It’s high time you gave yourself a new kind of challenge. Traveling with family and/or friends can be valuable, but you learn a lot more about yourself and about the place you’re visiting when you travel alone. Solo travel gives you the ultimate freedom to do exactly what you want, when you want. It also tests you like nothing else can.
Solo travel gives you maximum freedom but also maximum responsibility.
Generally speaking, our lives are full of compromise, especially when it comes to the people we care about. Sometimes we become so accustomed to compromise that we don’t have a clue what we really want! That sucks! A solo trip makes you the ruler of your own destiny- you’re hungry? Eat! Eat whatever you want. Eat WHEN you want to. Always wanted to eat street food in a far-flung Southeast Asian back-alley restaurant? Do it! You answer to no one but yourself when you travel alone!
That said, a solo trip is probably not the time to get off-your-face drunk or high. You have to rely on yourself, so take care not to get yourself into unnecessarily precarious situations, please and thank you.
Travel kills fear; solo travel burns its remains and scatters its ashes on the wind.
Solo travel forces you to trust yourself. The more you consider what’s important to you when you travel, the easier it will be to decide where to go and what to do when you get there. Make a plan based on what makes you happy. When something goes awry (and it just might), you’ll have to deal with all by your lonesome- and once you have, you’ll realize how smart and capable and strong you really are. Talk about a confidence-booster!
It’s easier to meet people and learn about new cultures when you’re on your own.
You meet more people when you travel solo. People are more interested in getting to know you and showing you their own culture if you don’t already appear to be part of a ‘tribe’. It’s much easier to strike up a conversation when you’re alone- a couple or a group of people already interacting with each other just looks less inviting than one person on their own.
But is it safe to travel alone as a woman?
I get asked the question ALL THE TIME. The short answer is a resounding ‘Yes’! Take a moment to think about what you know about keeping yourself safe in your day-to-day life. Now apply those techniques to anywhere you think of visiting. Done. You probably don’t walk down dark alleys at night where you live, right? You probably don’t follow strangers to their car, their home, etc., either. So don’t do it when you travel, either. Be aware of your surroundings. Research the area you plan to travel to and note the areas/activities that travelers claim are unsafe. Don’t do those things or go to those areas. End of. If you’re reading this article, you’re probably not traveling anywhere that hasn’t been extensively written about by travel bloggers. Find those articles, read them, take notes.
All in all, solo travel is an excellent way to get to know yourself better. It tests your skills and makes you address your fears. The beautiful thing is, you’ll come out the other side knowing you can handle anything life throws at you. Whatever it is, you’ll figure out, so start planning that solo trip right frickin’ now.
Cricky, co-founder of Nice Avocado, lives a location-free lifestyle and captures her adventures in coloring books and other creations with her graphic design house, Crickmonster Design.