As the old saying goes, the best travel companion is yourself! Exploring new countries on your own is an exciting proposition, but many people who have yet to experience it have many questions about it. In an online discussion, experienced solo travelers recently answered questions about what it's like to travel alone, and their answers were illuminating.
1. You'll Learn To Appreciate Your Loneliness
Although traveling alone can be a scary thought for many people, most travelers say that looking back, they developed a sense of appreciation for who they were when they were most lonely.
It makes sense, after all: when it's just you – and you alone – embarking on an incredible journey, you get to know more about yourself than you ever thought possible.
2. It Requires Extra Planning
Many people need to realize that traveling solo requires even more planning than usual compared to traveling with others. “I took care of all the transportation and accommodation beforehand,” one traveler advises.
“Sometimes, when traveling in a group, you don't even realize who booked the bus tickets or who researched the hotels and places to see. When you are alone, you have to look at everything and ensure there are no blind spots.”
3. Bias Doesn't Exist
When traveling alone, nobody can influence how you feel, interpret, or see what's in front of you. It's just you and your emotions, making for a cathartic experience. Think of how often our friends, family, and social media influence how we behave or perceive things – and think about how much that goes away when you're traveling solo.
4. It's Easy To Make Friends
A fear for many solo travelers is the issue of making friends along the way. But, as it turns out, this fear is entirely unfounded – you just need to take the initiative to make connections.
“All you need to start a conversation is a smile and a genuine desire to know the person,” reveals one woman. “Talking to people from diverse backgrounds broadens your point of view.”
5. Conversations Can Be Had With Anyone
Exploring the world means crossing paths with people who are authentically themselves. Whether it's experiencing a new language, culture, or cuisine, many travelers admit some of the best conversations they've ever had were with locals they encountered on their travels. Connecting with somebody so different from you is a highly gratifying experience.
6. You Never Know What Friends You'll Make
“I befriended this dog and had a long conversation with him,” confesses one experienced adventurer. Naturally, many people reacted enthusiastically to this revelation, with one person stating, “Now that's what traveling solo is all about. I love this!”
So there you have it; not only will you lose yourself in epic conversations with strangers, but you might also have a heart-to-heart chat with an animal!
7. It's Exhilarating
The rush of exploring a new part of the world by yourself shouldn't be passed up. “Do it at least once in your life, and I don't mean for three days,” one seasoned solo traveler says.
“It's sometimes a little scary, uncomfortable, or depressing, but it is also an incredible way to see someplace you've never been before. Go. Do it.” What are you waiting for? Do what the man says!
8. It Can Be Stressful
There are no two ways around it: traveling alone can be a stressful experience. However, the sooner you accept this fact, the quicker you'll be able to move past it. Remember, having no safety blanket in the form of a friend doesn't mean you can't have a fantastic time.
9. You Realize Happiness Is Within You
Having a few inner revelations is par for the course when embarking on an adventure yourself. “When you are traveling alone, and there is nobody to talk to, your thoughts and ideas are your best friends,” one woman confesses.
“You read books, observe people, and see new things. You understand yourself better, and that I think is the best outcome of solo travel.” I'm all for understanding myself better, so if you'll excuse me, I should start looking at some flights.
10. You're Going To Want To Do It Again
For many people, the experience of solo traveling is more fulfilling than traveling with friends. So don't be surprised if the urge to venture out alone comes over you sooner than you think!
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This thread inspired this post.