My European adventures pretty much ended with my trips to the theater in London. After that it was time for me to return home. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I had first set out on my journey – all I knew was that I was terrified, and sad, I was doing it alone. By the end of my trip, however, I was so glad I did it by myself and regretted absolutely nothing about my choice to travel alone.
Here’s why you should travel alone:
You’re in charge!
On a purely selfish level, the only person you need to satisfy is yourself. That means you get to do whatever you want, whenever you want. You decide the itinerary. You decide the countries you go to, the cities, the places. Your interests are what will determine the trip. You don’t have to do anything or go anywhere you don’t want. There’s no arguing over the places you’ll visit, the things you’ll do, and you won’t feel like you’re being dragged around to things you don’t really want to see.
And this is awesome! It is the absolute best being able to plan your day around exactly what you want to do without having to take into account what somebody else wants too. I loved being the master of my own trip. I want to do this today, so that’s what I’m going to do. No discussion. If I wanted to have a lazy day, then I could have a lazy day without feeling guilty about ruining somebody else’s plans. Travelling alone means getting to plan your perfect trip.
You grow as a person!
I don’t care if you’re the most confident person in the world, doing anything alone requires gut. Travelling alone requires tenfold gut. There are a lot of things that can go wrong, and being completely alone in a brand new country can make you feel very, very small. But don’t let this dissuade you. Trust me when I say that the fear is worth it. I can be a very nervous person, and it took some time before I ventured away from the thought that being alone = being a loser. It doesn’t! In fact, I got so many compliments and expressions of awe from people about me travelling alone. Everyone I met who wasn’t alone themselves thought I was the bravest person in the world and wished they could be that brave and do what I was doing. You’re not a loser if you travel alone. You’re a hero.
After getting through everything I got through travelling alone, whether it was missed train connections, creepy guys being creepy, the fear of being stranded in some random Italian or English city, I now feel like there’s nothing I can’t handle. I became so much more confident during this trip because I was doing it alone. I was doing it alone and I was kicking ass at it. I never stopped smiling once. My trip made me happier than I had been in years, and that happiness was brought home with me and catapulted my life into sunshine and rainbows. I transformed myself and I grew and I found myself. It was a coming of age to blight out all coming of ages. I guarantee that if you do anything like this, then you will find out things about yourself that you never dreamed possible, and you will come out as someone who knows exactly who they are.
You meet a ton of people!
Granted, you’re probably going to meet people regardless of your travel situation. But it means so much more meeting people when you’re travelling alone. Especially if those people are also travelling alone. This isn’t because you’re lonely and desperate for human interaction. No, you just become much more open to the idea of meeting new people. You’ll swap travel stories, you’ll do a couple of things together, and you’ll bond instantly. It’s great. I met some really awesome people when I was travelling, no doubt some of the nicest people I’ve ever just randomly met doing this or that.
So really, you’re never truly alone. In fact, you’re surrounded by potential new friends. Be open to that. It’s part of the experience. As long as you don’t let it deter you from your trip and the reasons behind you’re being alone, meet away!
Travelling alone is an amazing experience and I’m so happy that I got to do it. I’m certainly not opposed to travelling with other people, and in fact I’d really like to experience that as well, because I have no doubt that it would be a vastly different, but still wonderful, experience. There are three ways to travel, in my opinion. Travelling alone, travelling with friends, and travelling with your significant other. I think that all three would be very different experiences and I hope I get the chance to try them all. I’ve nailed travelling alone. Next up: friends and boyfriend!
I think that everyone should take some time to travel alone. You get to see the world, you get to do what you want, and you get to learn things about yourself you may not have known before. If you’re looking to come into your own, then travelling alone is a pretty great, and fast, way to do it. You’d be surprised by how quickly you get the hang of it.
My last words of advice about travelling alone are these:
Be safe. Travel light. Have fun.
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