Do you find yourself stuck in routines that aren’t fulfilling? Do your daily environments – home, work, grocery store, repeat- blur seamlessly together? Have you been wondering what you could do to refresh your spirit, and find joy in the small things? Consider traveling solo!
You might find what you’re looking for outside your comfort zone. Discovering new settings can enhance your appreciation for life and help you notice the details that make it worth living: the soft thump of footsteps on moss, or the silhouette of a tree against the setting sun. Bring that appreciation back into your life by changing up your surroundings. And don’t worry about bringing anyone with you. When you travel solo, you’re beholden only to yourself, and the peace you find will last far longer than your journey.
When traveling solo you can do whatever you want, when you want, for as long as you want.
This is perhaps the most obvious reason to travel solo: you don’t have to compromise on what you decide to do. Not a fan of museums? Skip them! Like eating at hole-in-the-wall restaurants? Dig in! You don’t need to please anyone but yourself.
You can get into restaurants and trendier places more easily.
With a crowd or small group, it can be difficult to find space at popular restaurants. You may have to wait an hour or two–if they can even accommodate you. On the other hand, busier restaurants often have seating for one at the bar. If you’re thinking, “I can’t eat by myself!” pause for a moment. I’ve spent many a meal at the bar. Sometimes I eat quietly, perhaps reading or writing. But other times, I’ve had lively conversations with the bartender or fellow diners. They’ve given me excellent recommendations that I wouldn’t have received had I been dining with others, which leads me to my next point.
It’s easier to meet other people when traveling solo…
People are less intimidated by a single person than a group. If you’re traveling solo and want to meet other people, go to a common space. Whether it’s a restaurant, happy hour, or event, you will be easier to approach and to approach others on your own. If you’re not one to start a conversation with a stranger, simply listen to those around you. Join in when the mood strikes. When in doubt, think of all the conversations you’ve had waiting in line. You are worth getting to know!
But you don’t have to if you don’t want to.
One of the best things about traveling solo is the choice to spend your time with yourself, and only yourself. It’s a beautiful thing to go on a hike with only the sound of the wind and a roaring river for company. You can hear your own thoughts more clearly and get to know yourself better. Group travel can be particularly stressful but traveling solo removes that problem.
You can build in more time for self-care.
Self-care is particularly important while traveling. Waiting in lines at airports, and not having your favorite shampoo with you can be taxing at best. When you travel solo, you can take a moment to just be. Buy a food you particularly like and eat it slowly. Go to an art museum and take your time in front of one painting. Take time to put your energy into whatever centers you.
Your budget will thank you.
This is my favorite reason to travel solo that others might not guess. When you’re doing what you want, you can also spend what you want. No one will shame you for splurging on hand-crafted leather shoes. No one will scoff if you only eat at divvy joints. How you spend your money is entirely up to you.
You can be 100% yourself and make memories that are truly yours.
I’ve heard of travelers who don’t like going solo because they don’t have anyone to share their memories with. I think this sentiment is a bit misplaced, however. Not all moments are meant to be shared, discussed, or dissected. Some are just for you, and your reflections. We filter all our experiences through our own lens. So, who better to share your memories with than yourself?