‘Life begins at the end of your comfort zone’
I used to be one of those people who could never imagine travelling on my own. After all, how could this be fun in any way?
But last year, this impression changed completely. In between jobs, I had some time off and wanted to travel and make the most of it. With all my friends and family working, it was difficult to coordinate trips for longish periods of time!
I think I came across the above quote around this time and it really resonated with me. How would I know if I hated or loved the experience if I never actually tried it?
One thing I’ve learnt over the years is that you can’t rely on people to do things. It could be from small things like going to a show, movie or art exhibition. If you wait around for someone to go with, you may miss your chance.
So, if you really want to do something, I would urge you to JUST DO IT. Of course, ask your family and friends but don’t make it a pre-requisite to doing something. I’m still learning this every single day but I’ve definitely come a lot further than where I was last year.
If you’re thinking of travelling solo but are a bit nervous, start with baby steps. So, for example, go to another city in your home country or even explore your own city on your own. You’ll realise that you’re a lot more self sufficient than you think you are! You can also book a trip with the many travel groups out there like G Adventures (review coming soon). I would highly recommend this as it’s a good way to experience travelling by yourself (i.e. without people you know but still being with a tour guide to help navigate)
Below are some benefits of travelling by yourself – hopefully it will help you take the leap!
1) Confidence and self-sufficiency, pure and simple – travelling by yourself really takes you out of your comfort zone and makes you think independently. It is a really liberating experience!
2) Be your own boss – you can do whatever you want. Literally. You can eat, sleep, shop, relax, read a book etc etc all at your own pace and leisure. Travelling alone is all about you so why not indulge a little!
3) Faith in your own judgement and decisions – you learn to trust yourself as there’s no one else to get a second opinion. It’s all you.
4) Connecting with people – when you’re on holiday with family or friends, it’s highly unlikely that you will engage with people you don’t know but, when on your own, you have to make more of an effort. It’s a great confidence builder.
If the above didn’t convince you, then maybe travelling solo isn’t for you and that’s totally fine. However, if you want to do it but are a little nervous, I would just go for it. I am fairly certain you won’t regret it!
1) As mentioned above, take baby steps before the big leap.
2) Do your research before travel.
3) Learn a few useful phrases in the native language of your destination.
4) Look into travel groups like G Adventures (there are others too) – this is a great way to get started as you’re travelling with a group of people (albeit strangers).
Hope this post helped! What are your thoughts on solo travel? Any tips?