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If you travel alone, you will be lonely…that would seem like the logical conclusion to draw. However, that statement could not be more wrong. Solo travel could be one of the best decisions you could make.
Travelling is no different than any other walk of life – it’s generally when you push yourself out of your comfort zone that the best, most exciting and most memorable things happen. With a mixture of planning, adventure and spontaneity, a solo trip can be incredibly rewarding. And it’s never too late in life to take that leap of faith…
Unlocking Solo Travel: Debunking Common Excuses
There could be any number of reasons for travelling alone, as the reason for deciding to travel alone will be as unique as the traveller.
However, these reasons may, if incorrectly framed, lead to a negative mindset that prohibits you from travelling alone. The trick is to reframe the motivating factors behind the initial decision to travel alone, and here’s how (along with a few top tips on solo travelling)…
I Can’t Travel Because I Have No One to Travel With
It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you should wait to travel until you have a significant other (be they a partner, friend or family member) to share the experience with. Of course, there is much to be said for shared life experiences, but that is not a good enough reason to put your life and travelling aspirations on hold in the interim.
It is easy to make excuses not to do things when you are safe in your own ‘Comfort Zone’, particularly in unfamiliar settings. However, the world is there to be explored.
Best Tips & Tools to Plan Your Trip
Your travel aspirations and experiences should only be tempered by (1) your sense of adventure; (2) the extent of your imagination; and (3) your budget; rather than whether you have anyone to travel with.
It’s ok to travel alone. It is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. You may just need to summon up more inner courage to take that first step, whether it’s to do some pre-trip research or actually book your tickets.
Read More: A Guide to Costa Rica for Solo Travelers
I Can’t Travel Because My Passion isn’t Shared by my ‘Significant Other’
Your passion could be anything – a love of photography, climbing, nature, dancing, food, history, art etc. Whatever it may be, it’s great that you are passionate about something. You should encourage and develop it.
Whilst your passion may not align with the interests of people close to you, there will be people out there with the same passion as you; you just need to find them. This is often colloquially referred to as ‘finding your tribe’.
With the near limitless resources on the Internet, it is now easier than ever to find your tribe.
If you are new to solo travelling, a great place to start is to look for small group tours linked to your passion. For example, your passion might be photography and you are interested in trying to photograph the Northern Lights. You will quickly discover that there are numerous trips available. And the best thing of all? You know that whoever you end up sharing that trip with, you have at least one thing in common – a shared passion for photography. That shared passion also represents an ideal conversation ‘ice breaker’.
I Can’t Solo Travel Because I Will be Lonely:
There is a misconception that travelling alone means that you must be literally on your own. That does not need to be the case.
If you book a small group tour as a solo traveller, whilst you are travelling alone (in the sense that you are not going with anyone you know), in all other senses you are not – you will be travelling with your tribe.
If you do take the decision to travel on your own, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be lonely. Embrace the freedom that this opportunity affords you. You can do what you want, when you want, with whom you want.
If you pre-plan an itinerary for your trip, you will be so busy savouring new experiences and making memories that you won’t have time to feel lonely. With that said, try to leave some space in the itinerary for spontaneity as well, because that is often when the most unexpected and memorable things happen.
When it comes to eating out, don’t shy away from eating in a restaurant on your own. You are not a pariah just because you have chosen to eat alone! Taking a book or your camera (to look back at your memories from the trip so far) with you helps to pass the time whilst waiting for your food.
I Can’t Solo Travel Because I am Too Busy
The pressures and expectations of daily life have never been greater. That is particularly the case with the proliferation of technology. Your personal and professional life are now inescapably linked to your mobile devices.
There is also a tendency to worry about taking time off work. “How many emails will I have to deal with when I get back?”. “I wonder if that task is being done properly in my absence?”. This can translate into people either choosing not to travel or being unable to disconnect if they do.
Try not to fall into this trap.
There are few better ways to recharge the batteries and decompress from a busy life than by travelling. The change of scene and escapism inherent in travelling affords rejuvenating possibilities that simply cannot be found at home.
Whether you are travelling alone or with a significant other, the key thing to remember is this – regardless of how important you are (or think you are), the world will not stop turning if you disconnect from it.
Top Tips for Solo Travel:
- Travelling alone will probably push you out of your comfort zone. Embrace the fact that you are travelling alone and bring your sense of adventure.
- Whilst a challenge is great, and should arguably be sought out, know your limits. Don’t put yourself in a potentially dangerous situation simply for the sake of the adventure.
- Whether you are new to solo travelling or not, booking a small group tour can be a great way to make new memories and meet like-minded people.
- If you are travelling on your own, it helps to put together an itinerary to structure your days. Try to leave some room for spontaneity, because that is often when the best experiences are to be found.
Author Bio: Tom is a freelance travel journalist based on Jersey in the Channel Islands. His passion is getting off the beaten track to explore places that are misunderstood or not on the average traveller’s radar. He loves immersing himself in the local culture so that he can provide readers with an informed narrative about the local quirks of everyday life.
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