Why I Choose To Travel Alone
After reading countless blogs and travel memoirs by independent women traveling the globe, I spent my college days endlessly dreaming of the time when it would just be me and my backpack on the open road. So many people ask me if I’m scared or lonely, and honestly, it does get lonely. But I think it’s good to let myself get a little lonely every once in a while. By myself I can just be. Sometimes you just need to be. The things you can accomplish on your own can be quite spectacular.
Solo travel is freeing
Look past the difficulty in finding both a travel partner with a complementing personality and the willingness to just go and consider how exhilarating it is to travel alone. Solo travel requires you to answer to nobody but yourself, something most people find difficult with the surrounding responsibilities of daily life. Without the expectations faced at home, you can be whomever you want to be without the pressures of those who know you really well. It may not be for everybody, but it’s worth a try at least once in a lifetime.
You are in control
If I sit down in an Italian restaurant and decide I want some pad thai, I don’t need to discuss it with anyone else or ask permission to leave or stay there just to be polite. I can stare at the ocean for fifteen minutes without feeling like I’m holding someone else up. I can sit down in the grass and read a book for twenty minutes or two hours. There have been times when I’ve just gotten on the bus without a destination in mind. My choices are my own and I don’t need to worry about what anyone else wants.
You don’t have to be alone
The world is full of solo travelers eager to meet new people. Hostels and backpacker towns are the best places to make new friends. In Auckland, I met a few people at different places—my hostel, in the middle of the street, the top of a volcano—who I went on the spend time with over my week there. On Waiheke Island, nearly everyone is eager to befriend each other as probably half the island is made up of travelers and seasonal workers. It is so easy to find friends if you’re willing to try.
You learn more
When it’s just you, no one else is carrying your bags or booking your next accommodation or figuring out what to do after walking two miles in the wrong direction. Traveling alone leaves no one accountable for making things happen but yourself. You are forced to figure your situations out yourself, because if you don’t do anything, you won’t go anywhere.
You’re more open to new things
I’ve definitely learned that other people are much more likely to strike up a conversation with me because I’m alone. It can be intimidating to approach a pair or a group of people when you’re trying to make new friends. Since I travel alone, I find myself meeting finding friends regularly.
What’s your favorite part of solo travel?