By Georgina Berbari
For some, the thought of traveling alone can be a scary or overwhelming thing. For others, it might feel like an amazing adventure. Perhaps you’re somewhere in between: Excitement mixed with discomfort is likely where a lot of people stand in terms of solo travel. And luckily, a healthy dose of discomfort is imperative for personal growth.
A 2020 study of solo and non-solo travelers cited that contemporary lifestyles and social changes have precipitated the popularity of solo travel. The study also found that transformative experience, freedom, and flexibility are key motivators for solo travelers, while anticipated self-discovery and freedom are also inspiring factors.
More and more people are opting to experiment with solo journeys–after all, the hashtag #SoloTravel has millions of posts associated with it on Instagram. Taking risks, stepping outside of your comfort zone, and developing a deeper connection with yourself are all incredible benefits that can come from solo traveling. And there are many more benefits where those came from…
Facing Challenges & Overcoming Them On Your Own
One of the most valuable parts of taking a trip on your own is the benefit of facing challenges and learning to overcome them on your own. There are few things that build deeper self-trust than handling a difficult situation with your own skills, and realizing that you really are stronger than you thought.
Becoming Dependent On Your Self
From ironing out travel accommodations, to finding places to stay, to figuring out what you’ll do on your travels, solo travel pushes you to be dependent on yourself in many ways. Once you’ve gotten through all the logistics, you’ll be so proud of yourself for creating an amazing experience and getting to enjoy everything without compromise.
Gaining Social Skills
When traveling alone, perhaps you’ll want to make new connections with fellow solo travelers. This leads you to improve your social skills by starting conversations and practicing active listening. You’ll see that by developing the courage to approach new people, your communication skills might begin to strengthen and your self-confidence will wax, as well.
Improving Decision Making Abilities
Solo travel also involves a lot of decisions, such as where to eat (or buy groceries), where to sight-see or journey, and overall what to experience each day. While this could lead to decision fatigue, at times, it also can greatly enhance decision making abilities. The power of discernment will grow gradually within you, and you might just find yourself immersed in vibrant new situations and energizing experiences.
Being Together, Alone
Many solo travelers cite the refreshing nature of “being together, alone”. This means the feeling of being in a crowded new place and surrounded by people, but not really knowing anyone. This can be a very soothing and simultaneously exhilarating feeling. It’s nice to know that there are people around you in solo travel culture that would help if needed, but also give the respect of honoring one another’s space. It’s like the solo-traveler code: We’re all in this together, alone.
The Bottom Line
The freedom, independence, and lovely wanderlust that derives from solo travel is pretty hard to match. People who travel alone often return with a new perspective on themselves and on life as a whole. Solo travel, all-in-all, is a beautifully brave endeavor that boosts personal self-confidence and inspires layers of growth. There’s nothing quite like the confidence to take on the world!
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