10 Reasons Why Solo Travel ROCKS!

How many times have you been on Instagram lately, & seen beautiful images of a woman standing alone, in some gorgeous environment?  I’m willing to bet: A LOT.  Within the last few years, there’s been a shift on social media away from group images ~ & towards images of people on their own.  And I think this reflects a deeper change in our society: we are more “okay” with being alone than ever before.  Which is pretty amazing!  Here, I’m giving you 10 reasons why solo travel rocks ~ that just may inspire you to book your next trip: ALONE!! 

10 Reasons Why Solo Travel Rocks, Girl Who Travels the World

My first MAJOR solo trip was to Peru. Though I was nervous at first, it proved to be one of the BEST experiences I’ve ever had. Find out why….with these 10 reasons why solo travel rocks!

Why Solo Travel is Important for Women

I find solo travel especially empowering as a woman: you are, in a way, going against hundreds of years of culture that tells you: your place is in the home.  In some ways, solo female travel is a radical act ~ even today. 

Here’s a (partial) list of places I’ve traveled solo: Colombia, Argentina, Spain, Ecuador, Portugal, Iceland, Turkey, Peru, Thailand….& the list could go on & on.  My ideal trip is one that combines solo travel with travel with friends ~ & in that way, it gives me the perfect blend of connection, as well as reflection.

10 Reasons Why Solo Travel ROCKS!

 #1) You’ll Meet More People. 

Sounds counter-intuitive, right?  Even if you’re shy at home, & don’t interact much with strangers ~ I promise: when you’re abroad, you HAVE to.  Necessity makes it imperative that you reach out to people.   Lost?  You need to ask for directions.  Can’t find the right train schedule?  Again, you have to ask for help.  Being with friends ~ especially close friends, tends to insulate you from the rest of the world.  It’s more comfortable, you have inside jokes & speak the same language…& all this can prevent you from reaching out & meeting new people.  When you’re alone, there’s no choice: if you want company, you HAVE to reach out!

10 Reasons Why Solo Travel Rocks, Girl Who Travels the World

I met these two (wild & crazy) British girls while traveling solo in Uruguay ~ then we met up in Patagonia. I ADORE them, & can’t imagine NOT having met them now!

 #2) You Can Do Exactly What You Want, When You Want.  No arguments or debate necessary.  And you’ll have ample time for reflection ~ whether by recording your thoughts & impressions in a journal, meditating, or simply taking long, afternoon strolls in a new city.  There’s no need to “keep up with the group” during solo travel: you only have your own rhythms & desires to worry about.  Which is pretty damn fantastic.

10 Reasons Why Solo Travel Rocks, Girl Who Travels the World

Reading a book high above Cusco, at Sacsayhuaman. Could I have done this with friends? Possibly, but they’d probably get bored. On my own, I can read & reflect to my heart’s content..

 #3) Solo Travel Builds Confidence in a Way That Nothing Else Does

When you travel by yourself, there’s no one else to rely on: you HAVE to figure things out on your own.  This means: train schedules, money exchange, where to stay, what places (& people) to avoid, what classes/excursions to take, etc.  When you travel with someone, the person who’s better with money tends to “handle” that part ~ but when you’re on your own, you’re that person!  Again, by necessity, you”ll build new skills (like street smarts & money management): because you HAVE to. 

And the good news: you’ll take those skills & a sense of achievement home with you.

10 Reasons Why Solo Travel ROCKS!

#4) You Have Privacy in the Bathroom.

Until you’ve traveled often, you don’t understand how important good digestion is to to happy travel.  Enough said ; )

 #5) You Don’t Have to Listen to Your Girl Friend’s Horrible Break-Up Story

Again.  For the tenth time.  Bottom line: when you travel solo, you only have your own baggage to deal with.  And no, I’m not talking about luggage.  Everyone brings some kind of baggage on a trip: maybe they constantly complain about their spouse, or they hate their job ~ yet they seem to love discussing how much they hate their job!  Everyone has baggage.  But when you’re on your own: yours is the only baggage you have to worry about.

 #6) You’re More Likely to Learn a New Language or Volunteer When Solo

This goes back to idea #1 ~ having close friends around makes it wayyy too easy to speak your native tongue instead of learning a new one.  Or go out drinking, versus doing something you’ve always wanted to do: like volunteering.  Taking language classes & volunteering in a new city are two of the best ways to meet like-minded travelers & make friends abroad, & from personal experience: they’re best done solo!

10 Reasons Why Solo Travel ROCKS, Girl Who Travels the World

I took Spanish classes in Cusco, Peru ~ & became great friends with my teacher, as well as meeting people from around the world!

10 Reasons Why Solo Travel ROCKS!

 #7) You Can Bring Someone Back to Your Room…with Full Privacy

How many times have you traveled with friends & met someone special….then wondered where the heck y’all were going to hook up?!  This can lead to some real quandaries.  Do you make out in the bathroom?  On the balcony?  On the floor (& hope your friends don’t wake up)??!  You get the idea.  Solo travel means that….when you meet that gorgeous hunk of a Latin man, you can safely bring him back to your place, with no distractions…

10 Reasons Why Solo Travel ROCKS, Girl Who Travels the World

Solo travel gives the privacy you need to make new “friends.” Enough said!

 #8) You’ll Improve Your Intuition & Gut Instinct (aka “Street Smarts”).  

As a woman, I find this skill particularly relevant.  Through my years of solo travel, I’ve learned to put my phone away (especially the first day in a new city), walk around, & OBSERVE what’s going on around me.  Not only does this make me more present ~ but it puts me in better touch with my instincts.  Which has taught me my greatest travel lesson: to listen to my gut instinct IMMEDIATELY.  If I get bad vibes, I don’t wait & “hope” things turn out okay ~ I find a way to exit the situation, RIGHT NOW!!  This is a hugely valuable skill, & is hard to hone in “comfortable” environments (i.e. at home, or with friends & family).

#9) You Get Better at Making (Good) Decisions

In an indecisive world, where we have too many options at our digital fingertips ~ indecisiveness is at an all-time high (“I could do this, I could do that, but there are SO many options…I don’t know what to do!”)  When you travel solo, decision-making skills become well-honed: because every single day, there are hundreds of decisions to make!  Where to eat, where to spend the night, what transport to take: everything that’s routine at home becomes brand-spanking-NEW abroad.  And with that: it forces you to make decisions.  And the more you’re forced to make decisions ~ the better those decisions will become.

10 Reasons Why Solo Travel ROCKS!

#10) You Can Shed Who You’ve Been, & Transform Into Who You Want to Become

“Travel is like adultery…we go abroad to meet our foreign persona, that thrilling stranger met on the plane.  At home, we impersonate ourselves; when abroad, we can try to be what we’ve always wanted to be.”

~ Anatole Broyard

This, perhaps, may be the single-most important reason for solo travel: transformation.  There is nothing quite so thrilling as feeling like that “mysterious foreigner,” & discovering territory within yourself that remains, as yet, uncharted.  Friends & family have certain fixed “ideas” about who you are; but when traveling solo, you have the chance to shed these preconceived ideas.  Solo travel is like a blank slate, & from that state, you can create anything you desire. 

Which is the ultimate freedom.

10 Reasons Why Solo Travel Rocks, Girl Who Travels the World

When I’m at home, I’m Noelle ~ the girl I’ve always been. But when I’m abroad ~ I turn into “Noelia”….

Best Solo Travel Resources

Travel Journal

Probably the #1 most-important solo travel item? A beautiful journal, to record all of your experiences & observations.

Save Money!

This book gives a great overview of places around the world where your money goes the furthest ~ great for solo travelers!

Avoid Theft

When I solo travel, I feel the most comfortable with an anti-theft, cross-body purse.

Wild, by Cheryl Strayed

Bring a book that inspires & emboldens you, along your travels.

10 Reasons Why Solo Travel ROCKS!

Here’s one more reason to book that solo trip: once you make the DECISION to go ~ you may be surprised how suddenly, other people decide to join you.  Simply making the decision to go, & being excited about it, can help other people make decisions of their own.   

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.  [But] the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.  All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.  Whatever you do or dream you can, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power, & magic in it.  Begin it now.”

~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Sooo…the moral of the story is: BOOK THAT TICKET!!!  Thanks for reading “10 Reasons Why Solo Travel ROCKS!”  Have you ever traveled solo, & if so ~ did you love the experience or not?  What’s your favorite reason to travel solo…?  What’s missing?  Tell me in the comments below! 

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