Traveling solo is more popular than ever, and it’s not reserved for only hardcore adventurists and backpackers. In contrary, there are more and more people every day who decide to embark on a solo journey. Soul-searching travel movies such as Into the Wild or Eat, Pray, Love have inspired a whole new generation of travelers who don’t need friends, boyfriends or family to discover the world. Not only they don’t need them; they prefer to travel alone.
Travel agencies have noticed this trend as well, and they are adjusting their packages to the newfound clients on the market. In their brochures, you can find all sorts of volunteer and other programs aimed mainly at the solo travelers because they know that solo travelers expect „something more“ from their travels than usual sightseeing and tourist activities.
Regardless of the growing trend, there are still people who wonder why would anyone travel alone and they get surprised when you say you are going on a solo journey. I don’t know how many times I heard: „How do you mean you are going alone?“, „Don’t You have any friends?“, „Aren’t you afraid?“ or „Won’t you get bored?”
No, only thing I am getting bored with is answering: „Yes, I do have friends.“, „No, I am not afraid.“, „I travel alone because I want to!“ I figured writing a post about why I like traveling solo is not a bad idea. Next time someone asks I can just forward them this link.
What is so appealing about solo traveling?
First of all, people who travel alone don’t do that because they don’t have anyone to travel with (although sometimes that’s the case too); they usually choose not to go with other people.
Why? – I can already hear you ask.
Because we consider traveling to be a personal experience. We are aware this makes us quite a selfish co-travelers because we don’t really want to adjust to anyone.
Before my first big solo travel adventure, I was petrified; I am not going to lie. I had no idea if I am capable of something like that, I was worried I would be lonely all the time and want to come back after a week. When I came to the US, on my second day I was talking with my family and crying over Skype because things were not as I imagined them to be. Four months later when it was time to go back home, I was crying because I didn’t wanna leave. It was the best experience in my life until then.
Even though I traveled alone many times after that, this is still my favorite trip. Not because it was the best but because it was the first time in my life that I had experienced an absolute freedom to be and do whatever I want. Today, although I do sometimes travel with friends, I still prefer to go on a trip alone. Not knowing anyone, being forced to get out there and meet new people, not knowing how will your day look like and being completely free to shape it however YOU want, for me is the best feeling ever.
When traveling alone, you will continuously be off balance and out of your comfort zone. And I understand that can seem scary. People enjoy their routine and security, but once you try this, you get hooked on the feeling of endless possibilities.
The best thing about solo travel is that before you go, you have no idea how it will look like, where will you go or who will you meet. And you will meet way more people than if traveling in a group. Whenever I’ve traveled with friends or boyfriend, we would stick to each other, did everything together, and didn’t even try to meet new people because we didn’t have to. Like that you do miss out on one of the best perks of traveling.
The best way of traveling is not solo travel. It is not with friends or family either. The best way of traveling is not even with your significant other.
The BEST way of traveling is the one that makes you feel great. Sometimes it can be solo; other times can be in some different arrangement. There are no right or wrong ways. Any way of traveling is good as long as you enjoyed it and learned from it.
Only thing I kindly ask you-
Please, stop asking WHY.
Do You like to travel solo? Have You ever been asked these questions? If so, please share some good answers in comments because I am running out of ones. 🙂