Why Travel Solo? 15 Reasons Why Traveling Alone will Change Your Life
Why travel solo? 15 reasons why traveling alone will change your life
1. You get to put yourself FIRST & have fun
When you travel solo, with every decision you make, you get to put yourself first. You don’t have to ask anyone’s permission, or take into account anyone else’s preferences – it is ultimately only what YOU want to do. Solo trips are incredibly fun because you get to give yourself permission to do all the things you like to do, without fear of judgement and without any people pleasing.
2. You can plan your PERFECT trip
On a solo trip, YOU decide what kind of trip it will be. Want to eat pasta every single night? Perfect, do it! Want to museum hop but only seek out your favorite artists? Absolutely! Want to see every temple in the city from 8am to 8pm? Bet! Want to relax all afternoon by the beach and do nothing at all? Great!
You get to plan a trip around all of your likes, avoid your dislikes – and even better – you can also change your plan at ANY time to better suit your likes and energy level! No one is around to be upset that the plan changed, or feel disappointed you didn’t do X instead of Y.
3. Get in tune with your mind & body
Figuring out what you want to do or analyzing how you are feeling can be difficult when you first start traveling solo, but soon you’ll start to become incredibly in tune with your body. Maybe you ended up walking ten miles the day before and now all you want to do is sleep and take the day off – well now you get to! No one else is there to make you feel guilty for “missing out”, and taking care of mental & physical health while traveling solo is much more important than seeing any sight.
If you find yourself hungry but it’s only 10am – not quite lunchtime – it doesn’t matter, you can just GO EAT. If you are feeling down and just need to journal or maybe see a movie or eat some comfort food that reminds you of home – you can absolutely do that. You will learn to listen to your emotions and your body’s cues – hunger, fatigue, excitement (yay do more of those things!), and so on. And it will make your trip all the better when you LISTEN to what you NEED at that moment and adjust the trip accordingly.
4. Learn how to problem solve – an ESSENTIAL travel skill
5. Step outside your comfort zone
Traveling solo can be daunting – and you will often find yourself outside your comfort zone. Okay, you might be thinking, but WHY would I do that then? Stepping outside your comfort zone is the best way to GROW as a traveler, to challenge yourself to try new things, and to have experiences you never thought you would.
You will discover things you LOVE that you would have never guessed you would even enjoy, and you will learn that sometimes, something super popular or beloved just isn’t for you at all, and that’s okay. You will try new foods, you will speak to new people, you will make mistakes, and you will learn so much about yourself and the world – something you never would gain without leaving behind your comfort zone. And trust me, you will look back on these experiences and be so proud you put yourself out there and attempted something new.
6. You don’t have to wait around for others to join
How many times have you wanted to go somewhere but there was no one to come with? Or maybe there’s a trip you’ve ALWAYS wanted to do but no one else quite seems to share your interest in that particular place? Have you ever had a friend bail at the last minute on a trip you were so excited about? Maybe something unexpected comes up – finances, time off request denied, or other circumstances – and your travel partner cannot make the trip work.
Instead of waiting around for someone to join you, for someone else’s time off to line up, for someone else’s travel style to match up perfectly with your own – you just can GO. And once you realize this, it is the ULTIMATE freedom. No more waiting, no more putting off that bucket-list trip, no more “somedays.” GO now, because you will never regret taking that trip.
7. … and thus you’ll see things & have experiences you NEVER would have had otherwise
When you stop waiting and start traveling on your own, you will have all these once-in-a-lifetime experiences and amazing memories to look back on. And if you had just waited for someone else to join – you never would have had them at all! Sometimes plans with friends, family, or partners lines up, but how often do they just never seem to work out? Or just keep getting put off? Stop waiting and start traveling solo!
When you travel by yourself, you will get to see things you’ve only ever dreamed of – and all of that is possible because you just went for it. You will look back and be so happy you took the chance on yourself, and you’ll realize all the things you would have missed out on.
8. Become more confident
Problem-solving, making decisions, planning, handling all of the details, setting out and traveling, taking care of your needs – there are so many aspects of solo travel that are ALL on you to handle. But when you DO handle them, messily, imperfectly, or maybe you just nail it – you will be building up your self-confidence bit by bit. Your resilience, your adaptability, your strength – you will see it all grow as you continue to push through any difficult days and enjoy any breathtaking days. The confidence you gain solo traveling is unlike any other, and you will take it back with you long after the trip has ended.
9. Get comfortable with spending time with yourself
There is only one person that will be by your side for every single day of your life – YOU. Eating alone, seeing the sights solo, alone with your thoughts – it can be very intimidating, but learning to be comfortable with just yourself as company is one of the most wonderful things you could do for yourself. It will take time and there will be hard days, but there will also be BEAUTIFUL days and you will see yourself through every one of them.
Once you are comfortable with only yourself as company, you will open up the door to even more experiences you won’t have otherwise because you are no longer afraid to go alone – and this even translates back into your everyday life! If there’s a movie you want to see but no one else is interested, you can just go and enjoy it, just for you. You can try the new restaurant in town when you feel like trying something new. You can treat yourself to your favorite activity AND enjoy it, regardless of the company. You can meet new friends (or maybe even partners) in spaces you dared to venture in alone. Your relationship with yourself is arguably the most important relationship you’ll ever have, and you owe it to yourself to cultivate it.
10. Embark on the path of self-discovery
Designing and executing a solo trip is all about doing the things YOU like, and skipping out on things you don’t like. There is no one to tell you no or to make you feel bad about the things you love. It feels so incredibly healing to embrace your true passions, and the more you lean into the things you like and center your trips around them, the more boundless enjoyment you will have. Travel allows you to discover a multitude of new things to love, things you never realized you would enjoy, and now you get to fill your life with more of those things that light you up inside. It is an amazing path of self-discovery, and you will learn more about yourself every day.
11. Meet people & make friends you wouldn’t have otherwise
When you travel with others, you look to them for conversation and companionship. When you travel alone, it helps make you so much more open to meeting new people – whether those are other travelers or locals. There is no “safety net” of a travel companion to fall back on, no easy comfort zone. Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, solo travel will find you connecting with strangers, and you will make friends you wouldn’t necessarily have otherwise if you had traveled with someone else. Solo travel opens up the door to lifelong friendships, and there is no greater magic than meeting a fellow solo traveler and having an instantaneous bond.
*Just a quick note when meeting new people alone – always be sure to TRUST your gut, even (and especially) if it doesn’t seem logical to be wary. Better to just be safe! I often leave out that I am traveling alone until I know someone better. And if you’re NOT feeling like meeting new people, that’s okay too, you don’t owe anyone conversation or companionship!
12. Gain greater awareness of your surroundings & learn to trust your instincts
Without someone else to rely on, you will find yourself taking in more of your surroundings – both by necessity and by the fact that you have no other distractions. You will notice how the sky looks so impossibly blue, the smell of baking bread, how the breeze feels on your skin – all of your senses come alive in the absence of distraction. Some of the best sunsets of my life have been while traveling solo – because I was perfectly in the moment, seeing it with wide-open eyes, just taking it all in.
Situationally, you’ll become more aware of people around you, what traffic is like, how the locals are doing something you need to do, and more – all in the interest of being safe and to help fit into and figure out your new environment. You will learn to trust your instincts when a situation feels off, when something feels just right, and many more sensations.
13. Immerse yourself more deeply into the local culture
When you travel on your own, you are able to become much more intricately immersed into the local culture. You will need to speak (at least a little bit of) the local language, you will likely meet and chat with many more locals, and you’ll probably want to try new foods – even if you don’t know what it is!
Since you are more aware of your surroundings when solo, you’ll observe more of the cultural insights that might be too subtle to catch onto when you are more distracted or with someone else. You might need to ask someone for help with a situation (missed bus, directions, etc), and you’ll often find people more than willing to help or even suggest places to go, things to try, you never would have found about before. I have received so many suggestions from enthusiastic locals that have taken me to some of the most breathtaking places.
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14. Learn to be truly present in the moment
Even if you have the best data plan for your phone, an esim, movies to watch, books to read, or another way to distract yourself, there will still be days when you are just left alone with your thoughts, and you look up and just start to NOTICE things. You let your mind wander, and before you know it, you are just living in the moment and taking it all in. Without someone to share an experience with, you are so much more present in the moment, more focused on what is happening and how you are feeling. It can make for some powerful and memorable experiences.
Along the same vein, you tend to experience nature more fully when you travel solo. If you are a fan of hiking or just getting out of the city a bit when you travel, being alone in nature is one of the most beautiful feelings in the world. Everything alights your senses, and you feel a deep sense of peace and belonging in the world. Nature makes your brain happy and fully focusing on it and being fully present in the moment amplifies this effect so much.
15. Grow as a traveler and grow as a HUMAN
Solo travel presents ample time for reflection and time with yourself. Many people joke about going on a trip to escape their problems, but you haven’t really changed the situation, you’ve just changed your physical location (with some exceptions). Solo travel invites you to process your experiences, your emotions, and everything you are going through – in the moment, from back home, and more. With all this time to process, you will find yourself able to see things a bit more clearly, and you will realize a tremendous amount of self-growth that you are going through.
I said at the start solo travel changed my life, and I was not being facetious. Solo travel has helped me grow into a more capable, more self-aware, and more empathetic traveler. It has helped me connect with people around the world and see the world through new eyes. Solo travel will help you become so much more yourself and you will experience a kind of growth I have never found anywhere else. And I think it will change your life (for the better) too.
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Hey I’m Rebecca!
I’m a travel & outdoors photographer, blogger, and content greator living in the US but you can find me adventuring around the globe! On this blog I share tips to help you improve your photography, inspiration and advice to explore the outdoors, destination guides, travel tips, and more to plan your own adventures!
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