There are plenty of advantages to traveling alone! Fortunately, many travelers see these advantages because when you travel alone, you are never really alone.
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1. Absolute freedom
Freedom is the biggest advantage for me right away. Every day you can do what you want, and you don’t have to adapt to anyone else. There is no one to whom you have to answer. If you like it, you stay as long as you want. Also, when it comes to activities, you can do whatever you want. I myself have been to a Muay Thai camp a few times. In the camp, I met many people in a relationship but chose to go alone to train.
2. You get to know yourself better
If you travel alone, you are certainly not always alone. But you are ultimately on your own. This allows you to get to know yourself a lot better. You break free from your daily habits and step out of your comfort zone.
3. You learn to solve things yourself
If you run into something while traveling, it needs to be resolved. And if you’re traveling alone, there’s only one person who can solve that, and that’s yourself with maybe some help from a local or a travel buddy, of course. I noticed that I get a kick out of getting things done that are difficult, like finding the right bus. Or tell the taxi driver to turn on the meter. And then that time, I ran out of gas in my scooter, and I had to find a sweet local who had some gas. I learned a lot from this. You will become more confident, and your self-confidence will get a boost!
4. Letting go of ‘home.’
When you travel with someone, you naturally keep talking about home a lot. That makes sense because that’s a big part of your life together. But when you travel alone, no one knows your ‘home’. Of course, you are talking about the country you come from, your friends and family. But those are often superficial conversations. So you let go a lot more at home when you travel alone.
5. You gain a lot of travel friends
Traveling alone does not mean that you will always be alone. Luckily not! You will see that you are actually not really alone that often. That’s because, just like you, many other people travel alone. People who also enjoy making new travel friends. How long you hang out with each other differs. Sometimes you only eat together once, other times you spend a few days together, and even traveled for two months with a travel buddy. Because you interact intensively in a short period of time, you go more in-depth in terms of conversations. Your world view is broadened, especially if the person you hang out with comes from another country. The disadvantage is that you probably won’t see each other after traveling. You often promise each other that you will visit each other, but unfortunately, that rarely happens.
The disadvantages of traveling alone
Of course, traveling alone does not only have fun sides. I think the pros definitely outweigh the cons; what do you think?
1. Only with your memories
Once you get home, you want to tell everyone everything you’ve experienced! Unfortunately, you find out that no one really understands what you’ve been through. Because they weren’t there. Also, your family and friends are not waiting for the umpteenth ‘when I was in …’ story. Showing pictures can help, but that doesn’t convey the real sense of what the trip was like anyway. Traveling alone is really something you do for yourself. For me, this is the biggest downside to traveling alone. I think it’s great that when I get home, I regularly reminisce about a beautiful trip.
2. Being sick
Being sick while traveling is never fun. But if you travel alone, it is even less pleasant. That way, I can remember one time in the trip. No private toilet, dirty accommodation, no other travelers around, and no one who went to get me a banana or a dry cracker. Then I felt quite sad and alone.
Traveling alone can be less safe. Especially as a woman, you are vulnerable, and you have to pay more attention. You can read tips for safe traveling alone as a woman here. Traveling alone is sometimes just inconvenient. You should always watch your own belongings. Do you need to go to the bathroom somewhere while you are traveling? You have to bring all your stuff. And what do you do with your stuff when you’re on the beach and want to go for a swim? I often leave my bag with someone else so that I can go for a swim calmly and without worries.
4. It’s lonely at times
Well, there’s no getting around that. Sometimes traveling alone is also very lonely. Especially if you are in a place with fewer travelers. Eating alone is fine, but sitting at a table together is just a bit more fun. But you can also have the feeling of loneliness with other travelers. There is no one who really knows you well. And the standard ‘where have you been and where are you going?’ you get tired of asking questions after a few months of travel. So yes, I have certainly felt lonely traveling. But luckily, this never lasted long! After a Skype conversation with the family at home, I often felt much better. And a new travel buddy the next day also worked wonders. Meeting other travelers is best in hostels. If you don’t want to spend the night in a dormitory, you can also opt for a private room in many hostels.
5. It’s more expensive
This is a disadvantage that I did not think about beforehand. But it is often more expensive if you are traveling alone. Especially if you don’t want to stay in dormitories but prefer to sleep alone in a room, excursions can also be more expensive if you are alone. So try to join a group. Finally, you also spend more on transport. The price of, for example, a taxi, tuk-tuk, and a tricycle cannot be shared.
There are plenty of advantages to traveling alone. Here you will read the most useful advantages of travel alone.