The thought of travelling alone can be a daunting one, but while it might seem like a high-risk endeavour, the rewards of taking a solo trip are immeasurable. The best thing about travelling alone is the people you’ll meet and lessons you’ll learn along the way. Here are my top 7 things you’ll learn as a solo traveller:
- You Can Be Your Best Companion.
Travelling alone can seem intimidating. Before I flew to Bangkok, I was overwhelmed at the thought of being in a new city with no friends and no idea where to begin. After a few days of meeting people and tagging along on journeys, I craved the opportunity to be in my own company. Don’t underestimate the power of your relationship with yourself when you travel. There’s nothing better than stumbling upon a hidden gem and enjoying it all on your own.
- You’re the Master of Your Trip – Do the Things You Want to Do.
When you’re backpacking a popular route, like that in South East Asia, you’ll meet many others who are heading the same way as you, As much as you might want to follow along with your new friends, remember that your pace is just that: yours. Don’t compromise your experience or jeopardize your time for the sake of others. Stick to what you want to do!
- Your Body Will Let You Know When it’s Time to Rest.
My most challenging quality when I’m travelling is my mile-a-minute need to be occupied everyday, whether I’m exhausted or not. It wasn’t until a nasty sinus infection and crippling arthritis flare-up following my Australia trip that I realized my body was demanding that I slow down. You’ll learn quickly how to listen to your body and give it the rest it needs without feeling bad about it. We’re only human!
- Your Openness to New People and Experiences Will Make Your Journey.
Not everyone is a natural extrovert, however being a ‘yes’ man is essential if you’re going solo. Throughout your journey you will undoubtedly have many opportunities to jump into adventures with fellow travellers. Say yes! You won’t regret exploring a new place with potential new friends, but you will regret any missed opportunities from saying ‘no’.
- It’s Ok to Feel a Little Lonely.
I’ll admit that sometimes while travelling I felt the sting of being alone. Whether it’s eating breakfast in a bustling hostel by your lonesome or wandering the market-lined streets without a shopping buddy, sometimes you’ll wish you had a pal to share it with. Don’t fret – these feelings are fleeting and easily remedied, but all too common in solo travellers. Embrace it, but don’t dwell and you’ll make it through.
- Your Attitude Will Get You Through the Inevitable Mishaps.
One of the most important things I learnt about myself while travelling is that my attitude greatly affected my experiences, both good and bad. If a journey is going horribly wrong (i.e. my hellish bus ride from Chiang Ma to Luang Prabang), it will only be made worse if you don’t manage your outlook on the situation. Know what you’re getting yourself into and if you think a bad experience will ruin your time, opt for an alternative that could give you a better outcome (i.e. avoiding the bus from Vientiane to Hanoi and fly instead).
- You Can Do It!
Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, adventurer or relaxer, young or old, you can travel solo. I know it might seem daunting, scary, intimidating and more, but the people you meet and the things you see when you travel on your own are worth jumping out of your comfort zone and into the unknown. Take it from me – I did it!