Solo Travel Benefits, Advice & Inspiration
Embarking On a Solo Travel Adventure
If you’re debating taking a big trip on your own, I’m super excited for you and want to tell you that there are so many benefits of solo travel, some of which you probably haven’t thought of!
Many people quickly discount the option of traveling alone, claiming it would be too lonely or they’d be nervous. If you’re one of these people, keep reading—I might just change your mind.
Traveling by yourself is an experience that will leave you yearning for more. It takes a little faith and ambition, but I promise you it’s worth it.
Why & How We Ususally Travel
Before discussing solo travel specifically, we need to be aware of why we travel in the first place.
People want to feel refreshed, rejuvenated, or changed in some way. Taking time to explore new surroundings, breaking away from a routine, or immersing oneself in a foreign culture are a few examples of how this can be accomplished.
These activities don’t truly require companionship, but it’s understandable why travelers prefer to bring a buddy. We are social creatures, after all.
Companionship also makes some aspects of travel easier and comforting. Family and friends are familiar to us. Many people plan group travel specifically for the purpose of bonding, too.
Traveling with others though, is only one way to do things. Breaking through any feelings of intimidation or insecurity to embark on a solo journey helps to unlock a special set of benefits.
The Benefits of Solo Travel
Experiencing new surroundings without any familiar items or people within reach is actually quite transformative.
When everything you know is removed from sight (sometimes even your mobile phone), in a completely new environment, something special happens.
Your mind will no longer revert to common thoughts associated with people you know or routines you are used to. In these instances, your spirit has the chance to be completely free and open to things.
One moment while traveling alone though India always stands out to me.
I stood on my hotel rooftop at sunrise and calmly listened to the traffic buzzing softly below while staring at the sea of buildings around me. Breathing the warm morning air in an unbelievably peaceful moment felt revitalizing.
It was a moment I will never forget, and the freeing feeling I experienced is exactly what I try to convey when encouraging someone to travel solo.
Another benefit of traveling alone is that you have full control to make any spontaneous decisions you want!
There is also freedom in not having to achieve consensus. No decisions or compromises about what to eat, where to stay, or the day’s itinerary.
You make your own decisions and can enjoy complete independence. Choices can be made at the drop of a hat and you are able to move at your own pace.
With all that independence, you’ll surely become more resourceful, too!
Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone
With more time to yourself, more opportunities arise to talk with new people and make new friends. While traveling with friends, we can be closed-off or less motivated to engage in conversations with other travelers or even complete strangers.
Naturally, when you are alone, you will desire some sort of human interaction. Your curiosity will motivate you to strike up conversations. Plus, there are so many great ways to meet other solo travelers.
It’ll be fun to ask others questions about their travels, share travel advice, and learn about other people’s lives.
This might feel uncomfortable at first if you’re more introverted, but starting these interactions eventually becomes second nature.
It’s a skill that will help you avoid boredom while traveling and benefit you even after you return home.
Advice for Traveling Alone
Now that you’re acquainted with the solo travel fundamentals, it’s important to note a few things that can help you get the most out of your experience. Most important is the impact of the destinations you choose to visit.
For example, I’d suggest visiting an area of the world that speaks a completely foreign language for those who want to go all-in for the maximum experience.
For something a little tamer (which is always best for newbies), pick a part of the world where you’d be able to get by with your native language and where the surroundings feel more familiar.
Secondly, I recommend to avoid traveling to places that are group-oriented. Family-vacation or honeymoon destinations aren’t the easiest places to detach or make friends.
Booking hostels is always a great idea. Staying in an accommodation with some common areas will ensure you’re never far from other solo travelers. As you can imagine, staying in a standard hotel is an easy way to feel isolated.
You’d be surprised how quickly you can make great friends in a hostel over the course of a week!
Remember that many hostels offer private rooms. You don’t need to get yourself into a bunk bed/shared room situation.
The Benefits of Solo Travel Take Time
With proper planning, your solo travel adventure should spark something special within you, whether it be freedom, curiosity, or simple joy.
However, not all travelers experience this right away. Some go through a period of feeling lost or unmotivated. And if that happens, it’s important to keep trying your best to find the positives in your journey.
My Solo Travel Destination Recommendations
For some initial ideas of where to travel solo, wolfyy’s top destinations for single gay travelers will be helpful. (It won’t make much difference whether you’re “single” or “solo.”
Before heading out on your adventure, be sure you’ve got all the on-the-go travel essentials.
Next, read my tips for how to save money on Airbnb.
For more inspiration, browse wolfyy’s full collection of gay travel guides.