You’ve seen and heard it all already. The inspiring Instagram posts of daring solo travelers exploring every corner of the earth and sharing their experiences on social media. The friend who just got back from Europe and can’t stop talking about their incredible solo backpacking trip through the Old World. The endless blog posts about why solo traveling is important and the ways it enriches your life. If it has been on your mind for a long time and you’re tempted to try it yourself, we’re here to give you the final nudge you need to embark on a life-changing adventure. Here are five reasons why traveling solo at least once in your life is a good idea.
1. It Pushes You Out of Your Comfort Zone
No growth comes without a bit of discomfort. Solo traveling pushes a person outside the limits of their comfort and out into the great unknown. This can seem a bit daunting in the beginning but equally as exhilarating once you get going.
2. It Forces You to Be Present in the Moment
When you are in a new environment that you are completely unfamiliar with, it requires your full attention to detail and awareness of your surroundings. One of the best feelings in the world is being totally present in the moment and not bogged down with thoughts about yesterday and tomorrow. Solo traveling forces you to focus on, and in turn appreciate, what is right in front of you.
3. It’s Easier to Make Friends on Your Own
Solo traveling is one of the best ways to make new friends quickly and easily, especially if those new friends are fellow solo travelers. When you are traveling with a group of people you already know, you are far less inclined to branch out and meet interesting new people. However, when you are on your own, you open yourself up to the opportunity of forging new friendships, bonding over travel experiences with like-minded individuals, and maybe even learn a few new things along the way.
4. You Can Plan the Kind of Trip You Want
When you travel with other people, you inevitably will have to make compromises. The planning process can become a headache when you try to work around everyone else’s schedules and the things they want to do on a trip. But when it’s just you, you can take off and do everything you want to do. No waiting around for your friend or significant other at the hotel room, just doing what you want to do on your own time.
5. You’ll Enjoy a Confidence Boost
After a few days navigating a new place on your own, daring to dine alone, successfully taking public transportation in a city you’ve never been to before, and enjoying a day exploring a town by yourself, you’ll feel an immensely satisfying sense of self-confidence. Any nagging insecurities you may have once had that caused you to doubt your ability to do things independently will vanish. You’ll have proven to yourself that you are capable of taking on a grand adventure on your own. So now you can see why solo travel is important!
Where to Go?
At the surface, a place like New York City might seem too overwhelming a destination for a first-time solo traveler. But with the right amount of planning, it can be a wonderful experience that prepares you for international solo travel. This massive city is filled with millions of people from all around the world. It’s also got plenty of hostels in Manhattan as well as the outer boroughs, which makes it easier for you to visit the city on a budget and meet other fascinating travelers.
At the other end of the spectrum, solo traveling to a less metropolitan destination is another enriching experience. Sedona, Arizona, is one example of a great city for solo travelers. It’s filled with otherworldly natural wonders and has a very relaxed, laid-back feel. Even though the town only has a population of roughly 10,000 people, hundreds of thousands of visitors pass through each year, so you will never feel lonely in Sedona.
Finally, young, lively cities like Portland and Boulder are great stepping stones for first-time solo travelers. Both cities are active communities with an endless supply of things to do and see. It won’t take long for a friendly stranger to strike up a conversation with you at the local cafe or low-key music venue. Additionally, if you stay in a hostel, you’re bound to find a few new friends who are up for a hiking trip around either of the cities.
Feeling prepared to solo travel? Buy your bus ticket from BusTickets.com today!