Travelers are like cheese; there are so many types! Some cannot, in their wildest of dreams, think of being alone on a trip; they need their group of friends and family while they sit across a table at a fancy restaurant.
Others feel comfortable and even peaceful in discovering the world all by themselves.
Travelling solo opens doors to some amazing experiences that might make you realize the purpose of your life. Besides the obvious joy of wanderlust, here are five other reasons why you need to take travel alone at least once in your life:
1. Goodbye, comfort zones. Hello, stronger me!
From hauling your luggage on your own to finding room and board in strange cities, travelling alone tests your stamina in many myriad ways. Alizé Carrère, a 26 year old French- American traveler gives us some beautiful advice:
“It is in solo travel that we learn the most about ourselves — what makes us happy, afraid, excited, and sad. You’re forced to step out of your shell and interact with others in a way that is increasingly rare in this digital age. You meet like-minded people, expand your horizons (literally and figuratively), and gain a new understanding of our global society and your position within it. It’s exhilarating.”
2. Experiences: From mind-boggling to humbling
Travelling alone entails experiences that influence travelers greatly. Parmesh Kapoor, a 21 year-old traveler, shares one such experience:
“Once, on my way back from Leh and after a halt at Ajmer, I was running late and ended up reaching a place called Beawar. I stopped by to click a picture of a beautiful highway and in front of me, I saw a truck that lost control and fell into a drain. Along with the locals, I tried contacting the ambulance but it was unavailable. In a state of panic, I decided to use my car and take the injured to the hospital. When the man was admitted and given medical aid, I felt purposeful and proud that I had taken the decision on my own.”
3. Discover your true inner self
In everyday life, you may have to get attuned to the likes of others. When you’re alone, you are free to explore. It is you who decides whether you want to visit that quaint renaissance art gallery or go bungee-jumping again. These small things reveal your innermost nature.
These experiences unite you with your inner self, a voice that is often drowned in the hustle-bustle of quotidian life.
4. Travel to learn: the world is your classroom.
While travelling alone, you learn to think beyond the mundane. You grow intellectually and have more to talk about.
“You get to be independent. You do your own work. It has made me more punctual and financially smart. The experience is amazing and it’s fun to travel to unknown places. You get to know people from different ethnicities. Humanity still exists,”
shares Parmesh who started travelling solo two years ago with a biking group called Mumbai Musafirs. He later felt, travelling alone would help him discover better.
5. Memories worth more than millions.
Lastly, travelling solo gives you memories that help you reboot yourself and see the light in the dark. It becomes a reference point for many situations in your future and you also make contacts across the world.
Alizé, whose favorite place in the world is Central America, shares some of her fondest memories with us:
“There is something vibrant, welcoming and happy about the people and cultures I’ve interacted with there. I spent most of my time in Panama, where the blend of people, nature, music and cuisine comes together to create an irresistible environment. Time is rarely measured on a clock; music and dance are celebrated on impulse; fruity nourishment can be plucked from trees and enjoyed in hammocks during siestas. Panama is one of the warmest places I’ve been to, the energy is infectious”
Tips for flying solo
Travelling solo, while fun, is not an easy ride. Here are few pointers that will come in handy when you’re on your solo adventure.
- Be careful wherever you go. Physical safety measures should never be neglected even if it means investing in pepper sprays.
- Keep important phone numbers and contact information handy in case of emergencies.
- Be watchful; avoid visiting desolate places at night. Nothing is worse than being at the wrong place at the wrong time
- Don’t divulge all your details to strangers as soon as you know their names. Appearances, after all, can be deceptive.
Travelling alone gives you an incomparable high. At the end of the day, it is all going to add up into one big colorful travel album. Make sure you have a lot of enriching and thrilling experiences to write about.
You never know – you might just be a tiny hero and motivate someone to take a novel step like you [especially if you’re a woman].