6 Benefits to Traveling Solo

“Won’t you get lonely?” This is often a question I get when I tell people I’ve planned a trip and I’m going alone. If you’ve had thoughts about solo travel but are still hesitant, my advice is just to go and try it. It might seem frightening at first, but take the leap and you’ll be surprised by how empowering and awesome exploring on your own can be.

Traveling by yourself can be incredibly rewarding and opens you up to new experiences and adventures you might not have when traveling with a group. While I enjoy my family vacations and trips with friends, I always look forward to the trips where I’m by myself.

Traveling solo allows you to reflect and grow. Photo by Isabell Winter
  1. I learn more about myself. When traveling solo, there’s a lot of time to focus on you and find out what you can do on your own. I often think about how travel has changed me and how I view the world. Through my travels alone, I’ve discovered that I can be independent, resourceful, outgoing, and flexible because I’ve had to plan and problem-solve by myself.
  2. I meet more people. When I am with friends or family, we do everything together. But when I’m by myself, I have to be more sociable, and speak with locals and travelers from around the world. I learn so much from other people, like their culture, traditions and opinions. It’s always very enlightening and makes me think more about my own views.
  3. I learn more of the local language. With solo travel, I can’t depend on someone else to know the local language or just communicate in English with my travel mates. I make sure I learn basic phrases and pick up more by ear by listening to those around me. It’s a great way to connect to the local culture too, and have a deeper travel experience.
  4. I build my self-confidence. Throwing yourself into a new culture and environment alone can seem scary and intimidating because often you’re out of your comfort zone. But by doing so, I’ve become a more confident person because I know I can deal with a variety of unexpected or unfamiliar situations.
  5. I set the itinerary. One of my favorite things about traveling alone is that I get to do what I want. On family trips or travel with friends, I always feel like I need to consider what other people want to do. But on my own, I can wake up at 6am or spend the whole day being lazy — it’s all up to me. I don’t have to compromise on my budget, or what I want to do, see, or eat.
  6. I am present. Present means being focused on the moment, and I feel this way much more when I’m traveling by myself. I’m not worried about what others are doing or thinking about me. I can concentrate on the experience at hand and reflect on what I’m seeing or feeling.

Of course, I do wish for some company sometimes when traveling solo. If you get lonely on your travels, you can visit urbansurf.me or download the iOS app Urbansurf. Urbansurf is a social platform that connects locals and other travelers for small group meet-ups, enabling you to truly connect with the local culture or share experiences with like-minded globetrotters.

Have you tried solo travel before? What was your experience?

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