Hello from Prague! I arrived here yesterday after 18 hours of travel and am so happy to be back! This is my 12th solo trip. If you’re new around here, I’ve traveled to 6 countries and over 10 cities solo! I began my solo adventures during my fall semester in Milan in 2016 for two reasons. Foremost, I found that I couldn’t always do what I wanted to do when I traveled with a group since most of the time my values didn’t align with the group’s values. For example, I would rather wake up early and explore the city as opposed to stay up late and drink. While I understand there is value in the latter, I would rather direct my energy towards exploring a new city and learning about a new culture. Secondly, during that period of my life, I lost sense of who I was and subsequently lost my confidence. Traveling solo gave me the opportunity to gain all of my confidence back. I realized if I could survive being alone in a foreign country, I could do anything I set my mind to!
Here are five reasons why you should travel alone at least once in your life:
- Traveling solo builds confidence because you don’t have anyone to rely on but yourself. To me, this is the most rewarding part of traveling solo! There is no greater feeling than finding your way around a foreign city all by yourself.
- When you travel solo, you are the boss of your own schedule which means you can do whatever you want, whenever you want. Wake up as early you want, eat wherever you want, and embrace the freedom!
- When you travel solo, you are forced to step outside your comfort zone. For example, you may find yourself eating alone at a restaurant for the first time. Don’t stress it, just put your phone away and talk to your waiter or people sitting near you. You’ll be surprised at the stories you hear and the friendships you build.
- Traveling solo gives you more time. What I mean by this is that when you travel solo, a day seems much longer because you’re by yourself and you’re only doing the things you want to do. When I went on my first solo adventure to Venice, I didn’t know what to do with myself after the first few hours! I couldn’t believe all the time I had.
- Traveling solo allows you to meet more people. I have met people from India, Indonesia, South Korea and beyond during my solo adventures. I would have never met these people had I not traveled alone. This is not to say you can’t meet people if you’re traveling in a group, but it may not be as likely or may require more effort since you already have a companion.
Of course, while I love traveling solo and encourage others to do so, this list is not to discard group travel. I’ve also had some of my best memories while traveling in a group. I am simply encouraging you to step outside your comfort zone and see the world from a different perspective!
Have you traveled alone? If so, I’d love to hear your experience!!