So you’re thinking about going on a trip by yourself? Do it! I know that’s easier said than done.
In all honesty I get it. Solo travel is a pretty intimidating idea to think about. Embracing traveling alone can be tough because of the idea of being by yourself and only yourself, the extra time to think, and the challenges that need to be overcome alone. Being by yourself, while traveling, can make anyone uncomfortable.
Putting all the head trash and excuses to the side, It really is incredible what can happen when you spend some time by yourself. Here’s some reasons why everyone should travel solo at least once.
Your Trip Your Rules
Probably the best part about solo travel is getting to do what you want, when you want to. You make all the rules!
Because you are traveling by yourself, you get to control the whole itinerary. Where you go, what you see, places to eat, when to take break, is all up to you. Being able to adjust plans is a huge benefit to solo travel. You’re able to craft your trip exactly how you want.
My favorite thing about traveling alone is getting to stop whenever I want. When driving from Florida to New York, I was able to stop and see a long time friend. I also ate a probably the best BBQ place I’ve ever had. I managed to stop on the side of the highway and walk through the woods to find this cute waterfall I saw from the road. If I was with a group, who knows if I would of been able to do those things?
Your trip alone can be drastically different than it was if you traveled in a group and you are more likely to try new things you’ve always wanted to.
Get to Know Yourself
A huge added benefit of traveling solo is getting to know yourself. Lots of time alone is lots of time to think, without hearing the opinions of others. It really is a good time to reconnect with yourself.
By road tripping solo, I’ve learned to trust myself more and be more authoritative. I generally always need a second opinion or rely on someone else to make a decision. By being on the road alone, you force yourself to take control of the situation and your plans.
It’s honestly a pretty cool feeling.
After you’ve accomplished navigating a new city or place by yourself, you can do anything. At least it feels like you can! Traveling solo and visiting places you’ve never been adds another notch to your travel belt.
I remember my first time I was in the airport by myself to travel, I thought I was going to miss my flight and get lost. Just me and my carry on were going to be left alone forever. Every possible negative thought went through my head. My flight is getting canceled. I’m going to get on the wrong plane. They aren’t going to let me on the plane. I’m gonna get abducted. Literally every one. But guess what, none of that happened. I now walk through airports like a solo-traveling champ that I know I am.
My airport meltdown is only a small example. Think about all the experiences and challenges you have to overcome when traveling in general. Now think about taking all of that on by yourself. It seems pretty rewarding, right?
Meet new people
The best way to immerse yourself in a new location is by meeting the locals! I’ve met some pretty cool people on my travels just by saying “hello” at a local coffee shop or restaurant. If you are shy, this is tough. Saying hi to strangers is super uncomfortable, but it’ll break you out of your shell! Insight from locals can help mold your trip and point you to places you didn’t even know existed.
A few years ago while traveling to North Carolina, I met the nicest man at the airport after our flight landed. He gave me an incredible list of restaurants to try in the area and more importantly some awesome advice on chasing your dreams. Before parting ways, he told me he played football in the NFL. Go figure!
You never know who you will meet and how they will impact your life if you don’t put yourself out there!
Try New Things
I know I mentioned it briefly before, but you are more likely to try things and go to places you always wanted to but never got the chance to. You don’t have to worry about what anyone else will say or anyone else’s opinions.
You’re doing this trip for yourself, that’s what solo travel is all about. Try something new while you explore a new place! Whether its a new restaurant, favorite local dish, or an activity, try it out!
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
I’m a big believer in getting comfortable being uncomfortable. My lacrosse coach in college used to scream that at us while we were running some insane run tests. We were actually physically uncomfortable and it felt like our bodies were going to give out on us. I can’t believe it’s applicable in some other parts of my life, but it’s extremely relevant more times than not.
Traveling solo is scary. Humans crave groups, security, and comfort. Being alone is the total opposite. Lots of great things come from escaping out of your comfort zone. For me, it’s worth it to push the nerves aside and get away by yourself.
So let lose, pack your bags, and travel by yourself.
Traveling Alone is not always sunshine and rainbows. You will deal with some hurdles but you will get over them.
You will probably run into some weird people that might make you feel unsafe to be around or go through some places you might not be that familiar with. It’s so important to trust your gut and travel safe when traveling solo. Be aware of what and who are around you at all times.
Dealing with the road blocks is all parts of the journey, for me the pros of traveling alone outweigh the cons.
Share your solo travel stories in the comments!