Most people are not comfortable traveling alone, either because they enjoy themselves better when they are around friends, they want to have someone with whom to share travel experiences, or they feel like people would judge them for choosing this option. For instance, an article published earlier today in Quartz magazine, shows what are some of the reactions people have when they hear someone is traveling by themselves, and they are all in the same range: “Wow! Good for you to be able to do that!”, “Don’t you get lonely?”, or “You mean, you’re going to do all these things…by yourself?” But contrary to popular belief, there are many advantages and joys to traveling alone.
One of them is the fact that you can experience complete freedom in whatever you chose to do, without depending on other people or taking into account other people’s needs. Sometimes it is nice to allocate time for yourself and not think what consequences would a decision you make have on others. Furthermore, we all know that traveling with a group implies that there will appear complications along the way and some of you will have to compromise in order to keep a similar schedule and stay together. On the other hand, when you are traveling alone you can do whatever makes you happy: sleep or eat whenever you want, spend time in places that really interest you, and basically do whatever comes to your mind.
Another benefit of traveling alone is associated with what we call serendipity and taking advantage of opportunities as they present themselves. For instance, you can meet total strangers and strike up interesting conversations – which would most likely never happen when you are with a group, because you will be busy talking to them rather than to strangers. And the mere fact that you are all by yourself will motivate you even more to talk to strangers and have really amazing experiences.
Time for reflection is another thing we all need every once in a while – and this is precisely what traveling alone offers you. No one will believe you are awkward if you sit near them in silence, or pressure you to externalize your thoughts. Naturally, spending an extended period of time traveling alone means you will have a lot of time to spend inside your own head and make all sorts of observations and assumptions about places and people around you.
Overall, traveling alone is a great way of relaxing, recharging your batteries, reflect on all sorts of issues, and ultimately get to know the world around you and yourself better. It is an amazing experience for both body and soul, and we strongly recommend it.