As my time travelling alone is coming to an end (I am currently travelling with a friend in Bali and will be meeting my family in Thailand where my sister will stay and travel with me for 3 months), I have started to reflect on my time travelling on my tod.
Since leaving England last December, I have backpacked through India, New Zealand, Fiji, Singapore, The Philippines and Malaysia and have loved every second of doing it as an independent gal. Even though I have had the best time exploring Bali with my friend and am very excited to travel with my sister, I can’t help but feel a little sad that I won’t be a solo traveller anymore.
It may be a daunting and scary concept to begin with (I had a couple of meltdowns at the start). However, solo travel challenges you, pushes you and changes you in ways you couldn’t imagine. Don’t let doing it alone put you off!
Here are my top reasons why I love solo travel.
You can do whatever you want
When you’re travelling on your own, you don’t have to make plans around what your travel buddy wants to do. You can do whatever you want, when you want. Trek a volcano, dive, shop for souvenirs, go to a temple, nap, you’re in charge of your own itinerary.
You don’t have to worry about another person’s budget
As well as doing what you want, you also don’t have to take into account another person’s budget or, feel bad if you’re on more of a budget than they are. You can spend as much or as little as you want on food, drink, activities and transport.
You meet more people
However much people travelling in groups say they socialise a lot whilst travelling, it’s never the same as when you’re on your own.
When you’re a solo traveller, you have to put yourself out there and chat to strangers so that you’re not a constant loner. If you want to explore a city with someone or, would like to have somebody to eat dinner with, you have to pluck up the courage to ask someone if they’d like to join you – this is never a worry when you have a travel buddy.
And if you’re lucky enough to meet people you get on with really well, you may even end up travelling with them for weeks on end.
You challenge and push yourself out of your comfort zone
There are times whilst you’re travelling on your own that you might feel a little uncomfortable and out of your depth.
Whether it’s pushing your way on to a busy train, not knowing whether your bus is going to turn up or, getting lost whilst walking to your hostel, these are things, which will push you out of your comfort zone and challenge you to stay calm and go with the flow.
Once you’ve managed to get from A to B, you will think ‘wow, check out how brave and independent I am’!
You learn a lot about yourself
You learn what you’re capable of, how independent you can be, how you deal with difficult situations, what sort of people you do and don’t get along with and how outgoing and sociable you can be – all qualities, which I think are important building blocks to becoming the person you want to be.