Wandering around an unknown country and having to constantly fend for yourself would be a daunting thought for many. But for “The Solo Traveller”, it is a dream come true.
I am going to be real here, I never choose to travel solo. I would be known to be quite cautious in life, so when I was told I would have to travel overseas with work initially, I was a nervous wreck. Driving in foreign countries and making my way through airports, these were tasks I never thought I would be able to do.
When I completed my first solo trip, I genuinely felt like I had just climbed Mount Everest. To this day, it was one of my proudest moments. And now five years on, I couldn’t imagine life without solo travel. Don’t get me wrong, travelling with Ciarán last year was the best experience of my life and I would not change it for a thing but there is something special about solo travel. It gives me a whole new lease of life and inner strength. If I am having a bad week, travelling solo always cheers me up. I must focus on myself and my abilities to get from point A to point B and nothing else is important. It’s the only time I can be completely selfish… and I love it.
To take the plunge and go on your first solo trip can be unnerving. So to help you, I have compiled a list below of the main reasons why travelling solo at least once in your life, it is an absolute must.
You get out of your comfort zone
"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face" - Eleanor Roosevelt. The energy and excitement you get from going on a solo trip is completely exhilarating. The feeling is like no other. To experience it even just once it your life, is something to add to your bucketlist.
You begin to enjoy my own company
The fear of being alone can be crippling. The thought of being by yourself can be a scary thing, but sometimes it is important to just check in. Solo travel gives you the opportunity to reconnect with your emotions and realise that surviving alone is truly an empowering experience.
You make new friends along the way
You will have time to yourself, but you will never feel lonely. While travelling you will discover that there are always other people who you will find you have a lot in common with. Hostels and tour groups offer you the opportunity to make new friends. With the advancement of social media, you will be able to easily connect with people and keep in contact with them. Majority of people travelling tend to take similar routes, so you will be constantly crossing paths with your new found friends. You may even decide to tag along and discover you have made friends for life.
You call all of the shots, all of the time
What is not to like about being the only person you have to think about when you wake up. You decide your itinerary and pace. You don't have to worry about keeping other people happy and doing things that you don't particularly like. You control your day and what you fit into it.
You can learn new languages
Travelling by yourself means you will need to be able to get around. You will need to have the confidence to ask locals for directions and general information. Whether you wish to pick up the basics or completely immerse yourself in the language and become fluent, the choice is yours.
You discover your capabilities
We often don't give ourselves enough credit for all of the amazing things we achieve. While travelling solo, there is potential for things not to go as planned. Missed flights, lost baggage and illness are often mishaps people face while travelling. When you are by yourself, you have no other choice but to dig deep and discover your capabilities to get through it. You will discover that your strength and mindset is much stronger than you give yourself credit for.