Yes, I guess you could say I am a loner, but I feel more lonely in a crowed room with boring people than I feel on my own.Henry Rollins
When I told my friends about my solo trip to Europe, they were shocked and asked me why I didn't have a travel buddy. The truth is that traveling solo has many advantages.
I can't travel with other people. I know you're thinking, “How dare she call herself a traveler!”
I'm An Asshole, And That's Fucking OK.
I'll be honest, and I'm not always the easiest person to travel with. Ask any of my friends. I'm not too fond of itineraries set in stone. For some reason, when I am traveling with other people, they're always trying to convince me to do things or visit places that are different than the ones we had agreed on beforehand. It just doesn't work for me.
It's not that I don't like the company; it's just that I find the possibility of being in close quarters with someone who has different interests than me and is more vocal about their opinions to be daunting. The idea of having to compromise my plans for others or have them try and change my perception of anything is so nerve-wracking for me, which makes solo travel seem like such an attractive prospect.
I learned this time and time again. I'm a total travel asshole. I'll admit it. I don't have time to wait for indecisive people or ones that need the postcard vacation. I like grabbing my day bag and heading out without a set destination. It's precisely how I ended up in Potsdam and Rotterdam.
The Social Anti-Social Libra
I love to travel, and I'm a pretty social person. But there are some days where I want to be by myself, wander around, meet new people without the pressure of making friends or being friends with strangers. When I travel by myself, I'm always creating my own adventures. I go with the flow and don't let anyone or anything dictate my trips. Most people cannot travel solo because they're afraid of being alone and not knowing what's going to happen. But I'm quite the opposite. I invite it, and I create it; I revel in it.
I'm here to tell you that there are a lot of benefits when traveling by yourself.
The Negatives? Depends On Whom You Ask
I'll start with the “negatives”:
- You have nobody else to blame but yourself for everything that goes wrong on your trip. You booked the shitty hotel far away from all the attractions.
- It can be more expensive if you don't know how or where to find deals. Single? Doesn't matter. If it's double occupancy, that's your rate, too.
- Don't expect any hand-holding, advice, or help from anyone.
- And finally, it's much slower than traveling with somebody else as you need time at each destination for exploring and relaxing.*
*This is a plus for me. I don't travel to check a destination off a list. AAANNNNDDDD, I know I'm not going to get through it all. In my mind, I'm coming back, so I'll enjoy every minute of it.
The Reasons You Should Fly Solo
There are plenty of reasons why you should go solo on your next trip if you're thinking about it. You might be thinking that traveling alone is a little scary. I know it's not for everyone, but it's something I would highly recommend to anyone who has ever wanted to travel the world by themselves. There are so many reasons why you should consider solo travel, and here are some of them!
- You don't have anyone to answer to, so do whatever you feel like doing.
- There's no one in your way when trying to explore every inch of a city or take a day trip.
- You can get into conversations with locals.
- You can get around the way you want to. Rent a bike? No prob.
- Choose your “center.” I love to rent homes in residential areas. Most of my friends would die because it's “too boring.”
I've been traveling for a while now, and I have to say, there are some days when I can't stand being around other people. Maybe it's because I need to get away from the hustle and bustle of life. Either way, solo travel provides me with plenty of opportunities to do my own thing without having to worry about what anyone else is doing.
It's my trip on my terms.
I'm not sure if you know this, but it is a proven fact that everyone needs to travel by themselves at least once in their life. Sure, traveling with friends and family can be fun too-but there are just some moments when we need the time alone. There's nothing wrong with wanting or needing solitude -in fact; research has shown that people who do spend time traveling solo tend to have higher self-esteem than those who don't. So what type of traveler are you? Do you prefer going on vacation with your friends and family, or would you instead go solo?
*Hey, this page contains affiliate links. There’s no extra cost to you, but I receive a small commission when you decide to use them. They help me keep this party going.