I wrote this article for Passion8 Magazine originally which you can find here. There are some great articles and it is definitely worth taking a look through.
When I tell people that I lived in London, UK and traveled to a few places in Europe this past year, they usually ask who I went with. When I say I went alone, some people comment on how “brave” that is, while others react with sadness with the assumption that I have no friends. The latter of which is not true (I believe).
I feel as though some people think they will discover their “true selves” or have some sort of breakthrough in life, if they travel alone. For me, this did not happen and I think it rarely does. I must admit, I have changed for the better, but it’s really not as that drastic or spiritual as the internet makes it sound.
I personally believe that everyone should travel alone at least once in their life. Some may find that they do not enjoy it and others, such as myself, will love it. Thinking back to my travels, I came up with four reasons why you should try solo travel (at least once):
1) The opportunity to go where you want, when you want: Are you tired? Do you want to go back to the hostel yet? Are you sure, because I don’t mind staying out longer? Well, it’s up to you. It doesn’t matter. This doesn’t happen when you travel alone!
2) Meet new people: Staying in hostels, if you chose to, gives you the opportunity to make friends with people from around the world. I met so many inspiring people, and a few I hope to stay in touch with and visit in the future.
3) No need to wait for people to have the money or time: Many people put off traveling until they have the time and money to do it, which is completely fine, but if you have the time and money now, why wait for someone else? Why not just go?
4) Learn about “you”: When you travel alone you are with only yourself and your thoughts. You learn so much about your strengths, weaknesses and capabilities. You also have the chance to gain confidence in yourself and your decisions.