Why You Should Travel Solo
I’m going to give you three perspectives for when you travel solo, as a couple, and as a group is best. There are times when it is much better to be alone, and others where it’s really important to have someone else with you.
Traveling solo comes with a lot of culturally induced fears. Despite most Americans being taught to be independent, we don’t really believe it in many situations. People who eat alone, we might feel bad for. Women traveling alone, we might worry for. I’m here to give you some of the positives!
You’ll make more friends/not make friends according to your wishes.
People who travel with friends are going to, in general, have a harder time finding new people. If you want friends, you’ll get them by staying at hostels. You won’t lack for people to do things with. At every hostel but one I have stayed at, I’ve found several people to go out to dinner, go dancing, or visit the sights with.
The nice thing about these people is they typically aren’t needy. They won’t cling to you to figure everything out. Not every “regular” friend you’re traveling with will do that, but ones who have never traveled before probably will. The people in hostels will give you space when you want it because they expect the same. Often you’re left alone during the day if you talk about your plans, but at night most girls band together to do things. Very handy.
Now if you don’t want to meet people, well, AirBnb and Hotels will be right up your street 😛
But what about eating alone?
Well, for one I would encourage you not to only eat at restaurants while in countries. This generally gets very expensive in most parts of the world. Instead, consider buying groceries. Even in Iceland, groceries are generally at a medium cost. As such, “travel solo” can actually be cheaper.
I’m not going to discount the fact that the first few times, eating alone can be awkward. But you’ll get used to it. Bring a book, your phone, your computer, your camera. You’ll find no one really cares. In order to acclimate myself to eating alone, I started eating out while working on my thesis. (the unlimited bowls of soup at Olive Garden are the greatest scam going right now). I was very focused on my work and I realized no one blinked twice at my solo presence.
Try going at times that aren’t busy if you want less people and perhaps many like yourself. Lunch time is when I often see mothers with babies or businessmen getting a quick meal. No one cares and no one is paying attention to you 🙂
You’ll Feel More Fulfilled
You’ll be able to see everything you want to see, have full control over your budget (although this *can* be problematic), and feel accomplished. People will often complement you when you discuss traveling alone. At home, you can make friends as a mentor to other people who would like to travel alone.
Not everyone has someone to travel with. I am perpetually single, an only child, with friends who are both far away and generally very busy. But that shouldn’t ever hold you back. Go forth and conquer the world by yourself!
Especially for people who feel alone a lot of the time, travel can be very empowering. I’m something of a cross between and introvert and extrovert (I need human contact but I also just need to be alone a lot), and travel has made me realize that I get to control how much social interaction I need/want. I truly enjoy being alone now!
Examples of Great Solo Countries:
-Any English speaking country
-Scandinavian Countries + Iceland