5 Fulfilling Reasons Why Everyone Should Try Solo Travel
It was October of 2013 and I had just unknowingly taken the first step into this solo traveling and adventurous life style. I had recently attempted to get a group of friends to go on an exotic vacation with me. I discovered however, that it was a major pain in the ass to get a group of people to pay a significant amount of money, and figure out a time that would work for everyone. Everyone had job commitments, or commitments to family to work around. Not to mention everyone’s individual budget.
So I decided to go on vacation on my own. I found myself in Cancun, Mexico. I had wanted to go someplace both tropical but that had a good nightlife as well. So, while it absolutely is a stereotypical travel and party destination, I was new to this whole idea of travel and especially solo travel. I decided that I would do it on my own because I wanted a vacation. No, I NEEDED a vacation. I had been feeling burnt out from work, as unfortunately, is so common in the nursing profession. I figured, worst case scenario I am relaxing on a sunny beach at an all-inclusive resort for the week. What can go wrong?
It was so much more than that. It opened my eyes to the advantages of solo travel and inspired much of my lifestyle today. There are so many reasons that you should not allow the lack of a travel companion to keep you from exploring what’s out there. I wanted to share some of those reasons with you here today.
If you’re a bit introverted as I am, it opens you up and helps you break out of your comfort zone.
Sure, you could spend the entire trip keeping to yourself. But experiences are more fun with others. If you put yourself out there, it is very easy to meet people and make lasting memories with people who were complete strangers just yesterday. While I don’t remember the names of most of the people I made friends with in Cancun, I can still picture what almost every one of them looked like, and have very clear memories of the fun times we had together.
People are SUPER friendly while traveling
Other travelers are doing the same things you are. We are not stressing out over the tasks we need to accomplish for work. We are living in the moment and that means we are more receptive to others approaching us and joining in on the activity we are doing at the time, or simply enjoying some conversation. While I was in Cancun, I very naturally met and befriended both a group of fellow Americans there for vacation and a large group of Mexican women who were there for an extravagant bridal shower. It was entirely natural to go out to dinner, lunch, the beach, or the dance clubs with these people I had just met the other day.
You always have something to talk about. With anyone.
Are they a fellow traveler? Ask them where they are from, where they have been, and what they plan to do while they are there. If they are a local, ask them what they would recommend you do while you are there. Ask for some hidden gems that are not often visited by tourists.
YOU decide what you are going to do that day.
Let me say this again. You decide what you are going to do that day. You don’t need to argue or bicker about your itinerary with one or more fellow traveler. If you want to be lazy sleep late, and sit by the pool reading a quality book all day, you do it. If you want to be ambitious and hit up several attractions, you do it. Everything is on your own time line. Not your companions, and certainly not your boss’!
You will learn more about yourself
Traveling solo forces you to push your limits. Especially international travel. For whatever reason, it is not common place for people to travel to far away destinations on your own. Many times I’ve been told by people that they have a greater respect for me or they are envious of my bravery when they find that the trips I go on are often solo adventures. While I appreciate the praise, (who doesn’t enjoy a bit of flattery?) that’s not why I do it. I do it because on that first solo trip to Cancun, I found a strength of character within myself that I hadn’t known was there. It raised my confidence, and that is something worth more than money, praise or fame.
I strongly urge everyone to go on a solo trip somewhere at least once. It could very well be an eye opening and life changing experience.