When I first told other people that I was going on a trip around the world, the first question I almost ALWAYS heard from people was: “Who with?” When I replied that I travel alone, I remember being peppered with pitying glances, frightened facial expressions, and numerous anxious questions. Yes, I am a woman who travels alone. Voluntarily. And no, I’m not afraid! Here’s why…
Freedom, not loneliness
Travelling alone means having the freedom to be able to change my schedule at a moment’s notice. It means sleeping when I want, exploring when I want, eating when/what I want, and never having to justify myself to someone who’s schedule seems to conflict my own. The only compromises you have to make are led by your own values and norms (or sometimes your wallet).
I believe that many people have different ideas of what travelling really means to them. When I travel alone, I’m not stuck all day bored at a hotel pool on my own, and I don’t go running on my own at night in sketchy unlit neighbourhoods, obvs. When I travel solo, I’m actually rarely alone! I’m constantly learning from wonderful people I come across while I travel, and I actually find it way easier to meet those people on a solo trip.
All it takes is one night in a hostel to connect with fellow travellers. Whether you’re out sightseeing, or bonding over a local beer, there’s always someone new to meet.
Gender shouldn’t be an issue
As you already know, I am a woman, and therefore in some situations I may be more vulnerable than a man would be. However, throughout my travels I have felt safe, and nothing has held me back from new adventures. Joining up with traveller networks and following blogs (like this one) helps me to stay safe and independent by giving me heaps of trustworthy travel advice. For anyone, male or female, the most important thing about travelling is to JUST GET STARTED!
You only have one enemy
If you are travelling alone you have only one real enemy: yourself. We often let self-doubt, tiredness and frustrations creep in, and when travelling solo, that can be hard to bear! I run a lot and have learned that it’s a type of therapy for me. It gives me time to sort out my thoughts and replenish my mind and soul. Figuring this out was worth its weight in gold, and has allowed me to embrace my alone time as something positive.
Treating yourself to some time out to recharge is a powerful thing, and one that you won’t regret.
Love the world
I could go on writing for hours because I am absolutely in love with solo travel! Be brave, let go of those fears, and get started. You will quickly realise how good it is for your soul, and how enriching it is to share the road with people from all over the world.
About the author:
Other posts you may be interested:
- 10 Of The Best Places To Travel Solo
- How travel helped me overcome depression and fall back in love with my life
- 5 unmissable stops for your Iceland roadtrip