5 Reasons Why I Love Solo Traveling Last Updated: May 30, 2021
I took my first solo trip when I was 17. It was to Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh which is an ideal destination for solo traveling in India. I was in college back then. We had our summer holidays and the super-productive me didn’t want to waste my time binge-watching shows all day. So I took up a 6-week internship but I still had 3 more weeks of holidays to go.
While looking for volunteering opportunities in Himachal Pradesh, I came across Spiti Ecosphere, a sustainable travel company in Spiti Valley – an offbeat destination back then. The company plans eco-trips for solo travelers along with volunteering opportunities. I was excited to learn more so I emailed them. It was a 10 day trip across Spiti Valley with other solo travelers. I loved their itinerary and the stay options. The money that we pay for this trip would go into the development of the region.
After getting all the details of the trip from them including the price, food and stay options, etc, I pitched to my parents and showed my enthusiasm to go on this solo adventure. It took me almost a month to convince my mother but she caved in eventually. This is how I took my first solo trip with 10 other fellow solo travelers. I was the youngest of them all. We had photographers, journalists, bloggers, and other professionals on board.
Looking back, it was a bold move and I am so glad to have had this experience as it made me a lot more confident and passionate about traveling.
After this, I have taken quite a few solo trips in India and abroad. Each trip has its own story but let’s talk about why traveling solo changed my life.
Traveling solo gives you the freedom to do whatever you want. You don’t have to rely on anyone. I have always loved the freedom to plan my trip as per my budget without compromising or adjusting to other people’s needs. While I am on the trip, I enjoy exploring places without having to wait for anyone else. I pick my time and plan my day as per my convenience. Usually, I make an excel sheet for each trip that includes the expenses, rough itinerary, and recommendations based on my research pre-trip.
It is important to experience this kind of freedom at least once in a while as it not only improves your decision-making skills but also boosts your self-confidence overall.
2. NEW FRIENDSHIPS
There is a difference between wanting to be alone and feeling lonely. While traveling alone, I have had moments when I wished someone was there with me to witness the beauty of a particular place or have someone to try local food with. But most of the times when I have had this thought during my travels, I have found new friends. I keep an open mind when I hit the road but I am not desperate to meet new people.
It is either my outgoing personality or simply my willingness that allows me to make friends easily. I have met SO many people from around the world while traveling solo. I have also lived with strangers in foreign countries via Couchsurfing. If you are an introvert, a solo trip may be a good opportunity for you to break out of your shell and meet new people. If you are a social person like me, you may find it relatively easy to break the ice with strangers.
Let me tell you, solo traveling is NOT everyone’s cup of tea. I know many friends who think I am crazy for taking trips alone. I have been questioned multiple times on how I do it and whether it is completely safe for girls to travel solo. Of course, I have had sketchy experiences traveling alone, but I have survived them, making me feel very strong about myself. Despite being catcalled in Morocco, followed by two men in Chicago, and offered a lift by two strange European guys in Portugal, I have always followed my instincts and appeared to be more confident in public when traveling alone. I still remember how ecstatic I was when I was taking my first solo trip to Spiti. I had mixed feelings because this was my first of the many solo trips.
Many people go on solo adventures because they are too depressed and saturated with their mundane life and want to experience something different. You don’t need a reason to travel solo but it is a great opportunity to reflect on your life. Since you are alone, you have enough time to reflect on your goals, or simply be thankful for what you have achieved so far. I feel extremely grateful while traveling because it makes me realize that not everyone has the privilege or the money to get on a flight and travel. I have also learned the importance of living in the moment.
Solo travel is a great way to mingle with people from other cultures/nationalities. You may not realize it immediately, but solo traveling is about traveling and understanding yourself better, and broadening your perspectives, which can help you on the personal and professional front in the future.
To sum it up, solo travel :
1.Gives you the freedom and flexibility to change plans, plan your trip based on your budget, plan your itinerary at your convenience
2. Gives you the opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and make new friends from around the world
3. Makes you more confident about yourself after you have successfully survived your first solo trip
4. Helps you reflect on a lot of things going on in your life. For example, your goals, your future, and your achievements. It also teaches you to live in the moment and enjoy every bit of it
5. Broadens your perspective on several things by meeting new people. This can be very helpful in the future, personally and professionally
Lastly, I just want to say – You will never know what I am talking about unless you try it. So fret not! Go out there and explore the world in the way you want to.
Have you already traveled solo? If yes, do you resonate with me? I would love to know your thoughts in the comments below!