People who enjoy travelling solo usually have these 8 unique traits

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It has always been one of my greatest pleasures in life to explore places on my own. There’s something incredibly freeing about stepping out alone, backpack or luggage in tow, and leaving everyone else behind. 

But people look at me strangely whenever I say I’m taking a solo trip. Some friends even say, “But why? Doesn’t that feel lonely? Scary?”

Hmm…scary? Sometimes, maybe. Lonely? Nope! 

I’m pretty sure the solo travellers around the world would agree on that. 

See, they (or rather, we) have a set of unique traits that enable us to venture forth and thrive even without company. 

Here are eight traits that make solo travellers a special breed: 

1) Confidence

I’ll start with the most obvious trait all solo travellers share – a certain degree of self-confidence. 

It takes guts to explore a new place all on your own. After all, there’s safety in numbers, as they say. 

Solo travellers have an attitude that they can handle whatever comes up. That they can wing it. 

Don’t get me wrong, though. Solo travellers do get scared sometimes, as I said in the intro. It’s just that they have the confidence to push past those fears and navigate new landscapes just the same. 

I would even go so far as to say that the jitters are part of the thrill! 

However, you don’t get to that level of confidence without this next trait…

2) Self-reliance

Let’s face it, when you’re out there on your own, you’ve only got yourself to rely on. 

From booking flights and accommodations and managing the logistics to figuring out what to do in case a problem comes up, solo travellers handle it all just fine. 

See, there’s no one to take over if you get sleepy driving on a road trip. Or help you figure out the bus or train maps in a foreign city. 

Speaking of maps reminds me of my first solo trip to Singapore. Reading maps is a weakness of mine, so that was one of my biggest concerns. 

As scared as I felt, I knew I had to conquer that weakness if I wanted my trip to go smoothly. 

Fortunately, the city’s transport system was easy to figure out (that’s one of the reasons why I chose Singapore for my first solo trip – everything’s easy and safe, perfect for first-time solo travellers!). 

That shored up my confidence even more and made it easy for me to be independent

The bottom line is that when there’s no one around to be your support system, you’ll just have to do it all yourself. 

Which brings me to my next point…

3) Adaptability

When something goes wrong, do solo travellers slump down on their hotel bed and weep? 

No. They have to come up with on-the-spot solutions to problems. They have to, otherwise their trip would be a nightmare! 

Imagine losing your wallet. Or missing a train in a strange place. Or finding out that the hotel overbooked and now you don’t have a place to stay. 

Like I said, nightmare. 

Fortunately, solo travellers are flexible. When their best-laid plans go awry, they’re quick to change tactics and do something else instead. 

If it rains on their beach day, they go check out a local museum. 

Language barrier? They’ll use a translation app or some other way to communicate. 

For example, in Singapore, I got on a bus to check out a museum. Unfortunately, with the country being a right-hand drive one, I messed up my directions (told ya I’m bad at that). 

Long story short, I found myself on the other side of the city! 

But you know what? I decided to go with the flow and check out that other side. 

And wow, was I glad I got lost – I discovered this lovely area that had different places of worship practically beside one another. A true testament to Singapore’s harmoniously diverse culture. 

It ended up being one of the highlights of my trip! 

If you’re planning a solo trip, remember this – if you know how to adapt and go with the flow, you’ll discover new things instead of getting stressed! 

4) Resourcefulness

This is closely connected to adaptability. Like I mentioned earlier, travelling poses a lot of changes and challenges

Solo travelling takes all of that to another level. Simply because you’ve got no one else to make the ride easier. 

That’s why solo travellers have a huge streak of resourcefulness. They know how to make the best of what they have and make it work. 

And you know what? That resourcefulness extends to all other aspects of travelling. 

For instance, it gives them a knack for finding the best street food. The secret beaches that other tourists don’t know about. The little hole-in-the-wall establishments that showcase the culture better. 

All because they’ve got the skills to dig a little deeper and find the paths less trodden.

5) Level-headedness

Being flexible and resourceful requires a certain level-headedness, and that’s something solo travellers have heaps of. 

Think about it – you can’t fall apart whenever an unexpected situation arises, right? 

The minute you decide to travel alone, you should understand the importance of staying calm. Of keeping your cool and analyzing a situation instead of freaking out. 

When you can do that, it’s easier to handle whatever kinks come up and ruin your plans. 

6) Open-mindedness

Just as it’s important to have a level head on your shoulders, it’s also essential to keep an open mind. 

That’s another trait of people who love to travel solo. After all, an open mind provides the impetus for travelling, doesn’t it? You want to explore places and soak up as much of the local culture as you can. 

So, when solo travellers encounter something completely foreign to their way of life, they won’t be judgmental and say, “Oh yuck, that’s weird…”

Being open to local practices shows respect for the culture and the people. You stand a better chance of connecting and truly learning what makes the particular place and people you’re visiting special. 

For me, this is one of the most satisfying parts of solo travelling – I step out with a sense of adventure, and I always come home a different version of myself! 

7) Intuitiveness

Alright, so we’ve pretty much covered how solo travellers have a fly-by-the-seat of your pants ability and a sense of adventure. 

But they also have another trait to keep them safe on the road: a keen sense of intuition. 

I can’t emphasize this enough – when you’re on your own, you need good instincts. 

You’ve got to have a sixth sense that kicks in when you’re in an unfamiliar place. And you’ve got to know how to listen to it.

After all, not every local who approaches you means to be helpful. Not every road less trodden is safe, especially for women. 

8) Being comfortable alone

Finally, solo travelers are at ease with their own company. This should be pretty obvious, but surprisingly, not everyone who steps out solo ends up enjoying it. 

I know people who’ve gone on solo trips and come back saying, “I probably won’t do it again. I was so lonely!”

But for the people who successfully travel alone, this trait is crucial. They love the space to be themselves, to not have to fall in line and stick to the itinerary other people have planned. 

Personally, what I love about it is the freedom. Sure, I might not have someone to crack jokes with or share a bowl of tom yum with, but that’s okay, I have a journal for that. (I even sketch the food I eat on my solo trips.) 

I love being able to stroll and take my time. I enjoy the chance for self-reflection and for following my own train of thoughts to the very end without anyone interrupting. 

That’s something I’m sure every solo traveller can relate to. 

Final thoughts

Solo travelling is not for the faint-hearted, that’s for sure. But I truly believe that it will do anyone a world of good. 

For starters, it will help you get to know yourself more and boost your confidence. It will sharpen your instincts and train you to be more independent. 

Best of all, you can meet new people and have fresh experiences on your own terms, in your own time. There’s no one around to tell you what to do – you’re in charge of your schedule and every other decision. 

Now that’s a vacation well-spent!

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