4 Things That Will Convince You to Travel Alone
Want to travel but don't know who to go with? Don't! Go by yourself.
When I was eighteen, I started to travel, and I instantly fell in love with it. Over the past six years I've been to a variety of different trips, some by myself, some with other people. Whilst I enjoyed my time with others, I always had a longing to be travelling alone.
There is definitely a stigma attached to travelling alone. People will tell you it is dangerous, they will tell you it's boring, they will tell you that it's more expensive because you can't split rooms and food. I'm here to tell you that's wrong and outdated! Here's a few reasons why.
1. You'll make more friends than ever before.
Why? Because you have to! People weren't wrong when they told you travelling alone is boring. As humans we crave contact with other people, we crave a connection. So if you don't have that one person by your side to be your go to, what do you do? That's right, you get out there and meet people. Now, you might think to yourself, I can't make friends, talking to new people is scary! Well that leads me to my second point.
2. Making new friends is easy when you are sleeping next to them.
For a long time hostels have held a stigma of being dangerous and dirty. Now, 10 years ago that may have been correct, but they have come a long way! There are thousands of great hostels out there all over the world. Cheap as a whistle and strategically placed right where young travelers want to be staying. Now don't get me wrong, a hostel is no Ritz Carlton, but for about $10-30 a night, you'll get a bed, a hot shower and maybe even a breakfast. In saying that, by far the best thing about staying in a hostel is the people you meet. The majority of them are fun loving, free spirited, world travelers just like you. So smile at them, offer to buy them a beer and you've made a new best friend... for the next 36 hours until you meander off to the next city looking for a new best friend.
3. You get to do you.
Picture this, you're laying on the beach, it's a beautiful afternoon, and you're slipping in and out of your favorite daydreaming state. All of a sudden your friend nudges you and tells you matter-of-factly it's time to leave, ruining your afternoon. When you travel alone, you don't have to worry about this! Personally I love to take photos. I'll find my spot and I'll sit there for two hours until the sun is just right and then I'll snap my pic. I can't handle someone badgering me for two hours about getting cold. Whatever it is you want out of your travels you'll get it when you get to decide what you do each day.
4. You grow.
When you have to handle everything by yourself, organize everything by yourself, decide everything by yourself, you've got to step up to the plate and face it head on. There is no one there to protect you anymore, take the blow for you if something goes wrong. It's just you, and that's the best way to get to know yourself. There's nothing better than getting kicked off a bus at a border in Europe and having to hitchhike back to town with border police to teach you about yourself, but that's a story for another day.
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.