When I tell people that I love solo-travelling and list some of the places I’ve been alone, I get two reactions:
- “Oh my gosh, I love that you travel solo! I can never do it but kudos to you!”
- “Oh… why?” *thinks, does she not have any friends or something?*
And in a way, #2 is half right… I don’t have many friends and the friends I do have, don’t travel much or don’t have the same interest in seeing the places I like.
In April 2018, I went on a two-week trip to Japan with Dan and three of our mutual friends. The Japan trip was the biggest friends trip ever and I was excited, don’t get me wrong, but I have left craving for another trip that I can do solo.
It’s not that I dislike any of my friends to not travel with them, but solo travelling offers a different experience than group travelling.
During the times I’ve visited cities alone, I’ve come to realize this:
+ Solo travelling teaches you how to comfortably take selfies in public.
Umm, you think whipping out my selfie stick was embarrassing? Think again.
One of my solo trips was to NYC in the summer of 2016… yes, one of the busiest and biggest cities in the world and I chose to venture it on my own.
+ Solo travelling allows you to fully be in control of your itinerary.
Long gone are the days when you have to meet up with friends to plan the trip and accommodate everyone’s interests. Feel like hitting a museum instead of shopping? Go right ahead, girl!
+ Solo travelling teaches you to learn and accept being alone, and that being alone is not a negative thing.
When you got no one but yourself, you can’t help but slowly accept loneliness and when you accept that, you realize you’re not upset… because everyone associates being alone as unhappy, right? Learning to live, accept, and cope with being alone is the best thing to learn for yourself.
+ Solo travelling lets you meet new people and build relationships when travelling.
When you’re travelling with a group of friends, you’re more inclined to just hang out with them and not meet anyone on the trip because why? You got a group of best friends with you already. Being alone allows you to meet new people because if you’re having lunch alone, or relaxing alone in the evening, someone will strike up a conversation with you. And, if not – being alone sort of forces you to talk to other people if you want to join in on the fun.
+ Solo travelling pushes you out of your comfort zone.
We’re all so afraid to be alone and do things alone that I bet you skipped out on a movie in theatres because none of your friends wants to catch it. Solo travelling pushes you out of your comfort zone by forcing yourself to do things alone and being alone in crowded spaces. Interested in that walking tour? Well, suck it up and buy your ticket because you got no one else by your side to drag along!
+ Solo travelling allows you to learn more about yourself.
When you have all this time and opportunity to do what you want, you are bound to learn something new about yourself! I’ve never been a fan of Chinese cuisine but when I was in New York’s Chinatown, I couldn’t help but sit down with a bowl of rice and duck on the side for lunch.
+ Solo travelling gives you a break from everyone and everything.
I love my friends, I do… but sometimes, you really have to take a break from them. I mean, just because you’re away from home doesn’t necessarily mean you’re taking a break from your friends. Hell, sometimes being on vacation with your friends breaks a friendship!
+ Solo travelling is cheaper.
It’s cheaper in the sense that you’re not wasting money on activities you don’t want to do, and at restaurants, you don’t want to eat. Fancy a quick grab and go meal instead of sitting down and chatting? Go right away!
+ Solo travelling builds confidence.
Listen, you don’t have your best friend telling the random guy you’re not interested, nor do you have your best friend asking the sales associate for a different size. Looking after yourself and seeing a new city builds self-confidence because you’re the only one looking out for yourself, and the only one guiding yourself through a new city and different transit systems.
+ Solo travelling is easier and hassle-free.
It really is. I don’t have to rely on any of my friends to pay me back for whatever they owe me, or how I have to wait for them at the airport or in the morning. It’s just easier because everything is done on your schedule based on your interests, and it’s hassle-free because you have to deal with no one else.
It’s 2022 – I think it’s time to break the stigma and fear of being a solo traveller. I’m itching for my next solo adventure!
Are you a solo traveller? If so, which cities have you been to? If not, what are your thoughts on solo travelling?