How I started to love traveling alone
I remember those days when I would call up all my friends and excitedly talk travel plans. The only question asked was "Where to next?" And we were so free that all we needed to finalize were travel arrangements and packing our bags. I remember when everyone would actually go on the trip. Oh, how times have changed — for me at least. With each passing year, this has become more of a distant memory as my priorities, as well as those of my longtime travel companions, have shifted significantly. Many of us now have spouses, families, demanding careers and actual budgets. It can be frustrating to get excited about pending travel plans only to have people dropping out at the last minute. This usually results in the remaining group nixing plans altogether due to lack of motivation and unanticipated increased shared costsThere is a lot of world to see. Many of us have a bucket list of places we want to see and things we want to do. It can soon feel as though you are missing out on countless travel experiences while waiting for everyone you made plans with to get their acts together. I, too, am guilty of getting bogged down with family and work life, making for very little travel time. Never in a million years would I have even considered traveling alone in the past, but now I wholeheartedly embrace it. It would be a shame to look back later in life, realizing that you left so much to be desired and having no one to blame but yourself. I am grateful to have my spouse, children, siblings and friends to share most of my adventures with. However, I have also opened myself up more to the idea of traveling alone.
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- The responsibility relies on you. No more logistical debates or relying on others to hold up their end of the bargain. If the plans don't pan out, it's strictly on you.
- It's empowering. It can be difficult to muster up the courage to even go to the movies or out to eat alone, but once you get a taste of how amazing it can be to enjoy your own company, you will feel a different sense of accomplishment. Just imagine what an experience it would be to book the solo trip of your dreams. Life is meant to be lived, don't put yourself in a box. Moreover, don't worry about what people will think or say.
- A form of self-care. Much-needed alone time gives you the ultimate opportunity to enjoy unique moments with hardly any distractions. You can explore a new location or culture in your own way (ex. food, clothing, people and landmarks) without having to go along with the crowd. In other words, you get to do what you want versus what everyone else wants!