Author: Hannah Lane
Republished with permission
Travelling with friends, family or a partner is always wonderful, but travelling solo is something everyone should experience at least once. With my own solo travels taking me to Egypt, Australia, Guatemala and more destinations, here I’ve shared a few of the things I’ve learnt along the way.
It’s easier to make friends than I thought
It may be called ‘solo travel’, but I found that I was never really alone. By staying in hostels, joining group tours and the occasional day tour, I met plenty of other travellers from around the world. Many of whom were also travelling solo.
Whether we only spent a few hours together or a few days, I would learn all about their culture, lives back home and share a good few laughs. There were so many opportunities to meet new people and, with the help of social media, it was that much easier to stay in touch once we’d gone our separate ways.
It gives you so much freedom
There are few other occasions that offer the same freedom as travelling solo. Without having to take anyone else’s plans or preferences into account, I was free to choose what to do, where to eat, how long to stay in each destination and so much more.
Being able to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, was an amazing feeling. And after some time out of my normal routine, I was all the more refreshed when I did return home.
If there’s anything that’ll boost your confidence, it’s managing to successfully (and safely) navigate your way across a foreign country alone. Without anyone else to help you read a map or ask for directions, you’ve got to take care of yourself. In doing so, and by solving the problems you encounter along the way, you’ll find yourself incredibly empowered.
From missing my stop on a local bus in Malawi to misunderstanding a shopkeeper in Guatemala, I had a few bumps along the way. But in handling these by myself, I learnt I’m far more capable than I realised.
I can enjoy my own company
Before travelling solo, the thought of sitting alone to eat a meal in a restaurant or cafe terrified me. But after flying across the world, booking my own accommodation and even hiring a car by myself, that fear slowly but surely melted away.
In fact, I learnt that I can not only enjoy my own company – but that it’s actually healthy to be able to be by yourself. It boosts your confidence, sense of self-reliance and makes you appreciate your friends and family even more when you do see them.
It’s the perfect time to reflect
Travelling solo is the perfect time to ask yourself those soul-searching questions. Without anyone by your side to distract you from your thoughts, you can really take some time to think and reassess your life plan.
Whether you’re considering changing career, starting a relationship or moving house, the answers will be much clearer once you step outside your norm. In fact, it might just be the kick you need to start that next adventure.