Solo travel might seem daunting if you’ve only ever traveled with friends or family. But the truth is, it can also be incredibly liberating and a great opportunity to work on yourself as a person!
I took my first solo trip to Barcelona and Tenerife when I was 20 years old, and have not looked back since.
Solo travel is something I believe everyone should experience and here’s why…
In this article, we’ll cover 10 reasons why solo traveling will make you a better person!
1) You’ll learn about yourself
One of the most effective and important ways to be a better person is to actually get to know yourself inside and out…and solo traveling will help you achieve this!
The truth is, when you’re in a foreign country, all alone, you really only have yourself.
You’re forced to deal with your shortcomings, but at the same time, your strengths shine through. Your perceptions are challenged by the amazing things you’ll encounter on your travels, and you’ll be forced to rethink your mindset and attitude.
I thoroughly believe I learn more about myself in just a week of solo travel than the months spent reading self-development books or taking workshops – it’s a unique experience that everyone should try!
2) Your confidence increases
And as you get to know yourself better, your confidence will naturally increase.
As I mentioned earlier, you’re on your own. You can’t turn to your mom or dad if something goes wrong or if you need to resolve a problem.
Having to do these things alone will force you to get out of your comfort zone.
I’m not going to lie to you – solo travel can be difficult! Especially when you’re tired, hungry, jetlagged, and then find out your hotel double-booked you!
But it’s all these incredible life experiences that’ll help you become a better, more secure person within yourself.
3) You will meet new people
When traveling solo, you’ll find yourself more open to speaking to new people.
The truth is when in a group of friends or family, you’re less likely to gather up the courage and approach someone you don’t know…
And this can hold you back from meeting some amazing people and learning about different cultures!
When you do take the initiative to get to know different people, you’ll realize that despite our different appearances or lifestyles, we’re all pretty much the same.
We all have anxieties, we all seek love, and we all have hopes and aspirations.
This can have a profound impact on you. Not only will it make you a more tolerant, respectful individual, but you’ll learn to shed those unconscious biases most of us have!
4) You’ll learn how to trust your gut instinct
During my first solo trip, a handsome man approached me – turns out we were staying at the same hotel. He asked if I’d like to join him for a coffee…but something didn’t feel right.
I had to make a decision there and then, and I trusted my gut, turned him down and remained cautious throughout the rest of my trip.
I don’t tell you this to scare you, but the more you encounter situations like this, the more you start to realize your inner intuition is guiding you – you simply have to listen to it!
The same when it comes to:
- Exploring different neighborhoods – you might start to get a sense that an area isn’t quite safe or suitable for a solo traveler (especially if you’re a female)
- Being scammed by sellers or guides
- Dodgy bars/unsafe environments
Going through situations like this will help you develop a sense of trust in yourself. As you begin to rely on yourself more, you’ll become a better person due to being more in tune with your body!
5) You’ll become more independent
And talking about relying on yourself, when solo traveling, you will also become more independent!
You’ll start to realize that you don’t need company for everything.
Sure, the first time you eat alone in a restaurant might feel daunting or awkward, but slowly you’ll see how much more present in the moment you are!
For example, I love sitting alone in a cafe and simply observing life passing by, watching how people interact with each other, whilst enjoying my own company.
And once you’ve mastered this abroad, you’ll certainly carry this through to your normal, everyday life! No more depending on others – you can handle yourself.
6) You’ll gain money management skills
If you’ve only ever traveled with family or friends who tend to be the main organizers of the trip, you’ll greatly benefit from solo travel.
It’s one time in your life where YOU get to decide what to prioritize, how to budget, and what to do when the money runs out!
Want my advice?
Set a limit and stick to it. Only break that limit if you’re in an emergency situation. I used to use a prepaid travel card so I wouldn’t be able to spend more than what I loaded the card with – this could be a good option for you too.
But of course, always take a second method of payment for unforeseen emergencies (and get travel insurance!).
7) You’ll learn to become comfortable with your own company
When trying to become a better person, you must get used to being alone.
This can help you in a range of ways; from reflecting on your life to healing past traumas, you can shut out the external influences in life and focus on what your mind and body need.
Not to mention, being comfortable in your own company is like having a superpower!
Since my solo travels, I’ve felt so liberated in the sense that if I want to do something and no one else is free to join me, no problem! I’ll happily go alone and still have a brilliant time.
Essentially, you’ll never have to experience FOMO again!
8) Your appreciation for the world will increase
It’s only natural that when solo traveling, you’ll come across the good, the bad, and the downright sad aspects of the world we live in.
It’ll be a humbling experience that will open your eyes to both:
- The immense beauty of the world, the generosity of people who have nothing, and the kindness of strangers
- The poverty, lack of education, and hardship so many people go through
This will make you a better person because I guarantee you, once you’ve seen how those less fortunate than you live, you’ll go home and appreciate your blessings so much more!
And rather than judge those who you know so little about, you’ll learn to approach people with kindness and compassion, regardless of where they come from.
9) You’ll be able to fully relax
Now, if there’s one thing we all want when we go abroad, it’s a bit of R&R! And guess what?
When you’re solo traveling, you get to decide all the plans!
If you fancy a day on the beach, you can.
If you want to go on an insanely long hike to view the sunset, no one is going to stop you or complain along the way!
And let’s face it, when we get a chance to recharge our batteries, we come back as better people. Less stressed out, and hopefully with a few new insights and perceptions!
I personally love traveling on my own time, waking up, and simply seeing where the day takes me. When traveling with others, there’s a lot of organization and compromise involved, and sometimes, relaxation is left out of the equation!
10) You’ll improve your communication skills
And finally, solo traveling will make you a better person because you’ll be forced to work on your communication skills!
You’ll have to pick up on non-verbal cues, especially if traveling to a country that doesn’t speak your native language.
You’ll be forced to deal with different people, and work out how to make them understand you in return!
These are all valuable skills for when you get back from your trip.
Hopefully, this article has shown you just how amazing and beneficial solo travel can be, especially if you open your mind and fully embrace the experience.
If you’re still feeling on the fence about it, I suggest planning a weekend staycation in your own country to start with. It’ll be less daunting but you’ll get a taste of what it’s like being alone for a couple of days, and from there you can build up to a solo trip abroad!