Why You Should Travel Solo At Least Once In Your Life

The idea of travelling solo can be scary. Is it safe? Will I feel lonely? Will people judge me? And to be honest, those fears are very valid. The very first time I travelled solo it took me a while to get over them. I felt awkward and lonely. Until one day I realised how much more I was seeing and experiencing. I was meeting a ton of new people, seeing the things I wanted to see without distractions and just enjoying my own company. I think being able to feel comfortable in your own company is something everyone should learn in their 20s. Life moves so fast, sometimes you need to take the time to look inward and reflect as well as just be. 

That being said, here are some of the reasons I think everyone should travel solo at least once in their life:

Get out of your comfort zone

A difficult lesson you learn as you get older is that nothing groundbreaking is really going to happen within your comfort zone. In order to advance, whether that is in your job, relationships or skills, you need to move beyond your comfort zone. And that takes practice. From experience, there is no better way to practice than travelling solo. It’s a bit like jumping in at the deep end of the pool – you will feel like you’re drowning at first. It will take time to “learn to swim” – to be comfortable meeting new people and be confident being alone. Yet when you get there, it will make all other things outside your comfort zone seem not quite as scary.

Get more out of your trip

When I really want to experience a country and culture, I like to travel solo. It’s an excellent way to fully immerse yourself with the local culture, meet new people and explore to your heart’s content. Instead of trying to fit everyone’s interests, you can concentrate on your own ones. I’ve also found that when travelling solo, people are more likely to come up to you and have a conversation. They will tell you about the sight you may be visiting or explain where a certain food has originated. It’s a completely different experience. If you are worried about safety, if you research your destination properly and follow the same safety rules you would in any big city, you should be alright. I’ll definitely cover the topic of safety more in-depth in another article, but I assure you it isn’t an obstacle for solo travel!

Time to reflect and heal

I don’t mean this in the cringey “you will find yourself” way. You’ve never really lost yourself, you may just have had too many other things to focus on. Travelling solo forces you to face yourself more than anything. It gives you time to think about yourself, in a completely non-selfish way. Think about where you are, what you want to achieve and what’s important to you. This won’t feel forced, but come naturally as you explore a new place with only your thoughts to keep you company at times. It can help you come to terms with difficult situations you’ve faced and start the healing process. I’m not sure exactly why. Maybe it’s being so far away from normal life. Maybe it’s the beautiful landscape. Maybe it’s discovering that there is so much else out there. In the end, it doesn’t really matter why it helps, just that it does.

It's so freeing

I constantly miss the feeling I get from travelling solo. Nothing compares in terms of freedom from everyday life. You, yourself and the new country you’re exploring. Time to make some new memories!

So, these are my reasons for why you should solo travel at least once in your life – even in your 20s. Your fears are very valid but can be overcome and opens up so many life-changing opportunities. Don’t miss out, especially out of fear of being judged. We get judged every day anyway. Live your Emily in Paris fantasy. Who cares! (just in a less culturally ignorant way please)

Have you travelled solo before? Did you enjoy it?

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