The one big secret nobody will tell you about solo travel –Hint: It’s not what you’d expect
“Dude, by yourself?”
“Yes, I’m going to solo travel.”
“Wait, but… How are you doing that?”
“Well, I’m going to book a flight, climb on the plane, and leave, by myself.”
*looks of confusion*
By now, this conversation has occurred on what feels like hundreds of times when asked about leaving to solo travel with no return booked. This is unbelievably common for so many people.
What is it about the thought of traveling all on your own that has people so freaked out?
It seems that the thought of reaching out into the world to experience a few months, or longer, of backpacking is hugely inspiring, exciting and normal …if you’re going with a travel buddy or a group.
But to go by yourself? You must be mad.
Whilst solo travel is experienced by so many different people throughout the world, men and women alike, it seems it’s incredibly difficult for people to get their head around why you would want to travel alone. From traveling solo to remote beaches in the Phillipines to discovering distractions while you travel, it can all be a fun and new experience.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve been on a solo-trip and what it felt like for you, what was the biggest takeaway you got from it? Also, let me know if you are planning a trip, solo or not and where you are going.
Why solo travel?
For me personally, the thought of traveling solo has only been something I’ve recently come to desire; I call it The Wanderlust Effect. Through a combination of wonderful, personal experiences and some truly terrible ones which I talk about in this post, I decided that I wanted to travel, but for a number of reasons, I didn’t want to do it with other people.
What made me decide to do it by myself?
This got summed up very well by one of my close friends Fran, who recently walked from the top of Spain to the bottom, by herself, in a month.
We were chatting about travel and what it can do for your perspective and got onto the topic of whether travelling alone or with other people is better.
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Travelling with other people can be annoying
One thing we both agreed on is whilst travelling with other people, your personalities can clash. Often you’ll want to do different things and that can be hard when you want to focus. It’s tough if you’re running an online business on the road, for full time working nomads, it is near impossible to spread yourself between group activities (usually involving excessive alcohol consumption) and running your online business.
People just don’t get it when you have to work
Solo travel can be very appealing for people, like me, who are travelling and working. If you’re running your own Lifestyle Business from the road it can be hard having other people around who aren’t in the same boat.
They just aren’t interested in helping you run your business, and honestly, why should they be? They aren’t a paid member of your team and for them, they’re in holiday mode, which is awesome!
You can focus on your schedule and priorities
Don’t want to go to the pub every night and instead wake up early and go for a jog? Sure. When you’re travelling with somebody else or a group you’re always focused on what makes everyone happy.
Sometimes, it’s ok to be selfish.
Travelling solo lets you focus on what you want to do, when you want to do it and at what pace. Take my recent trip to Split, Croatia for example. I was there for two weeks, in which time I explored Hvar; a local island, an hour’s ferry ride for a few days. But, other than that I mostly stayed in Split. I relaxed, did a small amount of sightseeing but overall focused on my business.
I know if I had have done the trip with anybody else it would have been different. No doubt I’d have been up and down Croatia, exploring Dubrovnik, hiring boats and seeing the islands. All of which would have been amazing but would I have got a lot done work wise? Probably not.
It’s all about what’s important to you but going solo means you can focus on just that – what you truly want.
The one big secret that nobody will tell you…
Now, here’s the kicker. From everyone who has solo travelled you will hear all the good stuff. Tales of adventures, meeting strangers and becoming the best of friends, unplanned trips and experiences and that time you met a dude in Columbia that lived a door down from you in the UK.
But, here’s what they don’t tell you:
Solo travel is lonely.
*World’s smallest violin starts playing*
Okay, okay this isn’t a cry for help or me looking for sympathy but it’s the truth.
When you solo travel, you are going to feel alone
It sounds negative but let me tell you… this is actually one of the most positive things that can happen to you in your whole life.
By being alone, by missing loved ones, by wanting to share what you discover with other people you will learn how to be alone. By learning how to be happy or even to just accepting the loneliness and how to deal with it, it can help you grow immeasurably as a person.
For me, it’s been about opening my eyes and being more thoughtful, less selfish and focussing on others before myself. Being alone helps you connect with others and connect with yourself in a way that just isn’t possible when you’re surrounded by your friends and family in your comfort zone.
I challenge you to discover a new you, learn more about yourself than you ever thought was possible, and be brave. Step outside your comfort zone and discover why learning how to be alone can teach you how to accept, forgive and truly give.