People say that if you travel far enough, you will meet yourself. It means that you can discover your true purpose and seek out our own personal dreams. When you travel alone, the world may look like a much scarier space. On the bright side, you can learn to rely on yourself and trust your instincts. This is a guide for aspiring solo travellers who are looking for a new lease on life. Get to know the benefits, challenges, and tips for solo travelling as you embark on a new journey.
Benefits of Solo Travel
When you travel, you get to forge your own path. It is an exciting opportunity to explore the world at your own time and pace. You can build connections and create wonderful memories while broadening your understanding of the world around you.
Making your own decisions
Independent travellers often look for a change of pace in life. They have different objectives like wanting space from their loved ones or just wanting to explore a new destination. For some people, travelling with a companion may hinder the ability to fully focus on the travel experience. Solo travellers find comfort in being present and open to the culture and other things that life has to offer. They value spontaneity and flexibility in their routine.
Creating meaningful relationships
When travelling solo, people find it easier to meet fellow travellers and connect with local communities. People commonly meet through hostels, walking tours, tourist activities, and social events. These bonds can create a long-lasting friendship and even lifetime companionship. There are also travel apps like SoloTraveller, Couchsurfing, and Showaround which are tools to improve the solo travel experience and meet new people on the road.
Independent travellers appreciate the self-improvement and growth that comes with the experience. While taking in the history, culture, and heritage of the destination, people grow out of their shells and reach out to new opportunities around them. It offers a chance for self-reflection, which becomes helpful even as travellers go back to their normal routine. It is a way to understand your characteristics and personality outside of regular social boundaries and structures.
Challenges of Solo Travel
As always, travel may come with a downside. With the uncertainty of new people and new places around us, people may be vulnerable to the dangers of travelling. This depends on your choice of the travel destination and the itinerary that you will come up with.
Increased threats to safety
The world is an unexpected place. There may be danger lurking around every corner. This is one reason why people prefer travelling with a companion or group. The risk to personal safety can be mitigated by proper research and preparation for the trip. Travellers often engage in comprehensive research to find safe accommodations and tourist spots to ensure their protection.
Since independent travellers have no one to share expenses with, some elements of the trip may be more costly. This can include costs for food, lodging, transportation, and more. It may be wise to search for group tours or fellow solo travellers to plan costs accordingly. It is important to be mindful of scams that target solo travellers as well.
Feelings of loneliness
Some solo travellers feel lonely especially during long trips. Being in a new city can be overwhelming for some, as it is a lot to take in. This can lead to stress and anxiety, which can hinder people from enjoying the trip. Luckily, it does not always have to be this way. Solo travel can be made social by meeting new people through tours or social media groups.
Tips for Beginner Solo Travellers
Research ahead of the trip and prepare contingency plans.
One of the biggest hallmarks of a good traveller is to find responsible and safe ways to travel. Research can tell you insights about your preferred destination, from places you must avoid to resources for cheap accommodations. You must coordinate your itinerary so that it matches the operating hours of shops, the expected weather, and other external factors.
Simplify your itinerary and do not over-plan.
Amateur solo travellers often get excited and put in too many activities into their itineraries. This results in an overcomplicated plan which puts a strain on one’s wallet and state of mind. You may also tend to overpack and bring too many items in your luggage. This may hinder your ability to enjoy the trip and maintain flexibility with your plans.
Be proactive and stay patient.
This is your chance to explore new connections and open doors to new opportunities. As you foster personal growth, you will encounter challenges during the trip. This may come in the form of mental, financial, and physical problems. As always, you must be proactive by keeping aware of your surroundings and engaging activities that strengthen your well-being.
Ultimately, there are some places in life where you will need to be alone. Independent travel promotes a strong sense of self-respect and responsibility. You have yet to discover just how capable you are. Remember, there is always a learning opportunity around every corner.