Many people shy away from the mere thought of traveling alone, and that’s understandable. Traveling can be an amazing bonding experience, as it gives you the opportunity to share wildly new experiences. And, it’s comforting to know that people you’re familiar with have your back through all of these adventures. That being said, there is certainly a case to be made for ditching the group mentality, and these are just three reasons for traveling solo.
1. You’ll be less limited
When traveling with others, you have to cater to the needs of everyone. Sometimes the compromises are small, like going to one restaurant that may not have been your first choice because somewhere else suits everyone’s needs better. And sometimes the compromises can be monumental; such as completely changing what countries or cities you’ll be visiting. When traveling on your own, you are free to make all of these decisions without a second thought of anyone else.
READ MORE: Travel Profile: Upright Man
Would rather go to Thailand instead of Cambodia? Go for it. Want to spend time in the wilderness as opposed to cities? No one can question you. Don’t like starting your day early? Sleep in as late as you want. You can change your mind as frequently as you’d like and you don’t have to worry about inconveniencing anybody. You’re free to roam as you so choose.
© Jennifer Wankmuller
2. You’ll gain more independence
This may seem like a fairly obvious point, but is often one that doesn’t dawn on people until they travel by themselves. Suddenly you don’t have anyone else to bounce ideas off of, whether that’s finding the nearest ATM or picking a place to stay for the night. You’ll find yourself with an abundance of choices to make without a second opinion. You won’t have the help of someone else on hand, you’ll either have to learn to figure things out on your own or learn to actively seek help from locals.
You’ll also gain the brand of independence that’s having fun on your own. People often get caught up with the idea of needing to share memories with others for them to be amazing. But all of the places this world has to offer can be just as magical when explored by one person as they are when explored by several.
© Jennifer Wankmuller
3. You’ll meet more people
It’s highly unlikely locals will approach you when you’re in a big group, and even being with just one other person can still often ward off chances to meet new people. If you’re traveling to immerse yourself in another culture and get to know the people who call your destination home, it’ll come much more easily on your own.
READ MORE: Travel Profile: Menke
People often have this innate desire to offer up hospitality to an individual that doesn’t always carry over to groups. If you’re by yourself, a local may feel compelled to invite you out somewhere with them. If you’re with others, they’re more likely to assume you already have plans. It’s much easier for one person to get sucked into a group then it is for groups to merge, whether this be travelers mixing with locals or travelers mixing with other travelers.
— — —
Cover photo © Jennifer Wankmuller