In the past, my solo trips have attracted a variety of responses ranging from “You’re so brave!” to “It would’ve been more fun if you took someone with you!” and “Didn’t you get lonely?” However, for me, choosing to travel solo has benefited me in ways that I could not have imagined.
As an introvert, I recharge my internal batteries by taking time out alone. Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with friends and family and I have great fun when I do so – but I find it tough to be around people 24/7. A solo trip just provides an extended opportunity to re-energise – and have fun along the way! Due to the fact that I actively enjoy alone time, I very rarely experience loneliness.
When travelling, I tend to stay in backpacker hostels which provide plenty of opportunities to meet other travellers. Although, I like to head off travelling on my own, meeting new people is one of my favourite aspects of travel and I sometimes opt to spend a day or so sightseeing with my new travel buddies or even travelling with them for a few days.
As with everything, solo travel has it’s downsides. There are some experiences that are best shared with friends – such as when I visited a 3D art museum where each piece of artwork was a backdrop for you to take exciting pictures. I ended up getting creative with a selfie stick and precariously balancing my camera on different ledges until I met a kind group of travellers with whom I could exchange picture taking duties with. Occasionally when things don’t go according to plan, the presence of a friend or family member would be most welcome, however, being able to deal with the situation myself gives me a sense of achievement.
So far, I have found that after a trip, I have returned home full of energy and with a clearer mind. Having the time away gives me breathing space and time to think and refresh myself – and I always walk away with amazing memories. Although my first experience of solo travel was a little terrifying at first, I knew it was something that I wanted to continue doing and I’m very glad I did!
Although it may not be for everyone, if circumstances permit, I’d highly recommend solo world wandering. It has forced me FAR out of my comfort zone and has also given me the chance to develop my own travel style. As long as I am able to, I will continue to take solo trips and I’d encourage everyone for whom it’s a possibility to challenge themselves and try it at least once!