It is late summer. There is this familiar feeling that sets in that you have not enjoyed the summer to the fullest. Warm weekends are limited, that lake house trip you planned with your friends is not happening anymore, that big trip to Europe you planned with your sister got cancelled. These things are bound to happen. It is extremely difficult to line up your schedules with your friends. I have an elegant and simple solution for you. Travel by yourself.
Traveling solo allows for a time of introspection, relaxation, self-discovery and self-indulgence. To take in new surroundings unfiltered by the prejudices, tastes or preferences of a traveling companion can be heady stuff.
Logistical Planning is easier
One main benefit of traveling alone is that it is so much easier. You don’t have to worry too much about logistical matters such as transportation, hotel rooms and planning out activities for the day, splitting up your expenses etc (I absolutely hate splitting money with my friends).
Do whatever YOU want to do
Ever been dragged by a friend to go to a museum when all you wanted to do was to go to the beach and relax? Now you can do that. If you are active like me, you can go on that 10 mile intense hike and check out that beautiful view everyone keeps talking about. Sure, you will makes mistakes but they are your own, and your triumphs all the more exciting.
I took a solo trip to Alaska a while ago, I made some plans as to what I wanted to do, but nothing was fixed. The funny thing is that I never ended up following my plan. Everything changed as soon as I got there. I met some amazing people at the hostel who told me the best places to go. My point is that, have a travel plan but be flexible in your travel plans as things often change.
Easier to meet new people
The fact that you have no one to talk to while on your trip forces you to go out and socialize, make new friends. And best part is, just like you there are so many single travelers trying to do the same thing as well. I met so many people in Bali, Peru, Alaska, Montana, California, Iceland traveling by myself. They even come visit me in NYC. Although you may start out your solo travel feeling lonely, give it a few days. By the time you head home, you’ll have added so many new friends.
Sometimes, I think of leaving the big city I live in, unwind myself for a week or two, slow the pace down, not be connected to anyone by emails, phone calls or Facebook. What better thing to do than traveling alone, giving you time to introspect on yourself, recharge your mind and feel refreshed.
Feeling like a bad-ass
Lets face it, the sense of accomplishment you feel after your hike the woods by yourself, ordering a coffee in a native language, figuring out directions by yourself and getting to a place by looking at maps, bargaining for a t-shirt in a bazaar gives you a rare sense of empowerment that makes you feel like a bad-ass.
Learning so much about yourself
So many time when you are traveling by yourself, you have to step out of your comfort zone and you get a sense of what you are capable of. You notice your decision making skills and your survival skills are necessary if you are to have fun and this makes you want to learn and get better. After every trip, I learn so much about the limits of my body and my mind. What I learn in the jungle can be applied to the urban jungle I live in. It is no different.
Of course, single travel has its perils too — such as safety concerns, loneliness and the dreaded single supplement. But a little preparation and common sense can save you money and get you through the rough spots.