“The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.”
Five years ago, I never thought I would be writing this… an article on why I like to travel solo. I never thought I would be saying that I really, *really* like traveling by myself. Five years ago, I thought the idea of solo travel was daunting and scary and unsafe and all of the things that we are fed by various forces in our lives. But I overcame that and I went. And now, I love it. Here’s why.
I Got Tired of Waiting
I took my first solo international trip in 2015. Since that time, I have visited five countries solo. Mind you, I had traveled solo domestically before, but 2015 was the milestone year for me with my first solo trip to Panama. And my first, admittedly reluctant, solo trip was born of necessity: I simply got tired of waiting.
I had promised myself in 2014 that every year for the next several years, I would visit at least one new state and one new country. 2015 rolled around and I was ready (and needed) to meet my goal. But people started flaking. Plans fell through. People couldn’t get their crap together.
So I went by myself. And it was awesome. I have learned that time waits for no man, and you can’t sit around waiting to live your life depending on the timing of others. And since that time, I have hit the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Australia, and Japan by myself, and I will probably have many more destinations next year. Best decision I ever made was to take that first leap.
I Can Live How I Want to Live
I am an accommodations snob. There, I said it (again). I like nice things. That is not to say that I am going to always spend $500 per night on a room, but if I want the option to have a lavish night within budget every so often, I want to be able to do that.
Look, I am not about that hostel life. I am also not about that mediocre hotel life. Sorry not sorry. I need to lay my head somewhere I feel comfortable. When I am traveling solo, I know exactly how much the hotel will be and if I can fit in in my budget. Too many times, when traveling with others, they all of a sudden get a case of amnesia, forgetting the specifics of the accommodations you all agreed upon. Their money gets funny and they start hemming and hawing and complaining over costs after things have already been decided via numerous conversations. It can be super frustrating to have people complaining about the basics because they didn’t plan appropriately, and it can put a serious damper on your vacation. Sure, I still travel with people at times. But traveling solo eliminates that headache.
My Schedule is My Schedule
In a world where we are always checking a clock and living and dying by the schedule, it was nice to have my own schedule for a change. To do what I wanted to do, when I wanted to, and not have to check in with anyone. If I wanted to sleep in, cool. Take an unexpected tour or museum visit, I didn’t have to check with anyone else’s preferences. At times, that independence can be nice.
I Really Like Myself
And five years ago, I thought I was a straight-up extrovert; since then I have learned that I am really an extroverted introvert. That new level of self awareness has made a difference.
I discovered that I really like being by myself. No, I’m no hermit and I like talking to people, but I am so much more comfortable being myself. I am comfortable with me. I can enjoy myself, by myself. Sure, there are some places I would rather go with the company of others, and some places I probably wouldn’t travel by myself. But for the other places, if I can’t get someone to go, well, I’ll just go. And me, myself, and I will be perfectly fine.