Okay so here is the thing, I am a natural-born introvert. If I am forced to leave the house, please don’t make me socialize on top of that. And while vacationing… forget about it. I want to enjoy my time, relax, etc. But that isn’t always the case, now is it? But… it can be.
Now don’t get me wrong. I travel with people, more than I travel alone. It’s wonderful making memories with friends and family. But it’s even more wonderful making those memories alone. You get to bring all of those stories (and pictures, and videos, and souvenirs) back and share them with those friends and family members who weren’t there. So let me tell you my top 5 reasons for traveling solo. I believe you’ll agree with me (hopefully).
You are on your own time.
This is selfishly my favorite reason. Now, I know we are taught as children to share. And we learn in adulthood that sometimes we don’t always get what we want. The world isn’t fair. So when you are on that family holiday and your (insert family member here) wants to go to that one museum of cat artifacts… well you can’t say no. Right? Because you brought them along to see the spot Forrest Gump was filmed and they couldn’t care less. So insert obligation to do things you may not want to do.
Well on a solo vacation, that isn’t a problem now is it? Do you want to sleep late? Do it! Do you want to spend 3 hours in a coffee shop staring out a window? Do it! Do you want to fit in 27 different museums in one day? Do it! Your time is your time. And your itinerary is your own. And not to mention you don’t have to do or see a single thing that you don’t want to. Sounds awesome doesn’t it? The trip you take alone will be your favorite, but every single thing you did was for yourself.
You will find yourself.
I know. “But I’m not lost?” Your life is together and you know who you are, where you are going, and how you are going to get there. And that’s great! So did I when I stepped on that plane to London alone. But when I stepped off the plane back in Atlanta, I was different. Not drastically. Not in a way that anyone could notice, except for myself. You learn things about yourself that you didn’t even realize you needed to learn. Without a single familiar face, you spend time really alone. Taking in things that are new and interesting, without any other person’s opinion. You do things that you never thought you would do. And when you get back home, you honestly feel like you could take on the world and win. You’re awesome, and a solo trip will show you that in so many ways.
Your confidence will skyrocket.
If you are a confident, self-assured person… then you probably think this won’t help. I was never overly confident, but I don’t think I struggled with my confidence either. However, booking my first solo trip made me realize that maybe I wasn’t as confident as I thought. How could I possibly do this alone? With no help or input from a single other person? But the minute I got on the place, I realized I COULD do this and I WOULD do this. And guess what, I did do that. And it was the best week of my life.
You will find more time to do things.
Or not do things, if you prefer. There was one day in London that I spent over an hour sitting in Victoria Station and watching people. It was the most fascinating hour. I saw people come and go from all walks of life. It was around lunch time, and there were locals, tourist, business men and mom’s all over the place. I had the luxury of just sitting there, where ever that may be. Regents Park, Victoria Train Station, or just sitting in your hotel room watching British television… you can do that. Or you can fit fifty things into a single day. You can walk a million miles an hour, grab a black cab on a whim, take a bus tour, see all the tourist sites, and shop until you drop. You don’t have to time your schedule for anyone else besides yourself. You can fit so many things into a single day, because you can see what you want, how you want, and then move along. Just so you know, that’s why I like to travel alone. I am a “quick sighter.” I can take in the whole atmosphere of a place in no time at all. So I can fit a ton of things into one day. An even better upside of seeing more, is having more days to relax. So it’s a win, win!
You will never run out of stories to tell.
Guess what? Everything you see and do, you are the only one who has seen or done it from that perspective. No, you are not the first person to see the Eiffel Tower. But you are the only person seeing it at that moment, in your place. There is not friend or family member to see it with. And as sad as that may seem to some people… it’s incredible to me. I get to come home, and show everyone (some who care and some who don’t) my pictures. And tell those people all of my stories. And ten years from now, I’ll still be telling stories that no one has heard from my first solo trip. Because “that totally reminds me of this time at a bus stop outside my hotel when a gentleman who spoke French thought I was a local, and I pretended to be and gave him directions. But they were correct directions, so it’s okay.”
So tell me… would you consider a solo trip? Have I sold you yet? Or maybe you have already taken a solo trip and you have a great reason for traveling solo… leave it below! Let’s help shed some light on the awesomeness of a solo holiday!