Last month I decided I was going to travel to a foreign country solo.
Amid my conversations with parents, friends, and colleagues about my decision I found a common negative connotation. Whenever I would bring it up I always got the "Isn't that dangerous?" "Wouldn't you get bored just being by yourself all the time?" "What are you going to do there alone?" "It's not safe for a girl to be alone".
I mean, they're all valid questions/statements - especially for my fellow ladies - but I would argue that it isn't so black and white.
I've heard some amazing stories - from women in particular - who have travelled the world on their own with nothing but a backpack. And although it may seem scary AF, if you're safe about it, travelling solo can change your life.
So in order to liberate my fellow solo travellers and to maybe persuade a few homebodies, here are my 5 reasons why you need to travel alone AT LEAST once in your life:
1) You can do what you want on your own terms
When I travel I get a little crazy, I feel like I want to do everything and anything. This is great in terms of making the most of my trip but not so great for anyone that travels with me. Because I want to do everything, I constantly feel like I have to compromise or miss out on certain things because others don't want to get up early or aren't necessarily interested in doing the same things I do.
Travelling solo means you get to do exactly what you want to do - on your own terms without disruption. It means you build your own trip without having to compromise or feel bad for dragging someone to places they don't want to go. On that same note, being alone speeds up the operations of things. You don't have to wait for someone to get ready. You can go and do things whenever you want and change your mind last minute without thinking twice about it.
2) You can get to know yourself better
I know this sounds cliche, but going on a trip by yourself and enduring things that will test your mind and your body - can help you find yourself.
Travelling solo lets you see things you want to see and discover different sides of yourself you probably didn't even know existed. I don't think any of us know our full potential until we're put into certain situations, which is why solo travelling can be so awakening. Any time you get to spend by yourself is a time where you can reflect on your life.
3) You're more likely to meet new people/locals
Travelling alone can get quite sometimes I'll admit, but being forced to be in solitude will make you more open to conversations with others. Trust me, 1 week by yourself and you'll start begging locals to talk to you.
Being alone also opens you up to meeting other travellers. I've heard multiple times, that when you travel alone you're never really "alone". There are always other solo travellers, or locals around that you can buddy up with on adventures. But remember I'm not telling you to talk to everyone and anyone! Be safe with who you talk to - if someone is coming off sketchy trust your instincts.
4) It builds confidence
I always have to applaud people who travel on their own, it takes guts to pack your bags and head to a foreign country without knowing anyone. Not everyone is cut out for it.
Travelling alone and pushing your body to it's limits will leave you feeling more liberated and confident then ever. Heck if you can trek across a foreign country you can do anything!
Travelling solo can be a great experience if you go into it with the right attitude, but just remember to be SAFE. It's important to do your research before going into another country and make sure that you know where you're staying, common cultural customs, and that you have some sort of communication to someone if something does happen.
Travelling alone is a huge risk; it's scary and what happens is uncertain, but when you push through the fear and do your research, travelling solo can be the best thing to ever happen to you, which is why I would argue you have to try it AT LEAST once in your life.