Why You Should Travel Alone At Least Once In Your Lifetime
Like many people, I traveled all my life with friends, family or a partner. It has always been great; you have people who you can share your travel memories with and, in later life, can look through pictures and tell funny stories. But imagine traveling, and this time all the things you’ve seen, experienced and learned are just yours. Those moments can only be relived through your eyes. Doesn’t that sound interesting?
So, this year when I decided to study abroad in France and autumn holidays were coming closer, a lot of my friends (mostly from the other side of the Pacific) decided to go and see some countries across Europe. But since I’m European and I probably will visit those countries sooner or later, I decided that instead of joining them, I would go to see more of French culture and regions. I couldn’t get the idea out of my brain to do this huge tour around the whole country. I saw my chance to do exactly what I admired other people for and thought, “Right place, right time. Let’s go.”
I planned a travel to see four cities in eight days; from the west to the east, then from the north to the south. Today, I can confidently say that this was one of the most enriching and exciting things I’ve ever done.
NO WORRIES! DOUBTS AND FEAR ARE COMMON SIDE EFFECTS.
The most common questions you’ll be asked when telling someone that you’re about to go on a journey all by yourself are questions like: “But won’t you feel lonely?” And: “But won’t that be boring?” Or even: “But isn’t that dangerous?” Just a whole heap of queries starting with ‘but…’
Many people will be more skeptical than supportive, but don’t forget it is your decision.
While studying abroad is a huge thing in itself, in most cases you can still rely on a big “24/7 support system” consisting of other international students and friends. Traveling alone clearly means one step further out of that comfort zone that we all rely on so much. Of course some doubts are justified and there are some things you should definitely pay attention to while planning such a trip, but once you’ve taken those into account, you’ll be prouder than ever.
WHY EXACTLY IS TRAVELLING ON YOUR OWN AT LEAST ONCE IN A LIFETIME WORTH IT?
It might sound slightly egoistic, but planning to travel has never been easier than when you plan your solo travel. When it comes to time, places, budget… the only person you have to agree with is you. No discussion, no compromises. And the only limits that exist are the ones you choose yourself.
When you search for a cheap, comfortable, easy and (before all) safe way to go around, I can recommend long-distance bus companies. You can easily book your tickets in advance, coordinate everything via app and the busses have Wi-Fi. The journey will take a little longer, but your wallet will thank you! For finding an accommodation with the same requirements I can always rely on Airbnb or Homestay. You get in contact with locals, it is low budget and if you pay attention to the ratings, then safety and comfort shouldn’t be things to worry about.
2. The possibility to do things you would never do when with other people.
This includes being free in your decisions and in how you organize your day. Only you have to be satisfied and entertained by what is going on.
You can do things like: eating alone in public, sitting on the beach just looking out and listening to the sound of the sea for hours, going to cinema by yourself, walking around all day and forgetting the time, taking as many pictures you want without someone getting annoyed, meeting new people and locals at every corner and actually being quiet and taking in the experience.
In this way, you get a complete different way of perceiving your surroundings.
3. Challenging yourself and learn a lot about yourself.
It’s empowering to truly listen to what you want and be entertained by only your dreams; you gain an introspective. Being alone with your thoughts can mean a total change on how you see yourself, your future and the world. To successfully complete a solo vacation makes you smarter and more confident. It brings you out of your comfort zone and encourages you to take matters into your own hands. You learn how to be by yourself without feeling lonely, gain independence and you overcome social norms.