Self-discovery: Why solo travel isn’t just for single people
People often equate solo travel with loneliness, but we’re happy to say that just isn’t the case. Let’s be clear – choosing solo travel isn’t all about shirking crowds or ditching responsibility. It’s about embracing your independence and recharging your batteries, many times learning something new about yourself along the way.
Solo travels also come in an incredible array of shapes and sizes – infinite ones, really. Because with solo travelling, the only person you have to answer to is you. Your agenda, where you go, what you eat. And if you’re not sure what you might like, now’s the time to discover the answer.
Whether you’re considering a weekend away from busy family life or a month of backpacking, solo travel is a breeding ground for self-discovery. With that in mind, here are just a few reasons why we love to travel alone.
Find your own style of travelling
Travelling with a group or even just a partner can be wonderful for so many reasons, but it also has its downsides. When venturing out with a crowd, there are inevitably going to be, at times, conflicting opinions about where to go, what to eat and when. It’s this that makes fleshing out our preferred travel option: how will we know what we like if we don’t actually get to try it?
Solo travellers don’t have this issue. Travelling alone means you can take the time and space to discover exactly what you love to do on holiday – eating dinner at six and spending the evening at a cocktail bar on the beach, sleeping in until noon or hiking in the wee hours to catch the sunrise from atop a mountain. Once you hone out how it is you like to travel, you then have the freedom to do it.
Embrace your independence
Even though getting to do exactly what you want on holiday is undoubtedly one of the biggest perks of solo travel, the whole idea of going out alone can be intimidating. It might mean fewer opinions to deal with, but at least when travelling with a group, you’ve got other people you can depend on if something goes wrong. But we’d argue that this can also be a positive aspect of solo travel – when venturing out on your own, you learn to depend on one person, and one person only. Yourself.
This is where the self-discovery aspect of solo travel truly comes in. If you’ve never been on holiday by yourself before, you’ll learn very quickly how you handle pressure in unfamiliar territory, how to make friends totally on your own, or how to admit to yourself that you’d rather just hang in your own company for a while. Odds are, you’ll probably surprise yourself.
Travelling alone will also allow you to potentially discover a new hobby or interest, some of which you might prefer to do by yourself. Ever wanted to go caving in Vietnam? Laze around in a natural hot spring in Iceland? Utterly possible. An activity or place that’s always just been out of reach is ideal for a solo trip – you’ll get to see it at a pace and through eyes that are only yours.
Choose your type of holiday
One of the huge benefits of solo travel is that it affords so many different types of holidays to so many different places, especially ones that encourage self-discovery. There are no group bookings to worry about or clashing opinions. The world is, quite literally, your oyster.
If you’re looking for a true self-discovery holiday, a yoga retreat is the way to go. A week of meditating in a calm, soothing setting and a lot of reflective silence will give you time to think and clear your mind.
Backpacking holidays require a lot of self-sufficiency and flexibility, so they’re key to helping solo travellers hone their inner strength and confidence in navigating the world.
We love active holidays for solo travellers because they often force you to push yourself to new heights, often ones you didn’t know you could reach. Plus, with group hiking, biking or walking trips available, they’re a good opportunity to meet new people.
And on the opposite end of the spectrum is a solo trip all about staying horizontal. Reading on the beach or sipping coffee from a European square can be equally as beneficial as an hour’s worth of yoga.
Just embrace you
Above all, solo travel is all about trying something new. It’s the time to face any lingering fears, especially any that might have kept you from solo travel before. And when in doubt, just consult the web for tips and tricks on making the most of travelling by your lonesome. Long gone are the days where solo travel is a sore point – now, it’s something to celebrate.
The editorial unit