Self, Health And Wellness

5 Liberating Reasons Why You Should Consider Traveling By Yourself

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traveling by yourself solo trip

Picture this; you’re on a six-hour flight, flying to your dream travel destination… alone. You’re waking up in your hostel, refreshed and revitalized for the day… alone. You’re traveling solo.

If that sounds like a lonely time to you — well, let’s talk about that. How many times has finding a friend to take a trip with been a headache (if not impossible)? Questions of “do our schedules line up”, “are our interests in doing what and where similar”, or “can we tolerate each other for several days straight” come into play. Soon enough you’re spending more time trying to please your traveling companion than yourself. Does that sound like a fun, true to yourself trip?

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Sometimes it's just not possible to bring the people you love with you if you've got big goals to travel the world. Be it a lack of finances, schedules that you just can't coordinate, or maybe you just want to go somewhere no one else is interested in going — traveling solo is a great option to let you see the world without having to compromise for someone else.

If you’ve never considered traveling by yourself before, take a look below at 5 liberating reasons why traveling alone is SO worth it.

1. You’ll learn to live in the moment.

Imagine you’re walking across the old town in Prague or the waterfront in Bangkok. You turn to say a word to your friend — but they aren’t there, and instead you’re looking at an old clock-tower or an island in the bay.

Without a friend to pull you away from where you are, you’re bound to see, hear, and smell more of the place you’re in. You’ll sit in a square and listen to foreign languages roll across centuries-old stonework, or stand in front of a street stand and smell the meat from your upcoming lunch sizzle on the grill. You’ll take more pictures — not because you want to document what you’re seeing for your future self, but because you’re already enjoying the moment.

In other words, you’ll do what you want, when you want, and be able to act on a desire as soon as it comes up. You want to go to that bar you literally just discovered? Do it! The only person you need to plan around is yourself.

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2. You'll meet new people and talk to ones you'd never have considered before.

So you’ve gone a little crazy from a lack of conversation. The guy behind the counter at the hotel is watching a soccer match. Or maybe it’s someone sharing your eight-bed hostel dorm room. You like soccer, too. Why not chat?

When traveling solo, you’ll naturally seek out others to talk to — it’s human nature. But without a known friend at your side, that means you’re going to chat a lot with those you meet. Fellow travelers, bartenders, vendors and passengers on buses and trains might be curious as to who you are. And, chances are, they’re going to tell you more about where you’re traveling than you could learn on your own or with a friend. Either they’ve also chosen to visit where you are or they live there already!

Conversing will those you meet will make your trip that much more real and memorable. Speaking of...

3. You’ll remember your trip more clearly.

Have you ever had a fun night with your friends and struggled to piece things together the day after? You know that you had fun, but you can’t remember exactly what happened or in what order? Well, on a trip by yourself, you’re going to remember what you do, because you’ll be totally present walking through old shrines or dining out on a restaurant on a hill.

Going alone means that you’re going to spend a lot of time checking in on your thoughts. What you think and feel about that landmark, or that meal you had at lunch. And, because you’ll act on what you’re thinking, you’re going to remember why you did what you did. Remember when you went to the top of that city summit? You wanted a brisk workout hiking up that thing.

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4. You’ll feel a sense of true independence.

Have you ever done something you thought you couldn’t, and felt over the moon after? Initially, traveling alone might not qualify; who has the time to pick a place, book travel, rooms, and activities all on their own? But take it from me—it’s doable, and more than that, doing a trip all on your own will feel like a real achievement.

Planning for yourself is super easy if you know what you want. Do you like to walk and see the local sights? Then make sure to pack your sneakers and put aside public transit for cobbled sidewalks. Do you have an interest in sampling different food and drinks? Then definitely book a ticket for the restaurant and brewery-hopping tour. Do you like taking buses over planes because you can daydream better looking out the window? Then try an overnight sleeper bus for the first time and see how it goes. Once you know what you want to do, figuring out how to travel alone is easy.

5. You’ll find yourself (and figure out what you want) in the process.

You’re in a foreign country, surrounded by people you’ll never be seen by again-- be your best, most accurate self! If you want to throw in some local “pleases” and “thank yous” to your orders at the plaza cafe, do it! If that tacky tourist T-shirt catches your eye, buy it!

This is your chance to do what you want, when you want.

Buy things you wouldn’t buy with someone else over your shoulder. Spend more time in the places you enjoy and less in those you don’t. It’s not like anyone’s going to stop you.

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Matthew Ameduri is a writer who covers pop culture, astrology, and relationship topics.