SIX & THE CITY TRAVEL BLOG
5 Reasons You Need to Take a Solo Travel Adventure
Solo travel, and especially solo travel for women, is not a new concept. However, in recent years, I’ve noticed this trend has exploded. I started traveling solo decades ago, and this new pursuit to discover who you are while exploring uncharted territory, makes my soul genuinely happy. Have you taken a solo trip yet? If not, I’m here to convince you that you need to begin planning one right now.
I love the freedom of committing only to myself when I travel solo. Controlling my destiny (and my travel itinerary) has always been important to me. I find it rewarding to be left with my own thoughts, so I can focus on what feels good while bypassing the things that don’t. If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience this sensation yet, I highly suggest you do. I promise it will be truly life-changing.
Here are five reasons you need to take at least one solo travel adventure (and hopefully this blog post will inspire you to take many more than that)!
1. Experience an Unparalleled Sense of Freedom
When you embark on a solo travel adventure, you experience an unparalleled sense of freedom. The rush I get when landing totally alone in a new destination is indescribable. It’s just you and the adventure that lies ahead, with nothing standing in between. Solo travel is the most selfless form of selfishness.
In life, we usually have so many people to answer to. Traveling solo allows us to temporarily put those responsibilities aside and just live. That freedom means there are absolutely no restrictions. I thrive off of this, and I think you know deep down that you can too.
2. Build Your Self-Confidence
Solo travel is all about your attitude. Go into a solo travel adventure with minimum expectations. Be open to all the possibilities that lie before you. It is as much an opportunity to explore a destination as it is an opportunity to explore your true self. I revel in the sounds of silence, and much prefer to tune out the noise around me. When you travel solo, you have no choice but to listen to those inner thoughts we so often brush aside. You can finally connect with yourself in a way that we never get to do otherwise in our busy lives.
The result is an incredible level of self-confidence. Did you know this was within you all along? Sitting down in a restaurant to enjoy a delicious meal completely alone, asking strangers for directions, or befriending locals for recommendations in a completely foreign place builds your self-confidence. You have no choice but to look inside and break out of that shell. I know you will love the person that you see developing when you look in the mirror. The level of personal growth that happens simply from spending time completely alone in a new place will make you want to keep coming back for more. Solo travel is addicting, I swear!
“What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us. And when we carry what lies within us out into the world, miracles happen.” – Henry David Thoreau
3. Control Your Own Path
I consider myself a social loner. I prefer to travel completely alone than with friends or in a group of people. I will just say it, I do not like to compromise. When you travel solo, everything, and I mean everything, is in your own hands. That sense of independence does wonders for the soul. You alone have control over your finances, your itinerary, and your daily routine. No one forces you to be somewhere at a specific time or participate in an activity you could really do without. No one judges you for what you spend (or do not spend).
I personally love staying in luxury hotels during my solo travels. I just naturally gravitate toward hotels that have high levels of service, especially when I’m alone. Knowing I can call the concierge at any time for great tips put me at ease. I always feel like the hotel staff are looking out for me as a solo female traveler.
I normally do not land in a destination with a pre-planned list of attractions or a detailed itinerary. I much prefer to use concierges or locals I meet in each destination to do my planning. I’ll never forget my first stay at The Ritz-Carlton in Doha when I was 27 years old. I went down to the lobby the day after I arrived to ask the concierge what amazing activity he could recommend for that day. There was a fishing tour on the Persian Ocean scheduled, and I jumped on board. It ended up that there were around 100 U.S. military members on the tour, with only about five female soldiers and myself. I continued encountering them over the six weeks of my stay and even joined a few for jet skiing and various nightlife activities. They were all super caring and kind. Without that concierge, I would have never planned a fishing boat trip during my stay.
4. Explore Outside Your Comfort Zone
I truly believe that fear holds most people back from solo travel. I find this especially true when speaking with other women. Many will say they are afraid to travel alone for their safety. I have been traveling solo for decades, and as long as you always have your wits about you, I honestly feel like there is no difference between solo traveling and living your regular life. If you’re smart and use common sense, you really have nothing to fear. The energy and etiquette you put into the universe is what you will receive back from it.
Going outside of your comfort zone is about pushing yourself to do things that are uncomfortable and perhaps even scary. I encourage you to pursue solo travel activities you would never dream of doing in your ordinary life. I like to avoid the crowds and experience the outdoors. Some of my absolute favorite experiences have been diving, swimming, and yachting in exotic beach destinations. Paragliding in the Alps was also one of my favorite highlights. I prefer to wander the streets of every city I visit than spend time indoors at museums or touristy exhibits. I also like to immerse myself in the local culture by visiting the best restaurants and nightlife spots. Whatever you do when you travel solo, do something you’ve never done before. These adventures will become memories that truly last a lifetime.
5. See More of the World
You’re nimbler when alone. Solo travel plans can be so simple to coordinate as you have the flexibility to pick up at any time day or night and change locales. (Plus, you can get some of the best travel deals when you’re going somewhere last-minute!) That thrill of spontaneity is undeniable. Unlike group travel, solo travel means you set your own pace. The ability you have to spend as much or as little time as your heart desires in each place makes it much easier to explore more of the world. There have been destinations I’ve spent months exploring solo, and others just a few days to get a taste and pass through. In all senses of the word, solo travel is truly a privilege.
“Alone time is when I distance myself from the voices of the world so I can hear my own.” – Oprah Winfrey
It’s time for you to stop thinking about traveling solo and start doing it. Here’s how I started. I can guarantee it will be one of the most freeing and rewarding experiences you will ever have. Are you ready for your next solo travel adventure? Let me know in the comments section or share your thoughts on my Instagram.