31 reasons why you should travel solo!

Today I am here to tell you why you should definitely travel solo in your lifetime. I have travelled solo twice in my life – once in my 20s and once in my 30s and I am here to tell you that it is an experience like no other!

Ask yourself this question… Have I ever found myself wanting more? Wanting to travel but putting it off because I don’t have someone to go with, or that I am waiting for a friend or partner to go with me? If that’s the case – stop right now and read this article!

The world is wide and wouldn’t you like to explore more of it in your lifetime?

If so, I’m here to tell you – not to hold back, not to wait – for more money or time off work or someone to go with you – we are sitting here at home in the midst of a pandemic – and if that has taught us anything it’s that life is precious. Take every opportunity that comes your way in life and even better, make your own opportunities! If you had of asked me a couple of years ago if I would be travelling solo to the other side of the world in my 30s I wouldn’t have believed you – but I am so glad I did because it is something I will never regret! The experiences and memories will live with me always. There are SO many reasons why YOU should travel solo, and speaking from my 31 years of experience, here are mine…

I give you 31 reasons why you should travel solo!

 

1. You can follow your heart…

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You can go where you want, when you want and do nothing you don’t want! Every decision is yours for the taking! Listen to your heart and take it where it wants to go.

2. You will learn so much history…

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This was taken on a walking tour I did during my time in Barcelona. I learned that these marks in the church walls are actually from the civil war times which I might never have seen if the tour hadn’t taken me there. I did free walking tours during my time travelling Europe and learned to much about their history, what connects neighbouring countries and also what makes them different. I did one in Melbourne on my first day and not only did I meet amazing friends that day but I also learned so much about the history of the city. One of my favourite facts is that Melbourne used to be called Batmania! Haa! See your glad I took that tour now aren’t you? And you should too… I can’t recommend them enough!

 

3. You will step out of your comfort zone…

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You will learn when to push yourself and how usually when you do – start speaking to someone new, take an art class, try surfing – you will be rewarded.

 

4. You will learn how great hostels are!

You may think that hostels are scary places but actually you will discover that they are such fun places to be! You meet so many people, from all over the world who are usually like-minded, open people like yourself. I made friends for life in this hostel and I am so glad I didn’t stay in a hotel room on my own! Hostels can be basic, cheaper accommodation but they have everything you need – beds, private bathrooms, Air Con – they also offer lots of social activities like walking tours, games nights, beer pong, karaoke, they have chill rooms and movie rooms and you can even work there for free accommodation to fund your travels. If you’re lucky, they may even have free pancakes for breakfast like @unitedbackpackers did!

 

5. It will make you brave…

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Bravery doesn’t mean you are not afraid of things – it means you can still be a wee bit scared but you face your fears and do them anyway. That is bravery. I was lucky enough to talk with children this year during a ‘Find your brave’ mental health week and children as young as 7 could recognise this! They told me “I am brave when I fall down”, “I am brave when I am hurt”, “I am brave when I try something new”. From the mouths of babes. They said to be brave is to just do what scares you! So be brave…

 

6. You can watch the sunset at the other side of the world…

For me a dream was to watch the sunset over the sea and in Australia I saw so many beautiful sunsets.

 

7. You will become grateful…

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Sometimes life doesn’t happen like you imagined it would, but travelling teaches you to be flexible, take life as it comes and become grateful for what opportunities do come your way.

 

8. You will learn to organise your finances…

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Travelling alone means being solely responsible for your own finances. This is such an important life skill. You will learn how much you need to set aside for each day, how much accommodation costs in different cities or countries in the world, when to splurge and when to save. You will learn that some of the best memories come from a cheap supermarket shop and a picnic! I have done this time and time again, by the River Seine, in the park in Vienna,Β  by the canals in Venice and most recently by the river in Melbourne. Such an important lesson to learn, and a fun way to do it.

 

9. You will find confidence in yourself…

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You will learn how truly capable you really are! You will realise how assertive you can be, how decisive you can be, how capable of solving problems you really are. Got to travel from one obscure place to another – no problem! Have a job interview in another country – you got this! Got to be awake for 2 days of travel because you only have yourself to rely on – you can do it! You are capable of so much more than you think you are – so don’t doubt yourself. Have faith and confidence in yourself.

 

10.You could learn a new language…

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Or lots of words from different languages. You could help others out who are learning a language and they could do the same for you! Learning another language can be tricky – I know from experience! Organising visas and legal documents in another language can be difficult, anyone who’s ever tried to do this in Spain I think can testify to how difficult it is – and yes tears were shed along the way. But there can also be so many moments of happiness – like when you learn how to make yourself understood. Or when a friend teaches you a new phrase and you surprise them and use it correctly at the perfect time! It is such a good skill to have and can open so many opportunities to you in life.

 

11. You can open your mind…

You will likely meet people from all over the world, who have lived different experiences from you and spending time talking to them, you will find you learn new points of view, political perspectives, you can debate with them over life’s great wonderings – which is better pancakes with butter and syrup or just syrup?! Haha but in all seriousness – keep an open mind and you could learn so much from each other.

 

12. You will learn how to pack and carry your home on your back…

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Ah the glamorous life of a traveller! Travelling will teach you how to pack and repack and evaluate and re-evaluate what you need and what is important to you. It will teach you what you really need for your trip and what is unnecessary. Travelling solo will teach you how much you can handle on your own – how much you can carry on your own.

 

13. You will have stories to tell your grandchildren…

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Remember that time you almost missed your flight because someone forgot to print boarding passes and you had to run for your life only to find out it was delayed anyway? Remember that time you swam to an island off the coast of Sardinia only to get millions of spikes from sea urchins lurking in the water? Remember the you feared for your life because you heard the airbnb host say they were going to kill someone in your room? Remember the time your team-mate was carrying you at beer pong then you got the winning shot? Remember that time you made friends at a Drag Show and ended the night salsa dancing with them? Remember that time you were looking for Kangaroos in the bush and your friend nearly stood on one that was hiding there and you all jumped so high – including the Roo! So. Many. Stories. come from travels and they should be remembered and retold to as many people will listen haha. (And yes – all those stories happened).

 

14. You will become a photographer…

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Even if it’s not your passion you will definitely want photos to remember special moments and show everyone on your return from your travels. Whether your style is polaroids, iphone pics, professional camera with multiple lenses, or simply a selfie with your big ‘heed’ and multiple chins in it… You will take photos to document your travels and years later you will be glad you did.

 

15. You will have interesting experiences…

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Like the time I thought it would be a good idea to stay in a nuclear bunker under a castle in the Czech Republic for 3 nights. Que a few scary nights, a noisy generator which made it fully functional even to this day, cold (well your in tunnels under a castle – what do you expect), basic but a story to tell none-the-less. The bunker had memorabilia from the communist era – complete with gas masks, prams, telephones, classrooms and coats like this one which you can wear for the tour. Honestly I didn’t know what to expect – but it sure was an experience I will never forget! You can actually still find it on booking.com – I would highly recommend the tour but about staying there – maybe start with one night and see what you’re made of…

 

16. You will try lots of different foods…

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Both times I went travelling I put on some weight – why – because of all the eating of course! I think part of the joy of travelling and experiencing new cultures is also trying their local cuisines. Which I have, everywhere I went and I highly recommend it… although I must admit – I didn’t try kangaroo! I just couldn’t! Pictured above enjoying the local Cicchetti of Venice.

 

17. You will learn so much about yourself…

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Travelling, stepping out of your comfort zone, pushing your boundaries – all of these things will show you what your truly made of. How much you are capable of. And what you can do when you put your mind to something. You will learn so much about your strength of character and by the end of the trip you will know yourself that little bit more.

18. You will appreciate different architecture…

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Travelling to different countries, old and new, will open your eyes to different styles and designs in architecture. I actually love this and find it so fascinating. From the old, gothic, intricate designs in Barcelona to the new skyscrapers in New York, there is so much to see!

 

19. You will learn to dance in the rain…

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You know that quote about not waiting for the storm to pass but just learning to dance in the rain? Well I think it’s a gem. Unfortunately sometimes in life, things don’t work out as you pictured them, sometimes it feels like a storm, but instead of sitting on your arse waiting for it to pass, you are much better to go out and learn to dance in the rain! Sometimes travels, as in life, can be difficult but what you need to do is learn to roll with the punches so to speak. Adapt your mindset and learn a new dance.

 

20. You will make friends with the locals…

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Of the furry and human kind. Immersing yourself and making friends with the locals is the best way to experience somewhere. They can teach you about the history, hidden gems, the best places to eat, drink, dance. Walking a few steps in someone else’s shoes can be so eye opening and rewarding.

 

21. You will find beauty in nature…

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Travelling to different places in the world you will see lots of different landscapes, mountains, beaches, forests, sand dunes, rocky cliffs, waves. You will see so much, and you will learn to appreciate all the natural wonders in the world.

 

22. You might start to believe in fate…

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I am that person. I have a romantic notion of fate. I believe in signs and this may seem silly to some – but the fact that a Scottish, German and Argentinian girl met at the other side of the world, and had matching nail polish on, to me, felt like a sign. It’s when life makes you say ‘what are the chances?!’. It only reinforced my decision and and the fate and timing of life. And it felt a little bit magical.

 

23. It will make you more employable…

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You have shown that you are flexible, you can adapt to new surroundings and working environments. You are independent enough to set yourself up in another country, in another language and organize visas, work permits, moving into a new home, figuring out new public transport systems, converting money. You are very capable and with this realization comes confidence, in yourself and your abilities. Future employers will see this and will be intrigued if not impressed.Β  You will have so many life skills and life experience that you will ace that interview!

24. You will become richer…

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Not physically you understand, travel does cost money, unfortunately flights are not free. However you will become rich in other ways. I had a conversation with a Spanish friend recently and through our Spanglish we were talking about being rich. Now being a teacher and a traveller, I will never be rich, but I explained to him that I am rich in other ways, in love, in friendships, in my experiences, in laughter, in appreciating the little things in life – like these ducklings swimming in the harbour – and he had never heard that phrase before. He thought it was beautiful and so do I. Travel will truly make you rich in other ways.

 

25. You will spread your wings…

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Through spreading your wings you will become independent. You will learn how to rely on only yourself and you will find pride and comfort in that. That whatever happens in life, you will be OK, because you are independent and you can look after yourself and pick yourself up and start again. Your wings will take you there.

 

26. You will learn what you need…

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You will learn to take what you need. As you get older and travel more and experience more, you will learn more about yourself. You will learn when to say yes and when to say no. You will feel sure of yourself and have faith and confidence in your decisions and realise when it is ok to say yes and when you should say no. You will learn that sometimes the best things come from the darkest places. The rainbow will come after the storm. But you have to do something. You have to make a move. Don’t get stuck, don’t let life pass you by. Make your move and you will see that ‘Every new beginning comes from another beginnings end’, just like this piece of paper I found in Australia on my recent solo travels. Btw I’m also aware this is a song from the U.S. and now whenever I say it I hear my friend Vicky from L.A. singing it haha.

 

27. You will learn skills for life…

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As a teacher, we are always trying to equip children with skills for life. Well let me tell you, nothing teaches you these like travelling solo. You will learn to negotiate, you will learn your sense of direction, you will learn how to make yourself understood – language barrier or not – you will learn never to settle, you will learn to make plans – or not – as you like, you will learn to go at your own pace, you will learn how much a smile can mean. Solo travels allows you to test and learn these things on your own.

28. You will make lifelong friendships…

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As you make new friends, you will learn that everyone has a story and every story is different. By being open to new friendships and listening to people’s stories you will learn so much. You will increase your compassion for people and learn to empathise. You will see bravery and strength in people’s lives and decisions and what they have lived through and overcome to be there, sitting by the river at the other side of the world with you one day. It will be special and something you will never forget.

 

29. You will learn that home will always be there…

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You will learn, through your travels and through life, that no matter what, home will always be there for you. If everything goes tits up and you want to go home – you always can. It will still be there and will always welcome you with open arms. Whether your family are supportive or not, if they worry about you (they will) or not, whether you haven’t seen your friends for months or even years, if you stay true to yourself and nurture your relationships they will always be there for you. You can always return home.

30. You will learn to appreciate life…

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During quarantine I watched a film with my mum, one of our favourite films: ‘My big fat Greek wedding’ and in it, the daughter has doubts about her choices in life and looks to her mother for advice. The mother tells her this

“I gave you life, so you could live it.”

My mum repeated it to me. And it is true. You have been given life, so take that life and live it, with as much oomph and joie de vivre as you can.

 

31. Your life will be an adventure…

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When you travel you can be spontaneous, take risks, you will learn to trust your instincts, you will learn how to deal with the unknown, you will learn that you can and will make things happen. Even though you’re solo, that doesn’t mean you are alone. Whilst travelling you are sure to catch the travel bug and whether in the future you go solo or with family or friends or a partner, travel will always be there for you…

 

I hope in this article I have convinced you of the many benefits to travel solo! Please comment below and tell me if you have travelled solo before, or are planning to!

 

Thanks for reading,

The Wee WandererΒ  xoxox

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