Thought Catalog
March 20, 2017

5 Reason You Should Travel Alone (At Least Once!)

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This past summer I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Costa Rica to do volunteer work. Through this journey I was able to experience what it is like to travel alone. During the month I spent in Costa Rica I gained many experiences and discovered so much about myself in the process. I believe that everyone should travel alone at least once in their lifetime. If you need some convincing I have created a list for some of the many reason I believe that you should travel alone.

1. You can make new friends.

Traveling alone means that you can be as social or as antisocial as you want to be. Whatever works best for you. This is your time. However don’t let the fear of feeling lonely keep you from traveling because there are always places and ways to connect with locals or even other travelers. If you stay in a hostel that’s a great way to make friends with people from around the world or you can simply look up some of the local hotspots. Truth be told, the people you meet when you travel are bound to be interesting. Trying a new activity like cooking classes or visiting a museum can be a great way to meet people. You may be traveling alone but you are never alone.

2. You are in charge of your schedule.

When you a planning a trip with other people you often have to make compromises and negotiations. There is all of this hassle and tends to be more stressful. What if you don’t get to do everything you wanted to do? Don’t me wrong traveling with other people can be very rewarding but why not make the most of your time and money by doing the things you actually want to do without worrying about pleasing everyone? Everything is totally your call. You can eat wherever and whatever you want, you can sleep in as much or as little as you desire. If you want to go on a hike or visit all the art galleries in the city it is totally up to you, you are the boss. You are free to do whatever your heart desires, it is totally your choice. Traveling is meant to be a relaxing experience and there is no better way than being in charge of your own schedule.

3. You challenge yourself to leave your comfort zone.

By staying in your comfort zone you are doing yourself a disservice yet leaving your comfort zone can be quite scary. But you will never gain experiences if you don’t leave your comfort zone once and awhile. Traveling alone is the perfect way to challenge yourself to leave your comfort zone and you’ll be so thankful that you did. The experiences you will have when you make that decision to leave your comfort zone are the best ones. When you challenge yourself you become more confident and more empowered to take on other challenges.

4. You learn you are enough.

During the hustle and bustle of daily life, you realize that you don’t spend enough time with yourself. When you travel alone, you are your own travel companion and you might be shocked at how enjoyable you are. During your trip you spend quality time with yourself and you should use this time to develop a thoughtful, introspective experience. Use your solo trip to invest in some much needed “me time” and get to know yourself better. You don’t need anyone else to travel with, you are enough.

5. It is wildly empowering.

Traveling alone allows you to find freedom from the mundane routine of daily life. When you are traveling alone you are bound to do something that scares you whether that’s ziplining in Costa Rica or trying a new cuisine, once you do whatever it is that scares you, you will feel a strong sense of empowerment. Taking the plunge into a solo trip can help you become more confident and empowered by knowing that you tackled challenges.

I know that traveling alone can seem daunting at first but it is so worth it and you’ll soon realize that the best travel partner you can have is yourself. TC mark

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