I’ve been collecting pictures of my unshared trips so I can post them sporadically and have realized I’ve been traveling alone a lot more lately. Many of them I’ve stayed with friends, while others I just booked an Airbnb and went for it. I do love going on trips with my husband, family, and friends but those trips alone have been some of my most memorable adventures. Some of the moments are so incredible that no one would believe me even if I tried to share.
Whether you want to travel more or already travel frequently, you’ve got to take at least one trip by yourself in your lifetime. I know some of you might be saying, “that sounds boring” or “I’m not a social person” but trust me the experiences you’ll have are priceless. When you travel alone you literally can do whatever the hell you want. Want to sleep on the beach for three hours wrapped like a cocoon in a blanket? Sure go ahead. Go to the same bar every night because you love it? Absolutely. Walk around all day wandering the city with no plans at all? Damn right. I’ve done all of those things and more and wouldn’t change those trips one bit.
When you travel alone you’re not only out to find things to do, you’re finding yourself as well. Yeah that might sound corny but it is so damn liberating. “Me” time is one of my favorite times at home because it is extremely peaceful and when you’re away from home it’s even better. You have no worries about your daily routine, where you need to be, who you need to cater to, and you end up learning a lot about yourself in the meantime. I’ve noticed that I have handled situations a lot differently when alone or tended to do things I normally wouldn’t have if I were among people I knew. Your trip is pretty much stress free because you don’t make grand expectations for your trip, you just go with the flow.
Not to mention, when you travel alone you boost the shit out of your confidence. Sometimes you are put in certain situations where you need to make an immediate decision and have no time for doubts. When I think about some of the experiences that I’ve done alone I am so proud that I took the challenge and handled what was thrown at me. It has made me trust myself more and it reminds me that even though I have so many people I can rely on, I can also rely on myself. I feel like I am such a stronger person now because I can go to different states, or even different countries, and be able to hold my own. It’s a sense of freedom that you just can’t achieve when you travel with someone else.
However one of my favorite parts of traveling alone is re-connecting with old friends and making new friends. I know this doesn’t appeal to everyone which is totally fine because you can also be as antisocial as you want when you travel solo. But for me it lets me connect with the place I’m visiting and it’s culture so much more. Whenever I go out to eat or for some drinks, I always sit at the bar. Sitting at the bar even if you’re not drinking makes you so much more approachable than if you were sitting at a table by yourself. These are the times where I have had amazing encounters and conversations and ultimately made some new friends. You get to share stories with complete strangers, let them tell or show you the hidden gems in their city, and build a friendship with someone that you never would have done so if you weren’t alone. When we open up to one another and turn strangers into friends it allows us to connect with one another no matter our cultural differences and actually helps us understand and accept those differences. It’s a beautiful thing bringing people together, and I absolutely love keeping in touch with the people I meet throughout my travels.
By all means if you want to have a meaningful trip with someone special, take that trip with that special someone. But if you want to have a meaningful trip truly experiencing the place you’re going and it’s people, I urge you to take that trip by yourself. You personally connect with many different people, you set the budget, you set the plans (or lack thereof), you observe the place as you wish, and you strengthen your personality. Of course remember to be safe when you’re alone and never get so inebriated that you don’t know where you are, or what you’re doing. Know your limits with everything. But also remember to relax, wander all over the place, get lost, talk to everyone, and try new things. Just don’t be surprised when you love it so much that you find yourself taking more trips solo.