Pisa? Indeed, travelling in a group disperses the responsibilities that we don’t want while ensuring the presence of a personal photographer. However, sometimes you need to give you and your mind some time to breathe in the world around it. Isn’t travel supposed to be self-indulgent? Here are 8 reasons why you might want to consider riding solo when you travel.
1. Do what you want to do
Travelling in a group can sometimes feel like a parliament debate: deciding where to eat, which bar to go to, or figuring out who lost the swipe card. When you’re alone you can skip the bureaucracy and just get on with what you want to do. If you want to chase a chunk of cheese down a hill, you’ll have no one around to tell you no.
2. Discover yourself
One of the biggest benefits of travelling alone is the time and space to let your mind breathe for a bit. When you’re alone you can be entirely yourself, allowing you to learn about yourself, what you like and who you are. A lazy stroll through the streets of a strange city could provide the perfect space for meaningful self-reflection to take place.
3. Meet the locals
Travel isn’t just about the places you go to, but the special communities that live there. As a solo traveller, you can take the time to truly ingrain yourself into the roots of the local community. You might learn something about local traditions and activities that you simply can’t get from a tourist pamphlet.
4. Travel on your own terms
Some days we just want to take it easy; not everyone has the adrenaline capacity for skydiving every day. Travelling solo allows you to schedule your activities at your own pace. Sometimes you just want to have breakfast at 1 in the afternoon - travelling alone means you’re not bound by anyone else’s schedule.
5. Become better at life
Sometimes the only way to get swimming is to jump into the deep end. Bearing every responsibility involved in travel allows you to build independence. Most importantly, it allows you to make your own mistakes. As you work through these mistakes, you might realise a confidence in yourself you never knew was there. Of course, you’ll want to avoid unnecessary mistakes, such as rookie mistakes article.
6. Live where you are
Live in the moment It’s easy to allow the sights, smells and sounds of a foreign place pass you by as you idly chatter with your travel companions. When you travel alone, you can truly take in all these experiences in the moment rather than discussing what to do or where to go next.
7. Develop relationships
When travelling with a group, it becomes easy to fall into a rut - you eat, sleep and go out together and only together. This leaves little room for meeting new people. When travelling alone you might be more inclined to strike up a casual conversation with someone in an inn or a cafe. Travel is about making stories, and meeting new people is the best way to find them.
8. Be spontaneous
Rather than have someone regiment your entire itinerary, eating times and curfew hours, travelling alone allows you to be spontaneous and radically change your initial travel plans as you please. You could be on your way to Paris and decide to go to Barcelona instead. Travel is as much about freedom of spirit as it is freedom of the body. These reasons are but the tip of the iceberg for travelling solo. If you have your own experiences and stories from travelling alone, we’d love to hear them!