Traveling alone can be scary the first time. I crossed path with some people that would cancel their trips at the last minute because their friends or partners could not come with them. Sure, it is great to be able to share travel experience with someone you know well but sometimes that also means having to compromise as you do not necessarily have the same interests. And one thing that has the biggest value in life and especially while holidays is: time.
Unless you are a lucky person that can travel anytime you want to, for most of us who work 9 to 5 jobs, as soon as we set up our holidays in our calendar, the countdown has started. This is the reason why it is important to make the most out of every holiday. If you can manage to travel with someone you trust and believe you can have fun with, go for it, you will have an incredible experience, good or bad, to talk about and remember in couple of years. If everyone cancels on you, then go no matter what, you won't regret it. Here are a few things that I learnt while traveling on my own.
Alone does not mean lonely
Every time I travel on my own, I mainly stay at places where I know that I will meet either locals or other travelers.
It is the best way in my opinion not to be alone in a foreign country. Most of the travelers have the same purpose: discover a new culture, a new city, a new lifestyle etc... so you will have plenty of things to talk about and maybe tag along some travelers you just met to discover places of common interests. Also, the locals can provide you with tips and addresses to experience your journey the best way as possible, do not be shy and do not hesitate to ask for advice. Being on your own while traveling solo is a choice.
You can do things you enjoy
You are the master of your time while on holiday. No one to tell you what to do, no alarm to wake you up every day unless you need to travel. You are in control and can do whatever you want to. Enjoy this moment, the purpose of a holiday is also to have fun and make life experience you will always remember of in the future, and if possible grab some souvenirs that will make your friends jealous!
You will feel more confident
Traveling solo is also a great way to grow as a human being. No one to depend on, you have to become independent and learn how to do things on your own like cooking your own meal, do your own laundry, navigate in a foreign city using a map, learn how to take public transports and not get lost, learn how to talk to people depending on their cultural background and native language, learn how to behave in public and be alert to any dangerous situation. To sum it up, you will learn things like adapting yourself quickly to a new situation and learn cultural etiquettes that will be very helpful in everything you will undertake in your future life.
Get a break from the routine
Holiday like I love to call it is my "sweet escape" from my daily routine life. Traveling is one of the things I really cannot stop doing. Every destination is a new adventure, is a new lesson in life, is a new opportunity to grow and take a step back to analyze the direction your life is going to. It is a great way to get away from a stressful life and reflect on oneself. It is often while these moments that we make the best decisions in our lives.
No more labels
I think that's the thing I the most enjoy while I travel. I can be anyone I want to! Every person that I usually meet on my trips does not ask me what I do for a living as the top 5 questions in a conversation. You get to know the people at a deeper level that is not superficial or does not label you in a box as the modern society tends to categorize us. Hence one of the reason these relationships you make on the way are genuine and the memories you collect will stay forever even if you don't keep in touch with them every day, the day you will see each other again will be like yesterday.
You will have friends all over the world
Getting to know people from different nationalities, cultural backgrounds and with different lifestyle is priceless. I am glad and consider myself lucky that I have met all these amazing individuals with whom I cherish a unique souvenir of our past journeys and I hope that we will make more souvenirs in the future. Also, what a best way to go visit a new country and have a friend as a local guide!
Still thinking twice about traveling solo? Are you afraid of being on your own? Most of the time we are the reason that creates that fear because we keep on thinking about how things could be, but once we get out of our comfort zone and take the leap, this is when we start feeling alive once again.
Of course, traveling solo requires to be careful but that's something you are already aware of in the country where you live. Just be careful, be curious and the rest will follow.
Safe travels fellow travelers!