If you’ve never traveled solo, now’s the time. It’s never been easier to find your way around the world, to try new things, and to go on an adventure of epic proportions. Not sure if it’s for you? Here are five reasons to give it a shot.
MAKE YOUR OWN SCHEDULE
Want to spend the day wandering the streets of a European city? Take a few days to relax by a beach? Or, take a cooking class in the morning, visit a market, and spend the whole evening cooking up a storm? Do it. Hike up a mountain at three o’clock in the morning just to catch the sunrise from an epic viewpoint. Learn a new language. Do it. No one is holding you back. Traveling on your own gives you the freedom to do whatever the hell you want, and create incredible memories on your own terms.
You don’t have to answer to anyone, so you can plan to your heart’s desire, or fly by the seat of your pants.
TANTALIZE YOUR TASTEBUDS
Eating out can be one of the toughest parts of traveling with someone. If they have any diet restrictions, allergies, or preferences, you have to find a place that will work for both of you. You might love to cook (or not), try out local delicacies, or live off of room service. Whatever your preference, you can go ahead and savor any dish you want. Embrace the art of eating solo at restaurants; it’s actually pretty relaxing. You’ll also be surprised at just how many people you’ll end up chatting with (if you want to), and how helpful restaurant staff can be.
MEET NEW PEOPLE
Don’t make the mistake of confusing being on your own with being lonely. Yeah, you’re alone, but you’ll meet a ton of incredible people along the way. Some of those people will occupy just moments of your adventure, and some will end up being life-long friends.
TOUGHEN UP, GIRL
When you’re traveling with someone, or if you’re traveling in a group, you’ll find yourself leaning on your companions regularly for the following things: making plans; navigating new places; making decisions; and, most importantly, having a shoulder to cry on. Trust me. On my first solo trip, I found myself in my hotel (albeit a surprisingly questionable hotel) less than 24-hours in, sprawled out on my bed, bawling. For hours. Wondering what the hell I was doing and why I was doing it. It certainly was not an isolated incident for me, and it won’t be for you. I can, honestly say, that after that first trip I was a lot tougher, and as the travel bug continued to inch its way into my life, I got stronger with every trip.
IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU
At the end of the day, it’s your trip. You’re the captain, the director, the pilot. You’re going to meet some of the most incredible people on earth, do things that will hold a place in your heart for the rest of your life, and discover just how resilient and hardcore you really are.