There was a time when I was afraid to travel alone, when I worried that I would get too lost on my way or that I wouldn’t be able to organize my trip well enough or that it would be dangerous. As a young girl people made me feel like it was not really a good idea to leave what I knew and to go out exploring on my own. Luckily, my parents are very supportive and trusting (and I am responsible), and slowly I have branched out, changing how I look at places to visit and adapting how I travel to fit my personal style.
I don’t think there is a ‘right’ way to travel, but I do think that exploring your options, and not being necessarily against travelling alone, can help you grow as a person while you have fun. In addition, being solo (or sola in my case) doesn’t actually mean that you are going to spend all of your time alone. One of the most amazing parts of this kind of travel is the flexibility it gives you―allowing you to meet new people, change your schedule as you go, and totally fit what you are looking for.
Here are my top three reasons I think you should try travelling alone, at least once in your lifetime:
1.) It can help you figure out your own personal travel style: We have talked about it before here, but finding your own way to see new places will help you feel fulfilled when you are done. This is because travelling solo means that you only have to take care of your own personal needs and you can decide what you want to splurge and save on. (Check out these articles to see how Dani and Claudia like to travel if you are curious.)
2.) It can help you develop personally: Personal growth is something that will happen naturally during your time abroad whether you are here to study or to work. By learning about other places and their respective cultures you will also learn about yourself. Travelling alone promotes this development because you will have time to reflect on your decisions and will be completely responsible for future choices that you make during this travel period.
3.) It gives you a unique opportunity to meet new people:It may seem like a strange concept that travelling alone makes it easier to meet new people, but I (and others I know) have found this to be true. When you are not accompanied by a friend/partner/family member/etc. you will be more likely to branch out and get to know other people. That guy in your hostel or the girl you meet on the train might just become your partner in crime for the next few days*. These friendships might not be for life (or they just might be), but they will allow you to make the most of your adventure.
So there you have it, three reasons why venturing off on your own is a good option. Travelling with friends is fun too, but taking time away for you is, in my book, never a bad idea.
*These two scenarios make up a small part of all the ways I have met new people and sometimes create meaningful relationships in random places.