Travelling alone for the first time can feel like a massive challenge. You don’t have the safety net of your friends, there’s nobody to look after your oversized rucksack when you go to the loo, and more importantly, who is going to get that insta-worthy snap?
“Being on your own will push you to be social”
Yet, according to the Telegraph, ‘Solo travel is on the rise’. So how come it is so popular? And why should you try it?
Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, you get to do what you want to do, when you want to do it, without having to compromise or take anybody else into consideration. You use your time however is best for you, choosing your own pace of travel and how long to spend at each destination. And if you’re having a rough day, there’s no pressure to keep up appearances in front of your friends.
“You will appreciate your surroundings more, simply because you will actually notice them”
You can have as much down time as you want and need, which is important for your overall wellbeing, especially if you have been travelling for a long time.
If you travel on your own you will meet new people and you will see more things – which is presumably why you wanted to travel in the first place. If you are travelling with people you already know, there is much less of an incentive to befriend new people.
“Don’t be like the pair I knew”
Being on your own will push you to be social (often with people you might not have naturally gravitated towards). This could lead to you hearing new perspectives and travel ideas, practising or learning some of the local language and even forming life-long friendships.
You will appreciate your surroundings more, simply because you will actually notice them. When deep in conversation with friends, it is all too easy to forget to look around you. Don’t be like the pair I knew who, chatting away, walked through the Sistine Chapel in Rome without looking up at the ceiling.
“The thing about solo travelling is that it isn’t really solo”
The thing about solo travelling is that it isn’t really solo. What makes it so scary is the idea of committing to spending daunting amounts of time on your own in a foreign country. But this isn’t really what you are doing. Instead, you are committing to meeting new people and, alongside them, getting to know this previously-foreign country.
So don’t worry about that perfect insta snap – you’ll get an even better one, surrounded by your exciting, new, multicultural friends.
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