18 Reasons To Go Solo On Your Next Trip
Times are changing and so is the world, the concept of social distancing and restrictions of gatherings seems to be the new normal. You have to think...Who will come out on top? The solo traveller will. The traveller who has the ability to adapt, overcome and conquer. Solo travellers have the fire and desire to keep the travel industry alive and the ever growing urge to keep on exploring. As Travel Weekly recently pointed out, a solo traveller renaissance is coming and here are 18 reasons why you should become part of it.
1. You Can Control Your Environment
We now know that COVID-19, those who are vulnerable to it, and the measures we can take to minimise your risk. As a solo traveller, you can control precisely where you go, how to interact and what precautions you take.
2. Your Self-Confidence Will Skyrocket
My first time as a solo traveller was to Thailand, and I don't mind saying that a part of me was shitting it. What happens if I don't make any mates? What if people reject me? What if I can't talk to strangers? All of these questions at the time seem legitimate, but reading them back you'll cringe at how crazy they are. Confidence in yourself is something you grow, something you develop. Putting yourself out there as an individual increases the chances of you improving your self-confidence like nothing else. Rock up somewhere and introduce yourself when the moment is right. Tell them you're travelling solo because you always wanted to visit X. 100% of people you meet will automatically think you're, at worst, mildly interesting for being confident enough to do that.
3. You'll Be Forced Out Of Your Comfort Zone (In A Good Way!)
I won't bore or insult you with how comfort zones work, but the act of solo travel gives you no alternative but to face situations current outside of your comfort zone. You've never flown on a plane by yourself before? Cool, you'll eventually do it the first time. Every time after that you might actually prefer it, and you'll be comfortable with it. This goes for any amount of situations that require you to act for yourself. Forget safety in numbers, there will be numbers to meet when you arrive.
4. You'll Learn Lots About Yourself
You'll naturally gravitate towards certain types of people you meet, and roll your eyes at the notions of others. This is, in turn, is a chance to understand as a young adult - who you really are. What do you care about, what do you love in others, what nationality or accent make you go weak at the knees, what your new favourite hobby is? All of this accelerates when you're travelling solo. You will learn so much about the person you will spend your entire life with. Yourself.
5. You'll Think It's A Challenge & You'll Always Succeed
Ah, the little victories. Made my flight, check. Asked a local for directions, check. Shared a joke with a stranger, check. Realised all of your wildest travel dreams you've held since you were a kid, MAJOR check. No matter what your experience of solo travel is, you succeed because you're fucking doing it! There is no stopping you now...You've got this!
6. You'll Never Have To Compromise
It's not selfish to want to do want YOU want to do. We all have mates who, despite the fact we love them endlessly, are into stupid shit. I'm sure they'll say the same, so enjoy Fortnite, I'm going to go hike a Volcano in Bali, ok? This is your adventure, your hard-earned money, you have the right to use the time exactly how you want to and when you travel solo, you don't need to cater to anyone else.
7. You Can Do Whatever You Want To Do When You Want To Do It
This is so liberating, we're putting it in twice but this time with less diplomatic language. Be. Selfish.
8. You'll Meet WAY More New People, From All Walks Of Life
I've now been a solo traveller in Thailand, Canada, Costa Rica and Iceland. I have had countless conversations during those adventures, like the Dutch guy called Nick who I met in Costa Rica who used to play u16 football with Gini Wijnaldum, Memphis Depay AND Virgil Van Dijk. Or Shandie, a beautiful Mauritian girl I met in Canada who's uncle was at different times their Prime Minister and President. There are fascinating sorts I met from literally hundreds of similar tales.
9. You'll Do Things You Wouldn't Normally Do
You're a totally blank slate. Hell, you can be and do whatever you want with no judgement. And if you do come across any judgement, WHATEVER, you'll be onto the next destination in a couple of days so who cares. I can guarantee you if I hadn't been a solo traveller I wouldn't have tried Salsa dancing (hilariously bad but good times!), I wouldn't have been dragged on stage at a drag queen show in Phuket, and I wouldn't have spent a day volunteering at a sea turtle sanctuary either.
10.You'll Be Safe
Sure, you can go old school without any smartphones, no tour guides or pre-booked places to be. I mean you can, but you definitely don't have to. Even if you've got a slightly nervous disposition about 'things going wrong', you can still make sure that those things that 'go wrong' are funny mix-ups rather than anything actually sketchy. This is especially true when you do a TruTravels tour. You're totally looked after and looked out for. The safety net is there, but it's hard to see because you're too busy having too much fun!
11. The Glorious Randomness Of Solo Travel Opens Up Your Entire World
How many of your favourite nights out weren't supposed to be nights out at all? Planning is overrated, and when you are travelling solo, you have the opportunity to say yes to so many more things that you probably wouldn't in a group of mates. Go with the flow, be loosey-goosey, move to the beat, let shit happen. It will be awesome!
12. You Can Regulate Your Own Downtime
Everyone has their own energy cycle, but it's usually unique to them. As a solo traveller, you can take a pitstop whenever your body is telling you to. Planned to go hike in a National Park but that curry from last night ain't settling right? No dramas, chillout (near a toilet) and go again when you feel up to it physically, emotionally and mentally. No judgey mates if you bail on a big session or hanging around wasting half the day waiting for their hangovers to subside. I need my sleep, otherwise, I'm the antichrist, and no right-minded person willingly wants to hang out with the antichrist.
13. You Can Be The True Master Of Your Budget
You'll do things together with your mates, some of them will be awesome but some of them you actually couldn't be bothered. For me, it's water parks. Water parks drive me nuts, they're shit. Two-thirds of the planet is a waterpark and admission is free. As a solo traveller, I could get a crazy cheap surf lesson or rent a kayak instead of a 40-minute queue to be shot out of a big plastic tube and into a pool that is 14% urine...for the pricey sum of £50. Eat cheap, eat well, buy souvenirs, or just buy shots. Spend your money how you want to, this is your trip.
14. You Won't Have To Wait
Arguably the biggest reason I went to Thailand on my own was that I got fed up of my mates getting their sh*t together. The only thing that ties me down to going somewhere now is getting the time off work, or a fucking virus, not because two of the lads can't make up their minds. There are no guarantees in life, if there's somewhere you simply must see then what are you waiting around for?
15. You'll Become A Hell Of A Storyteller
You are literally upgrading how interesting a person you are when you travel solo. You'll receive this excessive admiration for doing it and sharing stories about your experiences. You'll think them absurd because the penny hasn't dropped for your adoring crowds, they haven't realised yet that this lifestyle is there for everyone.
16. You'll Become An Absolute Instagram Legend
I personally like living the 5 yards in front of my face, BUT if you love a good Instagram then your IG is gonna be so lit, you're friends will hate you.
17. Your Travel Bucket List Will Grow 20x
You'll now be addicted to travelling, and you'll be kicking yourself for not travelling solo sooner. All of a sudden, your mind will be racing with all the weird and wonderful places to visit next. For me, it's Cambodia which I missed the last time, and Colombia because I can almost hear those Latin beats from here.
18. You're Never Alone, You're Solo. There's A Huge Difference
Adventure tours like those we run at TruTravels bring together cool kids from all parts of the world. At first, it's almost a rent-a-friend experience...but then 4 days later you have no idea how you lived without these new friends in your life. Look at this lot, this is a group I spent part of my time in Costa Rica with. Every single one of us arrived as a solo traveller...four years later we're still in touch having had a blast.
You'll Realise That
Travelling, No Travelling Solo, Is One Of The Happiest Times Of Your Entire Life!
I love it. I have never felt more alive than waking up somewhere totally new and different, not knowing what comes next and I don't just mean the next place in the world you're going to see. Every single day as a solo traveller is so rich. Each night you'll hit your pillow, sometimes alone, sometimes with company (wahey!) and know that you'll never forget what has just happened.