Did you ever ask yourself “should I travel alone or with somebody else?”
I did! I traveled solo in Asia for 10 months. Before leaving on this trip I looked at a lot (I really mean a lot) of forums. What was I looking for? Well I wasn’t looking for tips or information… I was looking for people who had the same plans as me and could be a potential travel companion.
After searching for a while I started to question my reasons to search for a travel companion. I realized that my urge to find a travel partner was driven by fear! Fear of traveling alone! That’s why I was so determined to find a travel companion.
I can imagine you might be afraid to travel alone. Especially if you have never traveled alone before! And it is a really big step to do this! It is something that is not very common in our western society. I made the choice to travel alone and I never regretted it!
Looking back at my 10 months in Asia I am very glad I traveled alone. Traveling alone gives you a lot of opportunities to develop yourself and your personal skills. It changed me in a lot of ways, all of them positive. If you like you can also check out The Aussie Nomad. He wrote a great article about why solo travel should be compulsory.
If you are still doubting about traveling alone… Here are 10 great reasons to travel alone (you can leave a comment down below and share your thoughts or reasons!):
1. You will become a better decision maker
When you are traveling alone you have to make you own decisions. It’s as simple as that. Nobody tells you where to go and what to do next. It’s completely up to you. If you want to travel to a remote area or maybe even a dangerous area, you make the decisions! My decision-makings skills weren’t very good when I left for my big solo travel. Now after 1,5 year they improved so much and it’s much easier for me to make decisions in every aspect of my life.
2. You will become more assertive
If you are alone and you want to meet other people you have to take initiative yourself! If you don’t start conversations with other travelers or locals you will probably end up being alone all the time. Solo travel forces you to get rid of your barriers and start talking to people you never met before. For me it was big step! But once you get used to it is surprisingly easy.
Also you will learn to deal with touts or other problems. Sometimes there is nobody around to help you. You have to step up
yourself, ventilate your opinion in an assertive way (never aggressive of course) and guard your personal boundaries. I must admit I was a little bit shy before my first travel in Asia. If I compare the person I am now to the person I was before I notice that I became so much more assertive.
3. You will meet a lot of different people
And yes you will! Nobody wants to be alone all the time. It’s in human nature to search for company and hang out with like-minded people. If you got a travel companion you are more likely to stick together. Travel companions from a non-English speaking country probably speak the same language with each other. This is barrier for meeting people. Traveling alone makes it so much easier to meet people. You’ll be more open to contact with other travelers and locals. And people will notice it! I met so many great people on my travel in Asia. A lot of them are still really good friends!
4. It is an opportunity to travel independently and experience total freedom
You are independent! There is nobody to take care of except you… You can do whatever you want to do and go wherever you want to go.
5. If you do feel lonely you can find people to travel with
Traveling alone is great. But sometimes it also feels a little bit lonely and you need some company. Good news! It is so easy to hook up with people and travel together for a few days or weeks. Usually there are no obligations from both sides. If you feel like traveling alone again you just say goodbye and go your own way again.
6. You don’t have to compromise your travel plans
Traveling with somebody usually means you have to discuss where to go, what to see and what to do. This could mean you have to add a little of water to the wine when it comes to your travel plans. If you’re traveling alone you don’t have to compromise anything and you completely follow your own plans.
7. It offers great flexibility
Need to change your travel plans suddenly. No problem! The only one you’ll have to discuss with is yourself. It’s completely up to you if you want to change your travel plans. I remember my time in Asia. I was planning to go to Indonesia but ended up going to the Philippines.
8. You are more likely to mix up with the locals and experience their culture
Traveling together can be a barrier for mixing with locals. You stick together and are less approachable. If you travel alone and have an open mindset, you will be more approachable for locals. I had some great experiences with local inviting me in to their home for dinner!
9. It forces you to tackle that language barrier
What I noticed in Asia is that people traveling together or in groups usually stick to their own native language (non English speaking countries). This makes it much harder to mix up with other travelers and locals. The common language among travelers is English. Sticking with you own language creates a big barrier. If you are alone you can’t hide behind your native language. For example: my native language is Dutch. If I would speak Dutch all the time nobody would understand me. I am forced to speak another language. And if you want to mix up with locals you even sometimes have to learn a bit of the local language. Which is great of course!
10. You will learn a lot about yourself as an individual
Traveling alone means you will have a lot of time to think about yourself. It is a great opportunity to reflect. When I was in China I was in a little place called Songpan. It was winter and there were no foreigners. I was sitting in my unheated room… all alone. But somehow I really liked it and I took the time to reflect on myself, the decisions I made and my feelings and thoughts. I used my reflections to make profound and positive changes in my life.
I hope you liked my 10 reasons to traveling alone. I my opinion traveling alone is a great opportunity to get to know yourself, find out what you want and develop your personal skills! So if you still have doubts about traveling alone or you can’t find a travel companion, just go! The (inner) journey will be so rewarding!
Did you ever travel alone? What is your reason?