Traveling alone is no longer a taboo. In fact, it’s now trendy to go on trips alone, as more and more people are discovering the freedom of exploring a new place on their own terms. At the same time, community groups, meet-ups, and a vast wealth of online and digital resources have made it easier than ever to hit the road solo. From the stunning landscapes to the sultry beaches, many destinations are friendly to independent travellers.
Solo travel isn’t always easy. It tests your endurance, audacity, and willingness to adapt to situations outside of your comfort zone. But, despite the challenges, you get to meet people and have adventures, I don’t think which are possible otherwise. Traveling alone will teach you many things and will open up many great doors.
Some are just the experiences, others are the joys that you get from those experiences. Though all of us are different and work and function in different ways. But I thought as I like to overshare as a general rule, I’d go ahead and write what I’ve learned over the years as a perpetual solo female traveller and what it has taught me about life. So, here I go.
You will find independence
I am not saying I wasn’t independent before I took my first trip unaccompanied, but until you have to organize and sort out everything on your own, make spontaneous decisions on the road, stay on budget and essentially take care of yourself without someone to lean on, you never are really independent, are you?
Solo travel taught me to grow up and that is only ever one person in the entire world you can always depend on – yourself.
Building on some trust
One of my outright much-loved things about travel is meeting locals, and getting to know them and share experiences or beautiful moments on the road. Another finest thing you acquire while travelling is to listen to your intuition. That means I’m moderately sceptical but still open-minded when I meet locals. Once you start trusting people, you don’t want to become suspicious or bitter. ‘Cautious optimism and intuition comes with experience’.
Transformation in you
I am a big believer in the transformative power of travel, and I love that can help in shaping and moulding you, even make you into a better person if you let them, you know, in a non-hippie kind of manner.
Face your fears
Fear of heights. Fear of spiders. Fear of travelling unaccompanied. Fear of being alone and unloved. You’re not alone with your fears. Others have them, too. It’s what makes us vulnerable and human. But, there’s not a fast cure to overcome your fear. There’s no pill to swallow. There’s no app to download.
There’s no way out but to face your fears. When you do, they stop controlling you. And the reward is worth the struggle.
Learn new culture and traditions
We can become so accustom to our environs, home and civilisation that we operate subconsciously without thinking about whether it’s helping us nurture or not. Embracing other cultures and ways of living can broaden our existence views.
Learn another language
The joy of not understanding a word of what someone is saying! Body language can get you far, but a few useful phrases can get you further. Open your mouth and let those foreign words tickle your tongue. Don’t worry about your poor pronunciation or imperfect grammar. You’re not in the school bench. The locals appreciate when you speak their language.
Break from virtual social networking
Rather than uploading all your adventures and check in everywhere, write about it in your dairy. Spending time in nature without the use of Facebook or phone on many occasions, became a clear indication of how much you use it mindlessly and missing out on what’s going on around you. It is liberating to disconnect for a while and be content with the moment, with the view and with your own thoughts. The mind needs to be free at times to be creative, to think clearly and to refresh.
Experience and memories only you know about
We love sharing memories and experiences with others, but let’s face it when we share our stories of travelling with most people they are hardly interested. Doing things that only you know about is actually a wild feeling. It’s like a friendship between you and yourself that no one understands, experiences only you feel. Keeping them close to your heart is sometimes better then sharing. I definitely built a better relationship with myself and smile at all the wonderful things I have done, on my own.
Know yourself better
Time alone usually leads to more thoughts and introspection. Often we end up pondering the new meaning of life. You will also find plenty of time to be an observer of the around world you from a detached perspective. Being far away from home, will allow you to see things in a new light.
Traveling alone is one of the best investments you can make. Not only for yourself, but also for the world. You fill your mind with reminiscences that will serve you for a lifespan. You have stories to tell and experiences to share. You figure out what matters most to you. You learn to live with less, but to be more. But above all, you live a life with no regret. And if that’s not worth the trip, I don’t know what is.Doing something completely for myself, out of my comfort zone has bought about expansion and awareness.
I hope my words of wisdom on why to travel solo, inspires you to pack up everything and head out into the unknown, to explore the farthest reaches of our planet and your soul, to see the world for what it really is.
P.S.I am a strong believer that may it be woman or man, all should travel solo, at least once in their lives.
Text: Manokriti Bedi
Last: Oh, it’s just me, myself and I
Solo ride until I die
because I got me for life