One of the biggest obstacles people encounter when planning their travels is figuring out who they should go with. It can be tricky to plan out trips, especially long-term travels, with others. Schedules don’t align, budgets differ, or dream destinations are vastly different. For these reasons and many more, a lot of people find themselves with many travel plans but no travel partners. This should not stop you from going out and exploring!
Solo travel does not necessarily mean you are traveling alone. It could also mean that you are in a tour group, studying, or working abroad. As long as you leave for your journey by yourself and are unsure of who you’ll meet along the way – this is solo travel! You’re allowing yourself the amazing opportunity to learn and grow away from those who know the person you were before you left.
I have embarked for many of my long-term travels as a solo traveler. The three times I studied abroad, I didn’t know anyone else going on the trip. For my experience in London, this only impacted me for two weeks. But for my adventures to Salamanca and Singapore, I was volunteering myself for 4 months of travels abroad with complete strangers. These were some of the most formative times in my life, and I’ll always cherish my chances to travel solo.
Here are some of the upsides of solo travel:
1. No compromising
Want to fly across the world to Australia? Go for it! Leaning towards spending the entire day on the beach? Nothing is stopping you. Feel the urge to sign your life away and go skydiving? The world is your oyster! Traveling solo gives you the freedom to choose your destinations, day plans, and budgets with no compromises. You get to do exactly what you want to do and change your plans to suit you best.
2. Challenging your comfort zone
I have found that when traveling alone, my inclination towards risk and spontaneity is slightly heightened. When I am surrounded by people I grew up with, I feel much more level-headed and I calculate my actions much more carefully. This isn’t a bad thing, but when I’m out travelling it can mean I pass up on some incredible opportunities. The beauty of solo travel is that new sense of… why not?
One of the best examples of this is when I went skydiving. Remember, travel doesn’t require going to a different country – or even a different state. Travel can be a day trip, to explore somewhere new. I drove out one day to Orange Country, MA on a mini-road-trip to go skydiving, and I went completely solo. There was nothing else like it! For more details about my experience, read That Time I Went Skydiving.
Solo travel allows for maximum flexibility. This includes the dates of your trip, the places you go to see, and your day-to-day activities. If something comes up that requires a change of plans (or if you just change your mind about what you want to do) there are no obstacles in your way to change things up. You won’t be inconveniencing anyone else, because the only person you need to take into account is you.
4. Freedom to Grow
Freedom. I use that word specifically, because growth is a natural part of travel. But sometimes that growth can be affected or even hindered depending on your travel partners. If you travel solo, the growth and learning process of being abroad is accelerated and much more intense. You’ll never be completely sure of the things you’ll learn or the realizations you’ll have while traveling, but being open to whatever happens along the way is a beautiful thing.
Solo travel means you will have experiences that no one else will have. What an amazing gift for storytelling! Everyone will want to listen and learn about your journey because it is unique, and no one else will have quite the same story that you have. Just put yourself out there for as many experiences as you can, and you’ll come home with endless memories and tales to share.
Solo travel is not always easy – it can be lonely and you need to take extra safety precautions. You’ll need to be smart, but if you plan ahead and prepare for the journey ahead, you will gain some incredible experiences from a solo trip. Take advantage of the opportunity to go out there and do exactly what you want to do!
Happy migrating xx