If you were to ask my 20-something self to book myself a plane ticket and go exploring the world or a destination on my own, she’d have probably rejected the idea. Now that I’m in my (late) 30s, I’ve come to the realisation that solo travelling is a must, at least once in our lives. It may be daunting to some – the idea of traversing around an unknown country alone – but seeing the world and experiencing things on your own will give a sense of fulfilment that no group travel can bring.
Don’t get me wrong, travelling with family and friends is something I do every year, and never want to give up. Because in the company of my loved ones, I’ve been able to make unforgettable memories and share tear-inducing laughter. But when travelling with a partner or group, you end up compromising a lot, which is something solo travelling won’t do.
When jetting off on your own, you can set out with an intention and come back feeling like you’ve accomplished something. Think Angela Bassett in How Stella Got Her Groove Back. Here are a few reasons why solo travelling should be on your bucket list and why your best travelling partner is you.
You’re less likely to be stressed
One of the things, if not the only that stresses me out the most about group trips, is the planning. Getting everyone on the same page is truly a challenge in itself. For someone who’s incredibly impatient, I’m put to the test. From nailing a date and getting everyone to apply their time off from work on time to agree on how to get to the airport — you can scratch all this off your pre-holiday to-do list.
You choose your destination
Need I say more? You can go anywhere you like without having to think of others. Another stressful part of group travelling is deciding on a destination. With so many people having needs, you’d have to consider each one, making the choosing process more frustrating than fun. But travelling on your own means you don’t have to worry about whether it’s kid-friendly or beach front-facing because it’s just you.
Catch up doing nothing
And that’s okay! Because if you’re solo travelling, you don’t have to worry about filling up the itinerary with a tiring amount of things to do so that everyone won’t get bored. On your solo holiday, you can choose to be bored and take that well-deserved afternoon nap after enjoying a buffet spread for lunch.
Rest without feeling guilty
You’re in complete control of how you choose to fill up your time. You can finish that book you’ve been meaning to, you can tune out and watch the rest of Squid Game on Netflix without anyone rushing you to do something, and you can turn in early for the night without seeming like a party pooper.
You get to meet new people
When visiting another country, being with a familiar group of people tends to keep you in a bubble, which is understandable because you stick to who you know, right? But there’s a downside to that too. When travelling solo, you’ll come across the chance to meet some new people, which may lead to new experiences and ones that you’d never expect to have when planning a vacation. This may seem like no big deal, but it’s often the ‘no-big-deal’ moments that end up being memorable.
You take complete responsibility for yourself
Travelling alone means having no choice but to truly rely on yourself. While it may sound a little daunting, it also helps you alert all your senses to keep yourself safe. Learning about your strengths and weaknesses helps build self-awareness, which is always essential.
Inspiration comes unexpectedly
Sometimes, when you’re so consumed with your busy surroundings and the chatter of others, it’s often difficult to find inspiration to finish up that professional or passion project you’ve been working on. With plenty of downtime on by yourself, you’ll find that inspiration will come and be motivated to wrap things up or even get started!
There are so many benefits that come with solo travelling, but ultimately, it gives you a chance to immerse yourself in the people and culture of any destination. It’s also a learning opportunity for you to get to know yourself even better. Like everything else in life, there are pros and cons to everything – for example, when travelling alone, you’ll have no one to share unforgettable moments in real-time with, but hey, there are always photos, right? Whatever it is, I’d encourage doing this at least once in your life.