If you asked me 12 months ago if I would ever travel alone, the answer would be “definitely not”. First of all, the idea of travelling solo seemed unsafe and lonely. Not to mention how bored I would get without a companion to share my experience with.
But a year on, I would actually rather travel alone.
Now I will say, travelling solo isn’t for everyone. Especially when being away from your loved ones for a long period of time. Some people live for the thrill of solo adventures. Others literally cannot stand it. But you never know if you don’t try right?
My decision to travel solo taught me many life lessons, most importantly, that being alone isn’t that bad. Everyone’s experience is different, but for me personally, going abroad by myself has completely transformed my travelling mindset.
Travelling is all about YOU
My biggest lesson from solo adventures is that travelling is all about you. You can do exactly as you please without the opinions of others influencing your decisions.
Want to try scuba diving? Do it. Feel like hiking a mountain? Do it. Want to sleep in until midday and eat pizza and ice cream for breakfast? Do it.
It’s your choice, your life, your very own adventure. Every choice whilst travelling alone is completely up to you. Do whatever you like and don’t let anyone stop you (except if it’s against the law of course).
Solo travel gives you a new-found sense of freedom
Personally, I find solo adventures the most freeing feeling in the world. It allows you to be who you truly are and do all the things that you love doing. Each time you travel alone, you gain a new boost of confidence and sense of independence.
You have so much freedom when holidaying solo and the ability to say yes to everything (which is very difficult when travelling with other people).
Like I mentioned earlier, travelling solo is all. about. you. You have complete freedom to do everything you’ve ever dreamed of, with nobody around to stop you.
It allows you to become fully immersed in a new culture
In the past, travelling with friends has meant I’ve stuck to my regular routines. I tend to do what feels comfortable to me. Conversing in English only, eating foods I am familiar with, visiting tourist sites I googled online beforehand.
Adventuring alone changed that completely.
Personally, travelling solo has led to me branching out and trying new things. On a recent trip to Fiji, a conversation with a local man in Nadi prompted me to “do as the locals do”. I took his advice.
Trusting some locals to take me on an adventure of their choosing revealed one of the most beautiful snorkelling locations I’ve ever been to. On the walk down to the hidden cove, they taught me some of their native languages and gave a short history lesson on Fijian culture.
You are more inclined to branch out and meet new people
Travelling alone doesn’t need to be lonely. In fact, solo travel often results in meeting more people than you would when travelling with a companion.
As an advocate for all things budget travel, I tend to stick to hostels as my choice of accommodation. Not only are they cheap as chips, but are an amazing way to make friends on solo adventures.
On my most recent overseas trip, I made friends with a couple from England within hours of arriving to my hostel. How? I simply walked up to their table and asked if I could eat dinner with them. Three days later we were booking sunset kayaking trips together.
I have met some incredible people during my travels, and trust me, you will too.
But Sophie? Won’t I get homesick if I travel alone?
I’m not going to lie, it’s highly possible you will experience homesickness at some stage, and unfortunately, it is unavoidable.
Initially, homesickness was the main reason I avoided travelling alone. But taking those initial steps and embarking on a journey alone has resulted in some of the best moments of my life, and overseas adventures I will never forget.
Don’t let fear stop you from chasing your dreams.
Until next time,