The world is your oyster, and you can’t really get to know it from home. Traveling helps you experience different cultures and see awe-inspiring views. But is it worth it to set out on a new adventure by yourself? Here are our top 5 reasons why the answer is definitely yes.
1. It’s empowering
This is our main reason and it should be yours too. After all, it’s not just about if women should try traveling alone, it’s about breaking the unwritten rules that women need a traveling companion. Whether for chaperoning or for entertainment, it’s been long believed that women can’t travel alone.
Well, guess what. You can go everywhere you want to by yourself and feel great about it. In fact, everyone should try doing it simply because it’s way more convenient especially if you need a break from your routine.
2. You can do whatever you want
Let’s start with your travel plans. If you’re going with a group, each might have a different preference. So it takes an enormous amount of time just to agree on a location. After that, you’ll have to plan your whole vacation to a minuscule detail because everyone will want to do something else.
And since not everyone can take off work during the same period of time, it’s hard to plan in advance. That means you’ll buy a more expensive plane or train tickets than you would were you to go alone. Basically, going with a big group entails making very specific plans and a lot more costs.
Conversely, traveling alone means you can settle on a location and an itinerary without taking others into account. You won’t have to accommodate anyone in the matter of your days of work either, and you can buy tickets in advance.
Once you get to your destination, you can do what tickles you pink, whether that’s spending every night in your hotel room eating chocolate ice cream in the fanciest women’s fleece jacket or dining glamorously at fancy restaurants. Did we mention you can dress any way you want to?
3. You can meet awesome new people
True, you’re traveling alone, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you hate people. It may simply be because you have the chance to visit a new, interesting place at a time that’s convenient for you, at a very affordable price and neither of your friends can go.
Depending on where you’re going, you can always meet very cool people. That’s easier if you’re hiking and spending the nights at populated camping spots. But it can be just as easy if you’re staying at a hotel and going down for drinks at the bar in the lobby.
Chances are many people who travel alone choose the same accommodation. One of those options is a youth hostel that’s renowned as very female friendly. But you can go online and rent an apartment with people you’ve met online so you can share the costs. Another great idea would be couchsurfing, at which point you can meet a whole new family.
Meeting new people is one amazing way to understand a certain culture, so we recommend being open-minded about it. Of course, women are the preferred targets of different attackers, and the thought must have crossed your mind by now. We’re not advocating blindingly trusting everyone, but it’s good to let your guard down once in a while if you take all the necessary precautions.
For instance, you can let people at home know where you’re staying and who you’re meeting. You can also upload photos of your new friends on your social media accounts, and promise to call home regularly.
4. You have the chance to rediscover yourself
Even if you’ll be staying in close contact with people at home, you’ll still have plenty of time for yourself. That means being alone with your own thoughts for a while, so you’ll get the chance to catch up on some of the things you want to do.
You can start by doing all the activities you enjoy the most, and visit all the sights that raise your interest. You’ll spend quality time alone, but that doesn’t equal being lonely. It’s good to give ourselves a break from our hectic lives, including the demands and needs of the people in it, so we can hear our inner voice better.
Again, that doesn’t mean you hate your family or friends, but it’s ok to feel overwhelmed if you’re constantly focusing on them. Therefore, traveling alone, even if you’re spending the whole time in your room or in a hammock in the forest sleeping, will still give you the chance to focus on your needs first and relax.
5. You can try new things
People are more likely to try new stuff when they’re alone or in a very intimate circle of new acquaintances. That’s because they feel more liberated by their own prejudices and by the need to conform to their pre-set role they have in their usual circle of friends.
Since you’ll be meeting new people, you can try out new things with them. That might be as daring as skydiving or as plain as trying out a new dish. The point is that you’re now able to reinvent yourself on your way to self-discovery.
One of the best things you can do is grab a pair of the best hiking poles and spend some time in the wilderness. You will be able to relax as well as test your limits and enjoy a bit of solitude. Or you can try something you’ve never done before on your hike, like rock climbing or scuba diving.
What’s your reason for traveling by yourself?
We’re curious to know more about your reasons for thinking about a solo trip. Is it that you want a chance to relax, or is it a travel offer you can’t refuse? What scares you? What motivates you? Leave us a comment below.
Rebecca lives in USA, but loves hiking all over the world. Her favorite is Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal. It usually takes 16 days, but she likes to slow down, enjoy mountains, company of other adventurers and take more pictures, so it took her 28 days last time. Another of her passion is the ocean, so all short and long hikes along the ocean shore bring a lot of joy. She also writes for HikingMastery.com.