6 Reasons Why you Should Travel Alone at Least Once in your Lifetime
Traveling is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have, which is why it makes numerous appearances on everybody’s bucket lists. Seeing the world allows your adventurous spirit to come alive, making travel a priceless endeavor. Traveling with others has its obvious benefits; every smart traveler appreciates a wingman that offers companionship and most importantly, safety in numbers. Traveling with a group also saves you money since you can split the costs of meals, transportation, and hotels. In fact, the more people in your group, the cheaper the price per passenger, especially with charter buses. Before you go, get a quote from Metropolitan Shuttle and see how much money you’ll save on transportation.
One of the most common reasons people don’t travel is because they have no one to bring along. Whether it’s due to scheduling conflicts or other unforeseen complications, trying to coordinate travel dates can often seem impossible in adulthood. But that shouldn’t hold you back from checking off items on your bucket list. According to Eleanor Roosevelt, “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences.” So listen up solo travelers–pack your bags and say yes to new adventures.
Get to Know Yourself Better
Traveling alone gives you the luxury of spending time with yourself and your thoughts. Add a stunning backdrop of an island paradise, snow-capped mountain peaks, or a massive canyon and you have the perfect formula for inspiring a crowning moment in life. You might be drawn to the wandering life, but that doesn’t mean you’re lost, especially when you get the opportunity to see awe-inspiring sights and natural wonders around every corner.
Without a travel companion to distract you, you’ll be able to do some serious soul-searching. Use your alone time to write down your hopes and dreams in a journal; a stroke of genius could happen at any moment, which is why it’s important to make notes. If writing isn’t your cup of tea, try photo journaling, another creative way to chronicle your journey. Travel can make you speechless and then turn you into a storyteller–that’s one of the magical things about exploring new terrain.
Meet New People
Traveling alone forces you to make connections with strangers, whether it’s asking for directions or striking up a friendly conversation. For extroverts, it’s a chance to show the world their charming and witty side; for the quiet types, it challenges them to break out of their comfort zone and reach out to people when they normally would keep to themselves.
If you’re searching for your tribe of like-minded travelers, traveling alone gives you the opportunity to invite love and romance into your life. With a romantic setting in the background, falling in love can be truly magical on your solo travels. To give yourself more chances of meeting new people, consider taking classes with other lifelong learners who share your interests, like cooking or dance lessons.
If you’re far from home in a foreign country, making friends with the locals is also a great way to experience the culture. An easy way to create a circle of neighborhood pals is by becoming a regular fixture at your favorite bar, restaurant or cafe. While it’s exciting to take the road less traveled, it also helps to create a routine because it gives you more chances of encountering the same people.
Accomplish Career Goals
Without the distractions of everyday life, solo travel gives you the chance to focus your mind more intensely on one project. Many famous works of art, music, and literature were created on an extended journey; Van Gogh painted his iconic impressionist paintings on a trip from his hometown in Amsterdam to the scenic French countryside; When John Steinbeck traveled across the country on a road trip, he documented his experience in his memoir Travels With Charlie. The list goes on and on…
The point of traveling alone is that the experience can be anything you want it to be. With an abundance of “me time,” you won’t have anything distracting you from important work that resonates with your creative vision. Whether it’s documenting your travels, learning a language, or writing your memoirs, lone travel gives you the space you need to cultivate your strongest talents.
Discover Your Creativity
With only his loyal poodle Charlie by his side, Steinbeck had the time to let his thoughts and ideas marinate in his head and then blossom into classic works. The lesson here is simple: For creativity to flourish, you need an abundance of alone time so that you can cultivate and hone your talents and skills.
Successful people often say that creativity is a two-part process—50 percent of the time is spent thinking and the other half is focusing and getting the job finished. In other words, half the time you might be staring at the ceiling while the other half you’re drinking coffee and typing furiously on your laptop or painting on canvas. When you travel alone, you can make a personalized schedule that complements your creative process. And once you get into a rhythm, the rest comes easy.
If you travel alone, it also gives you the chance to try something new, which can be an exciting way to discover hidden talents. When you don’t have another person to consider, it makes it easier to be spontaneous and go out on a limb–like taking belly dancing lessons in Morocco or learning shoemaking from an apprenticeship with an Italian cobbler. The world is a big place with lots of opportunities, but if you’re with others, it might hold you back from taking chances.
Make Your Own Schedule
Traveling solo gives you the option to be selfish with your time but without feeling guilty about it. When you hit the road as a lone traveler, you don’t have to worry about other people’s needs, which gives you plenty of time to explore every nook and cranny of your destination. You also have the freedom to be lazy and spend the whole afternoon at the cinema. However you choose to spend your time, traveling alone allows you the freedom to wander aimlessly, be a tourist, or whatever strikes your fancy from moment to moment.
Traveling alone doesn’t have to be boring or lonely, especially when you arrive at your destination with a plan. If you’re on a work vacation, try working in the morning over breakfast and then a few hours in the evening after dinner; that way you’ll have the entire afternoon for exploring all the highlights. Another option is to bring your work with you wherever you go, which is easy with smartphones, iPads and the like. With your project at your fingertips, you have the freedom to work whenever and wherever you want – the Eiffel Tower, Grand Canyon…the world is your oyster.
Boost Confidence in Yourself
Traveling alone forces you out of your comfort zone, which might seem uncomfortable at certain moments, like when you have to dine alone, for example, or go to the movies without your usual plus one. But it’s also an effective way to get involved with the local community. When you have inside connections, you never know what amazing and unexpected experiences you’ll come across. Having a local show you around is one of the best ways to get an up close and personal look into the culture. When you’re in a foreign country and learn the lay of the land, it will naturally give you more confidence in any situation.
Learning another language makes the challenging of adapting to a new culture even more rewarding. It also helps you engage with new people from different backgrounds while also honing your communication skills. It’s more than learning words but also about understanding a new world of body language and subtext that contrasts with your own country. When you embark on a journey, consider taking language classes, which gives you a head start on communicating with the locals while also helping you connect with other travelers.
One isn’t always the loneliest number, especially when you travel with a purpose. Stop dreaming, start living, and be the traveler who just goes for it.