There is joy in solo travel. There is an unspoken pleasure in finding yourself again amidst a new culture. It teaches you something. You get back to your roots. To your essence. You don’t have your homely friends and family to rationalize it. You live it. You prepare for it, and you live each moment of it. Traveling with others certainly has its benefits. Solidifying family and friendship bonds for one, but there is also a case to be made for solo travel from time to time. Why you ask? I’ll give you 5 reasons why.
1) Painless Logistics
It’s just you on this journey. You only have to take what you require to survive and have fun on your journey. You can pack a tonne. You can also just pick up the essentials and go. You decide the time, place and nature of your travel. It’s pretty flexible. Whereas while traveling with others you have to keep their logistics and itineraries in mind and in your plans.
2) Flexible Itinerary
Ever wanted to take a detour to a place but couldn’t? Because you had it all planned out with family or your partner? Well, with solo travel you can take those plans and ignore them! Yes you can. You have the freedom to go wherever you want and follow what catches your imagination and fancy. Am not denying that it’s good to plan ahead of your trip, all am saying is that you can ignore those plans and still rock your travel time.
3) Bucket List Item Crossed!
Take out your bucket list now and have a hard look at it. (If you don’t have one, it’s high time you made one 🙂 ) What do you see? A lot of places you want to travel to, right? What has been stopping you so far? Well, you will say you can’t go and leave your family behind, or your partner or your cute little dog. However, if you travel alone (from time to time), imagine all the places you’d cross off on that list. And let’s face it. Sometimes it’s difficult explaining to others why you need or have to go to a particular place. There is a good reason why that destination is on your bucket list. So take the time, travel alone.
4) The Maestro Global Citizen
Have you ever noticed how you stick together with your travel buddies on trips? Because they are known quantities. Because as humans we are tribal. Just look at the many pockets of “little nations” we have in America today. We just cocoon together! Solo travel changes all that! You don’t have anyone to cling to. You are forced to meet, greet and get to know folks in your host nation/destination. You make friends, you meet other interesting people on a similar journey. You learn about them, because you realize that your situation would be precarious without them. It’s a great way to meet new people, learn about different cultures and be a truly global citizen!
5) Get Lost
You are thinking, “Why in the world would I want to get lost in a strange place?” I’ll tell you why. So that you can find yourself. By “get lost” I mean two things:-
a) Get physically lost – which come to think of it, who ever gets lost these days with GPS enabled smart phones, right? Try it though, walk a day without your phone. Get lost. Meander into unknown places. I mean, what’s the joy in life if everything is known, right? Plus, while lost you get to ask for directions. Many a friendships have been started that way. (Yeah right, that argument is weak-ish, but try it anyway)
b) Get Spiritually lost. Am using the term “spiritually” very loose here. But I mean you get to pursue your passions while you solo travel. You can be anyone. You can re-invent yourself and your life on the road. It gives you a chance to nurture yourself, to “sharpen the saw” as Steve Covey puts it. To rediscover yourself and what stirs you.
It’s true. Happiness is real when shared. There is nothing stopping you from sharing that happiness with the people you meet on your travels. Solo travel affords you the opportunity to rediscover yourself, re-invent yourself, think deeply about stuff. And more often than not you come back re-energized, full of ideas and ready to tackle the world. So, don’t hesitate. Pack yourself a bag sometime soon and fly away or drive somewhere. You’ll be glad you did it!