5 Reasons to Travel Alone–and Love It!

Solo Travel, Travel Philosophy — By on July 29, 2009 at 8:00 am

Not sure you’re ready to strike out and roam the globe alone? Writer and Lost Girl Mary Tan shares her top five reasons why it’s actually better to break free from the pack and start exploring the world, solo-style.

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Mary Tan TravelLet’s face it : women are social creatures. We’re infamous for eating in trios and foursomes, going to the bathroom arm-in-arm and intimidating men withour group dynamic. Our thumbs are sore from all-day texting and emailing, and our hearts leap when our number of Facebook friends swells (you know it’s true!). We talk–a lot–about everything and nothing and bask in the glow of good companionship.

So why, then, should we ever travel alone, for one day, one week, or even one year? How could it possibly be beneficial? Well, solo travel might sound a little scary at first, but after winging it on your own for a while, you’ll take advantage of these cool rewards…

1) You’ll finally get some ‘you’ time

The media constantly bombards us with information on how important it is to take care of our own needs first, but can an hour in a lavender-scented bath really make you feel less stressed? Well, maybe for a little while, but sometimes you need to escape for more than an hour and certainly beyond the four walls of your house. There is nothing like choosing a holiday all for yourself, whether you will merely be relaxing on the beach or hiking through a tropical jungle. You’ll be able to sit in perfect tranquility and just…breathe.

2) You’ll get to do whatever you want, whenever you want

Ah, the joys of being selfish! Traveling in groups can be a joy but most people would still feel like throttling their best friend after a few weeks spent together in close quarters. Traveling alone gives you the perfect opportunity to do exactly what your heart desires–no matter how silly or quirky or unreasonable that is. Go check out the Grand Palace in Bangkok but skip Angkor Wat; go to the Lourve just to see the Mona Lisa and then blow off the rest of the museum to spend the day sampling chocolate or reading a magazine in the park. Be a rebel, and answer to no one, not even your guidebook!

3) You’ll meet new people constantly

Traveling alone is particularly invigorating for social butterflies – as you’re constantly on the move, you’ll be bombarded with different people at every turn. Some will turn into real friends, some will become useful contacts for your next trip and others will merely be a drunken blur! There are many other travelers out there who are also on their own and have fascinating stories to tell about their adventures. Take a chance and listen, or offer an anecdote of your own. Just remember to stay cautious and be smart and eventually…

4) You’ll learn to listen to your instincts

We’ve become so accustomed to following traffic lights and instructions that those rules have gradually replaced our inner compass. Once you’re on the road alone, however, all those long-neglected gut instincts will kick in: The more you use them, the more accurate they’ll will become. Most of us are genetically blessed with a strong intuitive sense, and that insight is rarely stronger than when we’ve left to fend for ourselves.

5) It will boost your self-esteem

Whether you plan to or not, you will return from your solitary trip feeling stronger, more confident and more independent than before. Your friends will probably be shocked (and impressed!) you casually show how you got around Rome without knowing a single word of Italian, or how you went white-water rafting in Nepal. Even if you embellish a bit (hey–you’ve got a captive audience!) the point is that you got through the experience all on your own, and that feeling of satisfaction isn’t one you’ll forget easily.

Happy travels!

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Mary was born in Singapore but has spent most of her teen and adult life globe-hopping through various continents. She is currently in Sydney pursuing her Master degree in International Business. You can read more of Mary’s travel adventures, in solitude or otherwise, at http://maryaroundtheworld.blogspot.com/

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    11 Comments

  • Rush says:

    u have a rocking blog here..will be following u guys!!

  • Scribetrotter says:

    Great post, thank you! I couldn't agree with you more…

    For me solo travel – and I did it for 3 years non-stop – means much greater freedom, being able to change my mind, being more open to new people, becoming more self-confident, getting to know myself…

    I was never lonely. In fact, it was the other way around. As a solo woman I was constantly approached as a curiosity, or by other helpful women – so much so I was rarely alone.

  • James- SEO Expert says:

    That's absolutely right. Travel alone has great pleasure, but being with friends while traveling gives more pleasure. Try it once and you will forget visiting alone.

    Thanks
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  • Global Butterfly says:

    Thank you for writing this! It's really inspiring. I'm headed to Brasil soon by myself and this was the perfect reinforcement. I can't wait to check out your blog! Best wishes on your future travels. 🙂

    http://blog.mybeautifuladventures.com

  • cmyi says:

    love the blog, but i don't know if i agree w the post, I've always traveled with friends, now that I don't have them (I moved), I don't think it's such a good idea to do it alone…

  • Jeremy Jones says:

    CMyi…

    It's always a good idea to travel with friends..unfortunately you don't have a friends now then you can make someone agree for this..you can't enjoy without a friend.

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  • Kay says:

    Never have to wait for your travel partner to be done at an attraction.

    kaydestination.blogspot.com

  • Ashwani says:

    really nice blog and really great post.
    keep posting like this.
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