Solo travel can be challenging – no doubt. But it’s also one of the most rewarding experiences ever and something I’d recommend anyone to try.
There are low points, for sure, when you haven’t made friends yet, have no bearings in a new city, when you’re eating by yourself etc, but they are easily outweighed by the positives and I’ve never met a solo traveller that’s said they regretted travelling by themselves.
If you’ve ever felt like travelling the world and exploring, but may not have found the right person to travel with, then book a solo ticket. I would urge anyone who’s intrigued by solo travel to try it, and here’s why:
1. You’re Never Really Alone..
If by ‘travelling’ you mean backpacking and staying in hostels, you will find it very hard to actually be alone. Whether it be in your dorm room, on city tours or in the kitchen, there will constantly be people around you and new people to meet.
I’ve never been in a situation where I hadn’t made friends because there was simply no one around. Plus, everyone is in exactly the same situation and you will find yourself constantly introducing yourself, explaining where you’ve already travelled and telling people where you’re from.
When I rocked up to Melbourne, it took barely anytime to meet the two gorgeous girls (hey Line & Kate!) that I did and the only time I was ever alone was when I finally pulled myself away from the bar to go to sleep.
In fact, it’s actually a bit of a luxury for me now to watch Netflix by myself, as there are permanently people around me. I’ve met people from almost every continent and I’ve lost count on how many countries. You are almost forced to make even more of an effort meeting new people, because there’s no one else to fall back on!
If being alone is the one thing from stopping you going – don’t let it. I’ve formed deep friendships with people I’ve known for a few weeks it’s been the best thing ever.
2. Your Agenda Only Needs to Suit You..
My plan has changed a million times from what it was when I left the UK. The biggest being that my flight home, which was supposed to be April 2nd, has been cancelled. I never need to confer with anyone over what I want to do or where I want to go and it’s an extremely liberating feeling.
I have always been the type of person that aims to please people, and it’s a very refreshing feeling that for the first time in a long time, I am super selfish – in a good way. My plans are tailored to what I feel like doing and I head to the places that I want to see. Travelling with friends is unbelievably amazing, but sometimes plans clash and you’re forced away from each other and you’ll be back alone again, ready to make new friends and see new places.
It’s an entirely unique experience to bumble along with a backpack and passport, forging your own plan, going where you want to or indeed staying where you want. It’s liberating and I love it.
3. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone..
Feel nervous. Feel scared. Feel worried about being in a new place, alone, and prove to yourself that you had nothing to worry about at all.
Backpacking for me has been the blissful combination of learning more about myself as a person, and challenging myself to communicate with people that I’d otherwise never have met. Like I said, it can be tough, but adrenaline absolutely makes you feel alive and solo travel will give you plenty of that.
4. You Are Stronger Than You Think..
Some of my past relationships properly shattered my confidence in myself. Being dumped/cheated on takes its toll on the relationship you have with yourself and for a long time, my self esteem was at all an all time low. Solo travel has improved it – massively.
Without sounding like the cringiest person ever – I have learned SO much about me and who I am as a person. I’ve have gone from someone who was very unconfident in who they were, to actually feeling far more secure in myself and my ability to travel solo.
I am strong person, I know I will always be okay and I know I can rely on myself. I have finally accepted that I am the only person who controls my happiness now and trying new things, ticking off parts of my bucket list and seeing places I’ve always wanted to makes me extremely happy.
Travelling, in my opinion, can fix a broken heart and a broken person. I am proud of myself and I am stronger than the people that made me feel like I wasn’t good enough. And so are you.
5. Because.. Why Not?
Even if you hate it or it goes horribly wrong or you lose your passport, it’s a story.
As my very wise, fabulous and truly amazing friend Daniel (I love you!) told me:
“Even if you’re going through a shit time, remember that it’ll make a great story.” And it’s so true.
The best stories you hear won’t be about the gorgeous temples you saw, the stunning scuba dives or the beautiful views. They’ll be about when everything went wrong and you thought you were going to die and you felt like the world was ending.
Those are the stories people want to hear about round the dinner table in 20 years. And whether you have the worst time or the most incredible ever, which you will, it’s an experience that’s yours.
Book the flight. Decide where you’re going. If you’re reading this right now and think you’d like to travel, I cannot express enough how much I’d encourage you to just do it. It’s the greatest thing I’ve ever done and I’m living my dreams.
Ask me where I’ll be! I have no plans to return to the UK just yet and I hope that the next few years for me will be absolutely full of my travel. New Zealand and Canada, I am coming for you.
Thank you for reading!
Charlotte J. X