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10 reasons why you must travel alone
Traveling alone may seem daunting at first, but it is a liberating experience! When I first planned my first solo trip, everyone around me looked at me as if I’d lost it. From enduring questions from horrified family such as ‘Don’t you have friends? Why do you want travel alone’ to pleadings from perplexed friends, ‘What’s the hurry, wait for a month and I will join you’, I’ve seen it all!
It’s five years since I disembarked on my solo journey and I have never looked back!
Here is my pick of the 10 best reasons of why you should travel alone:
1. Bye bye coordination!
The reason I attempted my first solo journey was simple: I was tired of making plans and folks backing out. Let’s face it: It is challenging (and often tiring) to make plans with a group, be it family or friends. Inevitably, someone has that important meeting or appraisal coming up! The easiest way to plan to getaway for yourself is impromptu!
2. Change your life
If you never get to spend time alone, a solo trip is a great way to introspect. You have a lot of time to figure out who you are, what you’re doing, and how trivial your problems are in the larger schema of life. Simply put, if you travel alone, it can lead to a powerful, life-altering experience.
3. Come out of your comfort zone
Stuck in routine, we often hesitate to try out new things. It’s easier and more comfortable to keep doing what know best and to keep enjoying what we like best. Traveling alone, with no one to depend on, you may discover a new skill. A successful solo vacation can also inspire you to take up larger challenges in life head on!
4. Meet new people
Conversations become interesting and memorable when you meet strangers. One of the best debates I’ve had, was in Taiwan with an American and a local Taiwanese on empowerment of women in India. Need I say more?
5. Chase your Bucket List
There are times we want to try out something, but lack company to do it? Maybe your friends don’t understand your obsession with architecture or history? Or maybe you’re more adventurous than your partner? Traveling solo allows you to chase your bucket list, and fulfill each one of your dreams.
6. Licence to be selfish
Do only what you want. One of the best perks of traveling alone is that you get to be selfish. You need not oblige anyone but yourself. Get out of bed at 11:00 am. Spend the day doing the activity you love most. Skip dinner, binge on street food. Whether it’s a day spent just chilling at the beach with a beer and a book, or exploring abandoned spooky mines and talking to locals about their history, I’ve never regretted a minute!
7. Enjoy the attention
Most restaurants and hotels admire the breed of solo travelers. People are warmer and kinder to those who venture out alone. Not only do you get personalized local recommendations and a rich feel of the local culture, but often the free cocktail on the house!
8. Live in a budget, or not
Everyone has different spending habits. The best part about traveling alone is that you can be as frugal or as extravagant as you wish. Stay in a five-star and eat in a dhaba? Or eat one meal in a Michelin-starred restaurant and the rest in McDonald’s? Pay only for what you want. It’s all your choice!
9. Boost your confidence
Did you know that even seasoned solo travelers are nervous at the beginning of a new trip? As you travel alone more often, you become more confident of facing the unknown. A couple of experiences of transport breakdown and lost phones and luggage are all that are needed to make you self-sufficient and capable of handling any and every adversary.
10. Become a storyteller
Last but not the least, when you travel alone, you become a good observer of people, culture and places. You learn to hear, learn to communicate and learn the art of story telling through your experiences. You also become kinder, more compassionate and a better person!