Traveling solo gets lots of different opinions. Some people can’t fathom the fact of traveling alone, yet alone eating at a restaurant by themselves. Some people would rather travel alone than with company because they prefer to do their own thing.
It’s total preference, but here’s what I’ve got out of traveling solo starting with the pros!
1. You can work around your own schedule. If you want to wake up at 5:30 AM to see the sunrise then you are more than welcome to, you don’t have to wait for anyone else to get up and get ready. You can simply wake up and go. Same thing if you want to sleep in or go out to a club. You don’t have to worry about pleasing anyone but yourself.
2. You can see as much or as little as you want. You don’t have to cram everything into a day. If you planned on doing five things and you only make it to two because you were enjoying yourself you have no one to make you feel pressured to speed up to make it to the other three.
3. You never have to worry about someone else’s opinion. If you don’t want to go to an art museum you don’t have to go but if you’re with a friend who wants to go you might feel obligated to walk around aimlessly because she did something you wanted to do. By yourself you’re completely on your own schedule and you’re free to make your own decisions based on what you think is going to be fun and suiting to your style.
4. You can extend or shorten your trip. If you’re having an awesome time and want to stay longer the only persons plans you’re getting in the way of are your own! You can stay longer at one destination or leave early if you hate it and you don’t have to worry about upsetting anyone else.
5. If you get lost you only have yourself to blame. I’ve been lost by myself and with friends and let me tell you it’s a hell of a lot easier when you get lost on your own. I think it’s maybe my sense of pride, but when you’re wrong and your friend is right you feel a little salty that you can’t read a map or a train schedule. Plus getting lost alone makes you rely a lot of asking others for help and forces you to learn for next time.
6. You can meet new friends. Traveling with friends sometimes keeps you more distant from meeting and befriending other travelers because you have each other. But when you’re alone you have to put yourself out there and communicate with other travelers in order to make friends. It pushes you outside your comfort zone and that can be the best thing for you.
1. It gets lonely. Traveling alone isn’t all glamours like the photos make it appear. I mean those views are actually breathtaking, but they don’t show the loneliness you feel when you’re by yourself and everyone you pass is with friends and family. It makes you feel a bit envious of others in those moments.
2. It makes you miss your family. I used to kinda like yet kinda hate family vacations, but now traveling solo makes me wish I had cherished them more. When I got off a ferry a couple days ago at Manly Beach in Sydney and saw a local grocery shop filled with families who were buying foods for BBQs and snacks it made me wish my family was there to experience the moments with me that I was about to experience alone. Sometimes you just want to comfort and the familiarity by your side.
3. It makes you want to find a travel soulmate. Traveling solo makes you notice all the cute couples that are out living their travel dreams together and that makes me wish I had someone to share the moments with. I wish I had someone to take cute selfies with and hold hands on beach walks with. It’s in those moments you feel really alone in the world.
4. It sucks having no one to take pictures with. Since I began traveling my Instagram has gone from endless group photos to pictures of the earth or solo pictures I had to ask a stranger to take. The memories and views are incredible, but I also experienced those moments alone.
(Since I’m being honest I actually shoved my phone in between a garbage can to take this.)
5. Going out alone isn’t as fun. Going out is definitely not as fun alone. First off you don’t feel as safe because if anything happens you don’t have your friends there to back you up. You also feel kind of alienated while all the ‘WOO’ girls are ‘WOOing’ with their friends you’re in the corner of the bar wondering why the hell you even bothered to come out, especially because there’s no way you can get drunk when you’re on your own in a foreign country.
6. It can be uncomfortable. Traveling solo can be uncomfortable, it can be completely uncomfortable to leave your personal belongings in rooms with strangers, even when they’re locked up. It can be uncomfortable to sleep in a different bed every night, it can be uncomfortable to be completely alone with no one to talk to, and it can be uncomfortable to venture out of your comfort zone, but it teaches you to do those things.
Traveling alone, just like everything else in life, has its pros and cons, but ultimately the experience is all what you make of it so make it count.