“Loving life is easy when you are abroad. Where no one knows you and you hold your life in your hands all alone, you are more master of yourself than at any other time.” – Hannah Arendt
Travel is a marvellous thing. Not only can you explore new places but you can also explore your own mind, especially if you go on your own. There are places you can go to on your todd where you’ll meet loads of new friends and party like mad, if that’s your thing. Otherwise, you can enjoy peace and quiet and room to think.
One of the benefits of travelling solo is that you don’t have to talk to anyone if you don’t feel like it. This is perfect for introverts who tire easily from too much human interaction. You can enjoy destinations in your own bubble of quiet contemplation. For me the major benefit is being able to do what you want to do. Travelling by yourself means you don’t have to follow anyone else’s itinerary. Go where you please, when you please without having to worry about anyone else. As someone who doesn’t even like to go shopping with other people, it’s lovely to only have to please yourself. There are less compromises to be made when you go somewhere on your own.
If you’re happy to stay in a hostel, going it alone means you can benefit from single bed prices. There’s no need to fork out for expensive hotel rooms unless you want to. Girls can enjoy female only accommodation in most hostels. Many around the world boast dedicated girls’ facilities that include home comforts such as fluffy towels and extra mirrors. I’ve stayed in a wide range of hostels in my time from clinical Hostelling International places in the USA with professional quality kitchens, to party hostels and a converted town house in Malaysia where there’s only one dorm room with about 20 beds and lizards in the toilet cubicles. Although some were less than ideal I never really had a problem in any of them, plus the one in Malaysia cost about £3 per night so you can’t really complain!
Another benefit of travelling alone as a woman is that is allows you to feel empowered. It’s like a big two fingers up to anyone who’s ever doubted you or your ability to do anything. When you’ve arrived alone at an airport on the other side of the world, negotiated an Asian toilet, got on a local bus and stepped around a dead rat in the middle of the road, having to get the train to Manchester for a business trip seems like the piece of piss it really is. You don’t need to feel self conscious about eating alone in a restaurant. You don’t need to worry about waiting at the gate to get on a plane without knowing a soul for miles around. Feel free to take your time, enjoy your own company and stop worrying so much about other people. Sometimes it’s good to be selfish.
I’m married now so I’ve got someone who I can share travel experiences with. However, it’s still good to get some alone time and I don’t intend to completely stop solo travel. Hubby doesn’t enjoy just lazing around on a sunbed so I can foresee taking myself off for a long weekend in the sun at some point in the next few years.
Have you been on holiday or travelled on your own? How would you sell it to someone who isn’t sold? Leave a comment below.