You really get to know yourself and getting out of your comfort zone when you are traveling solo. You have to deal with your own thoughts and mood swings. You really have to entertain yourself and don’t feel sad or alone. By traveling solo for all those years I can say, I prefer to travel solo instead of traveling in a group!
Why and how I do this? See here ten opinions and inspirations for you:
You can literally do what YOU want to do! Sounds selfish but I don’t think so. I have a social and busy life with all my rolls as; friend, sister, daughter, colleague, neighbor, employer, customer etc. And on my holiday it is ME time! The advantage instead of traveling in a group is that you don’t have to make compromises and you totally rely on only you.
I found out that when you are travelling by yourself, you make easier and faster contact than when you are traveling with somebody. I am an outgoing person and interact easily. I start talking to other travelers or locals, if they are not interested you find out soon enough. This works the other way around as well! I met the most interesting people this way with each an own story, which made me eventually richer and more complete as a person.
Some people don’t like to have dinner by themselves in a restaurant. I don’t mind at all. Normally I take a table at the bar, looking at the bartenders working is a good distraction. I had tables where more travelers who travel by themselves where put together, this were actually much fun.
I always bring my travel diary with me, this way I can use the time to write about my experiences during that day while having dinner or lunch. Or bring my Lonely Planet with me to plan the next trip or route. Bring my phone to check my social media. So no time to feel alone!
I normally book a private room in a hostel. By using the common hostel areas you meet other travelers and hear their travel tips. Or if the hostel is too much looking like a party hostel I go to a small boutique hotel. The service is more personal and you can bond with the local people. The bigger hotels are less accessible in my option and I try to avoid them.
I normally book activities where you meet other people. I prefer the smaller groups this way it’s easier to make contact.
I normally go surfing on my holiday, by renting a board or visit the local surf shop and ask around how the swell is? What is the best tide for the surf? Is there a current? Etc. This helps me to get to know the area and meet some surfers at the same time. So find yourself an activity to connect with other people!
To travel by yourself could be cost effective than traveling with a family. You can choose where to eat for your budget or only eat a snack if you wish instead of a whole meal which saves money as well. If you travel with someone who can spend more than you, you have to adjust to their needs or the other way around.
It improves your language skills! By travelling by myself my English improved significantly (read all this haha) and my Spanish is getting better bit by bit. I still have contact via social media with the friends I have met during my travels, while still practicing my Spanish by chatting with them.
It is proven that traveling by yourself makes you happy, less stressful and more confident. That is exactly what is happening to me all the time. And the reactions from people when I return from my holiday: “I find it so brave that you travel all by yourself”, makes me shine, glow and proud of myself.
One thing I always keep in mind, the travelers you meet have the one common interest as you have, because you are both in the same time and place!