If you’re anything like me, you’re highly interested in the beauty that the world has to offer. The world is a huge place filled with different ethnicities, cultures, climate, food, languages, music, fashion ---you name it! As someone who values learning and experiences over buying the latest gadget, I tend to save my disposable income for a specific place to explore a nano-fraction of the world’s beauty.
Even though the world will always be present, sometimes our spirit calls for us to rejuvenate ourselves sooner rather than later. Our schedules and interests may not align with our friends or family members to plan a group trip. Depending on where you travel to, it may be even more difficult to plan a solo trip if you are a woman due to gender inequality issues or cultural differences. Hence, why many women prefer to go with their baes on #girlsquad trip.
My motto is to never wait for anyone. With careful planning and being a little street smart, you can pretty much go wherever your nomadic heart desires. Below you will find examples that I hope will encourage you to go to hotels.com to reserve your room and book your next flight.
Meeting New People
Yes, Instagram, Snapchat, Tinder, Bumble, etc are great ways to meet people by yourself. However, traveling alone to a new place outside of the digital realm will give you a more authentic and candid experience to meet new people. Solo travel encourages you to step outside your comfort zone to talk to people you wouldn’t probably talk to if you were in a group.
For example, when I solo-traveled to Puerto Rico I got to talk with some of the locals to learn more about the history and culture. They even helped me brush up on my Spanish. I also got to talk with other travelers from other countries who came to visit the island. It was interesting to learn from these strangers and to get a chance to talk to someone knew. I know if I went with a group I wouldn’t have been able to do that as much.
Traveling in groups forces you to be codependent on one another for social engagement. Furthermore, you feel a subconscious sense of responsibility to make sure everyone in your circle is having a good time. When you travel to new place alone you aren’t restricted to staying within your travel circle.
Having Introspective Time
With social media never-ending and being around the same people in class or work from Monday through Friday can be draining. Sometimes Saturdays and Sundays do not warrant enough to time to take a breather and reflect since we are trying to catch up on our tasks and errands from the week. Our bodies are programmed to always be “on”.
Solo travel allows you to discover new aspects about yourself since your last self check-in. No, not the self check-in that hotels offer to avoid standing in a line filled with exhausted parents and screaming toddlers waiting to run into the 11 ft pool. The self check-in that’s required to assess your current feelings and needs for yourself.
Am I happy with where I am at in my career? Do I still want to be friends with that person? Am I accomplishing enough of my goals so far this year? What do I need to improve on?
Solo travel gives you the self-reflection you need to exhaust all of the thoughts and feelings that have been floating around for some time. By the end of the trip, you will discover something new about yourself that you probably have been hiding all along.
When you travel with people, you may not necessarily have enough alone time to do assess your energy levels. Which leads me to my next point…
There’s something liberating about going to a new, foreign place alone. It’s like you’re jumping to an unknown adventure that only YOU can solve. You have to rely on not another person but yourself. You can make up your own schedule, itinerary, and budget without having to compromise on anything.
Finding Comfort With Being Alone
Several people have told me that I was crazy for going to Puerto Rico alone. I took that as a compliment because “crazy” really meant I am confident enough to be present in the skin I’m in by myself. Going on this trip revealed to me how scared many people are of being alone. I remember hearing multiple times from acquaintances that they don’t like being alone and need to do things with people. Everyone is different. Some introverts need a partner to keep them from being bored. Some extraverts need to feel energized by engaging with people. I think in order to build confidence, you have comfortable with who you are. One of the best ways to build confidence is to enjoy your own company!
Building Confidence & Empowerment
Like I said, many people raised an eyebrow at me for not bringing someone on the trip with me. I was verbally trampled with their own insecurities of solo travel. “You’re not going to have fun!” You don’t get to share memories with anyone.” “It’s not safe!” “Who will you talk to?”
A solo trip will prove to you how independent you can be. Your social skills will improve tremendously the more you travel alone. You will learn how to navigate on your own. You will feel inspired to do more things on your own like going to the movies, visiting an art museum, or going to the bar for a few drinks and to meet people. Most importantly, you will be able to trust yourself now that you know you can figure things out on your own.
Just because you may not have someone to go on a trip shouldn’t make you pause your plans to see the world. If we depend on people to travel with us, we may never get to see the places that Google Earth dangles in front of us. It may be a dreadful, scary thought for some, but once you conquer solo travel you will feel energized, fulfilled, confident, and accomplished! There are a plethora of reasons I can give you to go on a solo trip, but the best way to know if you should go is by actually going. We are blessed to have over 195 countries in the world where we can definitely explore at least 100 of them. Don’t let your fear or another person’s fear stop you from investing in your self-growth....and don’t worry some random stranger will take that perfect insta picture for you!