Why Would You Travel Solo

Written by Avid Traveller

Topics: Personal Development, Travel

“Why would you go there alone?”

How many times have I heard that from family and friends?

The real answer is because it is better than not going at all, but that being said, there are some advantages of going solo. In fact, solo travel appears to be one of the fastest growing segments of the industry.

From an article at CNN

In 2011, of the 18.8 million people who traveled to the United States, 4.5 million (23.6 percent) traveled alone, according to the U.S. International Trade Administration Office of Travel and Tourism’s 2011 Profile of overseas travelers.

This statistic is confirmed by the recent Travel Market Report article.

Another article from CNN Travel cites several reasons one might head out on their own:

  • Traveling alone brings you face to face with yourself — with your failings and your strengths — and that confrontation is inevitable in life so don’t put it off.
  • The key to traveling solo is looking confident, even if you don’t always feel it.
  • It’s also a good way to make new friends — even if you didn’t intend to.

Of course, the big reason people sometimes quote for traveling alone is self-discovery and introspection. While I think this can be true, I don’t think you should put a lot of pressure on yourself in case the epiphany doesn’t come, but at least you will have still grown as a person. However, sometimes a change of scenery is all it takes to learn something new about yourself.

Isa Adney from the Huffington Post writes in Why Travel is Good for Your Dreams:

What’s great about moving off and traveling and being willing to be alone with yourself is you suddenly see yourself as distinct from the context in which you’ve been operating. – it’s not so much about the place itself as about you changing your surroundings in a way that might help you discover things about yourself that you might be too distracted to see where you are now.

If you Google ‘solo travel’ you will see that many articles focus on women traveling alone, but an article at Ask Men discusses how “Travelling solo allows for a time of introspection, relaxation and self-discovery.”

Nomadic Matt writes about why he went places on his own, mostly because it was hard to get anyone to go with him, and discovered once on the road he had the freedom to set his own schedule and itinerary.

Matador Network has several articles on this topic including 10 Things You Learn About Yourself When Traveling Alone and Why You Should Start Traveling Alone. The key concept here is that when you travel solo you are rarely alone (unless that is what you want.) You are more likely to engage with the locals, more open to meeting other travelers, and there is always the occasional group tour.

Vagabondish describes how you can re-ignite your ‘I can do anything‘ spirit with solo travel.

So where should you go? The destination is not all that important, but if you want inspiration, Travel + Leisure lists the Best Countries for Solo Travel.

In a beautifully written article The Importance of Traveling Alone by Tammy Harrow we read:

Only when we explore life beyond our comfort zone are we able to open our hearts and minds to the endless possibilities awaiting us. A heightened level of spirituality can only be reached when we blindly step into the darkness with our hearts wide open. It is only then we can strip away the layers and layers of sediment that has through time, hardened our hearts. We have no choice but to rely on our remaining senses. The weight of prejudice and judgment and expectation is far removed.

So if there is some place you always wanted to visit and none of your friends can time off, or no one else in your family is interested…go anyway. You won’t live forever, so the best time is now.

Some other good articles on traveling solo:

Boots N All List 13 Reasons to Travel Solo

Solo Travel and Four Obstacles to Your Personal Legend

Huffington Post Solo Travel Articles

10 Reasons to Travel Alone


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