Many women are intimidated by the idea of female solo travel. There is a perception that traveling alone can be uncomfortable, lonely or maybe even dangerous.
There are a lot of fears swirling around but those who have tried it themselves know the truth: solo travel can actually be incredibly rewarding, fun and empowering. Everyone should give solo travel a chance at least once in their life. Here are five compelling reasons why:
You Are in the Driver’s Seat
Nothing is more frustrating than desperately wanting to visit somewhere new but being unable to find anyone to come along. Well, if you make the decision to travel solo, you and only you are in total control of your destination. No need to compromise with a travel companion. Want to backpack through Germany? Go hang gliding in Costa Rica? Take a luxury shopping trip to New York? It’s your choice completely. This is your opportunity to take the trip of your dreams.
Quality Time With Yourself
Many people dislike being alone; but, once you settle into a comfortable rhythm, traveling alone is an excellent way to truly get to know yourself. How do you behave when you have nobody else to answer to? Do you prefer to wake up early and see all the sights or sleep in and eat a leisurely breakfast? Spoil yourself and travel in the style you prefer.
You can actually practice this at home. Take yourself out to dinner sometime—just you, no companion. It may feel strange at first, but getting comfortable being alone is such a useful life skill.
Make New Friends
It may seem counterintuitive, but traveling alone is one of the easiest ways to meet other travelers. Solo travelers are much more approachable than couples or groups. If you stay in a hostel, you will quickly learn that you’re only as alone as you want to be. There are many other solo and group travelers out there who will quickly embrace a new friend in a strange place. You may find yourself eating sushi with a handsome stranger or bar hopping in Rome with a passel of new friends.
Even if you don’t stay in a hostel, it’s much easier to make connections with locals and other travelers as a solo traveler. Use sites like CouchSurfing to connect with people at your destination.
Yes, solo travel can be scary. Part of the reason it’s so important to give it a try is because it is scary. There’s something so rewarding about putting yourself out there in the world, even if you’re intimidated. The sink or swim atmosphere of travel forces you to push your limits and you may be surprised with what you learn about yourself.
Learn What You Are Really Capable Of
The most important reason to travel solo is the immense sense of accomplishment and achievement you will feel afterward. Not only will you make new friends and self-discoveries, you will learn valuable life skills. Navigating twisted streets in a foreign country, surviving an over night bus ride or trying an unidentifiable new food are not just unforgettable experiences, they are life lessons. When you succeed in traveling alone (and maybe even enjoy it) you will feel like you can literally conquer the world.