Some people shy away from travelling alone, a few embrace it. So, what is it that makes it an attractive option? What are the advantages of going it alone?
Well first things first, travelling solo can be very liberating. The itinerary you set and all the decisions you make are yours and yours alone. You don't need to worry about any other person or group. In other words, there's no need to compromise, there are no arguments, and no need to second-guess what other people want or need. Actually, you can be completely selfish.
Travelling alone is also a great confidence builder. Yes, at times it can feel a bit lonely, but that is just one of many problems you will have to solve yourself, along with making your own arrangements, and setting your own goals.
“Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone.” – Wendell Berry
Have you noticed that when you’re on your own, people are more willing to start a conversation with you? You're more likely to take the initiative as well, and before you know it, up pops an invitation for a meal, a side trip, a stay at someone’s home. For some odd reason people keep a slight distance from couples and groups, probably because they seem so self-contained and exclusive. Whereas the lone traveller looks ready to connect with their fellow human beings, and more likely to engage in pleasant conversation and simple exhanges about their travels. Putting it simply, lone travellers look interesting.
Thomas Jefferson once said: “One travels more usefully when alone because he reflects more,” and it’s true: you have much more time to contemplate things. A day long visit to one museum? No problem. A long hike on a trail frought with danger? Not an issue. You don’t have to deal with someone else’s mood swings, —nor they with yours.
Here are two more exicting reasons why you should consider travelling solo: You will find you learn language faster when you don’t have someone else talking to you in your own language all the time. It’s funny, but we interact, are FORCED to interact much more frequently when we travel alone in a country that doesn’t speak our native tongue.
If that doesn't convince you, there is the chance for adventure and even romance. When you’re on your own you’re free to meet someone who might turn out to be very important in your life.
“Travelling solo does not always mean you’re alone. Most often, you meet marvelous people along the way and make connections that last a lifetime.” – Jacqueline Boone
The most important factor to consider in your decision to make a trip alone is your own sense of independence. If you find that you have little tolerance for the idiosyncracies of others, or you don't get how group dynamics work, you might be happier travelling alone.
Of course, there may be things holding you back: Fear of the unknown, or maybe you have a spouse, relative, or friend who may be upset by your decision to take off by yourself, you will have to convince them of the value of travelling alone and allay any fears they might have, but with the technology at our fingertips, you can include them in the adventure.
You have to answer your own inner wanderer, to pick up your courage and let your heart lead the way to a new adventure.
Be it near or far—you can go it alone!