Nine years ago, I decided that I wanted to travel overseas for the first time. In a way, I had always expected I would wait to travel until I found someone to travel with. However, the decision to travel turned out to be somewhat impulsive driven entirely by a toxic work environment.
The impulsiveness of the decision led to only a few weeks to plan and book a six-week journey overseas. That first trip took me around the world, visiting Vancouver, Seattle, Las Vegas, Toronto, London and Hong Kong.
Over the following couple of years, I headed overseas another three times. Travelling solo through 35 countries, three cruises and countless towns and cities. More than the destinations I visited was the people I met and experiences I had travelling solo.
Travelling Solo Costs More
In travel, there are some costs that can be shared and some that cannot. Unfortunately, when you choose to travel solo, you are going to bare all of the costs.
If you are travelling with other people things like accommodation, car rentals and transport can be split. Helping to save you some money and make travel more affordable.
There are even times such as travelling on a cruise ship or with a tour when you will end up paying more. Single Supplements can add to your costs in some cases quite significantly.
But one thing I found was that with some planning and research you can alleviate some of the financial pressure.
You Will Be Lonely Travelling Solo
In the roughly nine months total that I have spent travelling solo I can count on one hand the number of times that I have felt lonely. One of the biggest concerns that many people have with solo travel is just not true.
That being said, the experience is entirely what you make of it. If you hide away in your hotel room and avoid people, you will be lonely. On the other hand, if you get out there and participate the thought will barely have a chance to come to the surface.
You Meet More People Travelling solo
When you are travelling with other people you are likely to spend the majority of your time with them. However, when you are travelling solo whether you plan it or not you end up meeting new people.
Social interactions are something that happens whether you like it or not when travelling. You never know when you will land in the middle of a social interaction.
The very first overseas trip I took lead to many new friends as the result of a conference I attended. Meals on board a cruise ship led to meeting new people almost every day. Joining events on sites like Couchsurfing or Meetup in foreign cities were a catalyst for many other interactions.
You Are All Alone
Unlike being lonely the fact is that you are going to be all alone. You will be arriving in a new city by yourself and you will need to navigate it all by yourself. A challenging situation for some people to handle, but easy for others.
There is also the thought of personal safety, ending up in a dangerous situation can be all to easy. Unfortunately, at times this can mean relying on your ingenuity and even the kindness of a stranger.
Thankfully, there have been very few potential situations like this for me. However, it is still my biggest single concern when travelling solo.
On the flip side of the coin being all alone can also be a great positive. If you have ever sat in a hotel room with your friends or family trying to decide what to do you may understand this.
When you are travelling alone you get to make every decision. What you do, where you go, what to eat and every other choice. Of course, if something goes wrong this is on you as well, but at least you get to make the choice. That also means that if you are stuck for an idea of what to do you have no one to ask. But for some people that may be the preferred option.
If there was one thing that I hope you can take away from this post it is to travel. Whether it is solo or with a friend or family, take any chance you can to explore the world. There is so much to see, do and explore in this world and you see very little of it staying at home.