I think solo travel sums up the journey much better than travelling alone does.
Travelling alone always sounds a bit… lonely to me. But solo travel is far from that.
You can feel as ‘alone’ as you want to, really.
Whether it’s meeting people in a hostel or at a bar, enjoying watching the locals going about their day or soaking up the atmosphere of other people exploring the area too, solo travel can feel like a full and collective experience. Especially if you are comfortable in your own company!
I’ve always wanted to try solo travel and it’s been on my to-do list for a while. So, just one trip in, here’s why I think you should give it a go too!
It’s always a nice feeling to surprise yourself about what you are capable of doing.
Learning that you can rely on yourself and spend time with yourself is a great thing to experience because you’ll end up with a lot more faith in your ability to do new things and tackle things that you would usually find challenging.
Be kind to yourself
One big thing I found was that I had to be kind to myself and not put pressure on myself to be perfect. When navigating a new city (and new country!) it can be overwhelming if you let it get to you.
I made a real conscious effort to be gentle with myself and make sure I was not getting stressed, but instead enjoying the process. Over the three days it started to come more naturally to me and it’s something that’s started to stick.
Do what you want
As you know you’re going to be totally alone, living completely by your own schedule, you can start to understand what you like and what you enjoy, away from anyone else’s expectations or desires.
It feels pretty freeing to have absolute control over every moment of your day and how you respond to different situations. I very rarely feel like this in day-to-day life because of different responsibilities so it’s a great thing to experience and recognise that you are allowed to do that.
It’s a time to put yourself first – and enjoy it.
See the world
It depends on your priorities but I know that seeing as much of the world as I can is a big one for me.
Travelling solo means that you don’t have to wait for someone else to have the money/time/inclination to get up and go see that place you want to visit.
Make the promise to yourself that if it’s something you want to do then you will do it – whether that’s with someone or not.
Realise how brave you are
It’s fairly obviously that I live with bouts of anxiety and that could have been enough to put me off. But it didn’t. I wasn’t going to let that stand in the way of something much more important to me.
Relying on yourself to spend days (or even weeks) alone can help build so much confidence in yourself.
The best thing I did was keep thinking that solo travel is simply just putting one foot in front of the other, and keep going.
Meet new people
I can be a bit shy and standoffish when I meet new people which is irritating because I enjoy making new friends.
However! I found solo travel forced me to embrace and move past the awkwardness of meeting new people – especially in a hostel.
Everyone’s in the same boat and knows how you’re feeling so it’s so much easier to have those first introductory conversations and it opens the door to all those much deeper chats about life.
Meeting people was a huge part of my travels and the fuzzy, warm feeling that I had at the end of each day.
Open the door
Once you head out on that first travel and realise that you can do it, it opens up a whole new world of opportunities.
You can go anywhere. You can meet anyone. You are capable. You can experience all of these amazing things.
Are you thinking about travelling solo? Where do you want to visit next?