These days, an increasing number of modern explorers are taking vacations by themselves. As the solo travel movement goes from strength to strength, we are highlighting some of the positive aspects of taking a trip on your own. Here is my look at the benefits of solo travel.
You can be completely selfish
This may be the only context in which selfishness isn’t a bad thing. Traveling with others means making plans with others. Checking out local landmarks, museums, restaurants, and attractions can be challenging when each traveler has something different in mind. But what if you could spend each day in any way you like? Fancy spending six hours in a single museum, or trekking for miles in chilly conditions? Go right ahead.
You meet interesting people
When you travel with others, you typically stick together. In other words, you’re less likely to wander away from your group. But traveling alone brings something truly valuable to the table – you’ll be more likely to chat with locals, meet new friends and generally be more sociable.
You come to know yourself more intimately
These days, we’re constantly bombarded by stimulation – relentless connectivity to others, as well as the Internet. Rarely do we get the chance to sit with ourselves and simply be. Solo travel provides the opportunity to do just that. Being on your own in a new place serves as a permission slip to slow down, without the distractions you’d feel buzzing around you when traveling with companions. Being alone, and embracing it, is a wonderful part of solo travel.
You can rest without feeling guilty
Feeling wiped out from a long flight? Or from exploring a new city on foot? Let’s face it, there’s only so much running around you can do. But when you’re traveling with friends, the pressure to keep going can be intense. When traveling alone, on the other hand, you can head back to your room for a guilt-free mid-afternoon nap.
Traveling alone can provide the restful break you need. Photo: Darkydoors/Shutterstock
You step outside your comfort zone
When traveling with friends, you often troubleshoot travel hiccups together. Can’t find your way around? The solution usually comes by talking it over. Taking a trip on your means you have to get out of any tricky trip situations by yourself, which can help with problem-solving, dealing with pressure, and developing self-belief.
You’re less likely to feel stressed out
When you’re out and about with your usual friends from home, it’s easy for old routines and group dynamics to creep up on you. Not so when you’re on your own. You’re there for you and you alone – the only drama you’re going to experience is the drama you make yourself.
You’ll have the time and inspiration to work on creative projects
Been dying to delve into a creative project? Whether it’s writing poetry, developing a new business plan, or playing the guitar, traveling alone provides the opportunity – and inspiration – to tap into these desires. When you’re untethered to the demands of others you’ll probably find it easier to nurture your creativity.
It might make you happier in the long term
Research suggests that getting into vacation mode has the potential to increase our happiness levels. And spending time alone has also been shown to stave off depression. The takeaway? Heading off on a solo adventure just might be good for your overall well-being.
Solo travel can help you develop new skills. Photo: Daxiao Productions/Shutterstock
You’ll probably improve your language skills
What better way to learn a new language than to throw yourself in headfirst? Full immersion in a foreign culture (and tongue) is possibly the best way to dismantle the language barrier. When traveling with others, you’re more likely to rely on them for help with translating. And, let’s face it, chances are high that you’ll communicate with one another in your native language. When you’re alone, on the other hand, you’re forced to constantly practice the new language.
(With reference from outlook.com)