Traveling solo isn’t for everyone. That’s okay. There is also a time and place for traveling with a partner, friend, group, family, or what have you. Traveling solo takes balls and for those who dig deep, it’s well worth it.
The number of people traveling solo is in fact growing. Almost a quarter of people traveled solo during their last international trip According to a 2015 Visa Global Travel Intentions Study. And, this number was up 37 percent from 2013.
With baby boomers and millineals leading the pack as solo travelers, it may be time to review the benefits of traveling alone:
- Personality Clashes Ain’t Happenin’
This is otherwise known as no drama. I like zero drama when I travel, well, except for the fun travel kind of sirondipidous, knock-your-socks of travel excitement. But, my travels are a no personality drama-free zone.
The Mamas & The Papas couldn’t have put it any better than in their song, Go Where You Wanna Go,
“You gotta go where you want to go. Do what you ant to do.”
Doesn’t this sum things up perfectly? Want to just stay in and watch the sunset and drink beer? Fine. Do it. No one is going to care. Want to peruse the orchid garden in Malaysia? Fine. Again, no one is going to stop you. You are the only one who controls your destiny. Explore your travel quirks, see what your heart fancies.
3. Meet People You Otherwise Wouldn’t Meet
When I travel with someone else, I tend to shut down most of my friend making energy. But, when I travel alone, I meet people I normally otherwise wouldn’t meet. Roarie, a scrawny Irishman who works in IT in England, other fellow back-packers and I bicycled from Belgium to Holland together, I met a lovely Canadian in Budapest, and made friends with a former female basketball player from the Colombian National Team in San Andres. These are people who made an everlasting imprint in my life.
4. Meet the Real You
When traveling alone, you are the only person to whom you can really rely. You are your main source of company. Cut through the bull sh@t of chatter from others and come face-to-face with your personal insecurities, desires, and dreams. Learn how to rely on yourself more to make decisions, come up with solutions, and ideas. Again, not for the faint of heart but we can all do it.
This is also a great opportunity for personal downtime. Yogis and meditators-meet an oasis.
The quote at the Temple of Apollo pops into my mind, “Know Thyself.”
5. Make People Wonder What You’re Up To
Nothing provokes speculation more than the sight of a woman enjoying herself. – Louisa May Alcott
This applies to the gents as well. Give ’em something to talk about. In some countries, cultures, circles, traveling solo, especially as a female, is not the norm. So what. Stand against the grain. However, in many other circles, sometimes, in the same circles and cultures where traveling solo is uncommon, it’s extremely acceptable and not a big deal at all.
How to respond to people questioning that you are indeed alone?
- Then say, “Yes, I’m am in fact traveling alone.”
- Walk away.
It’s actually simple.
So, my fellow travelers, ball up, have fun, and travel well.