Why I Want to Travel Solo

Peyto Lake Canadian Rockies

In a matter of months I will be heading off on my first big solo trip. I am both excited and scared, but know that this is the right thing for me to do. Here is why I am planning on going it alone for a while…

Flexibility

I want to go wherever I want, decide what sights to see and be flexible to change my mind without having to compromise. I have travelled long-term with friends before and found it restrictive. Everybody wants to do different things and there is naturally always compromise somewhere.

 

To gain some perspective

Plodding along in life, repeating the same daily grind clouds my brain. Days, weeks and months fly by and there is a cycle of work, eat, sleep which is difficult to break – mainly due to a sheer lack of energy. I know I want to change direction, but I am not sure which way to go. There is not enough time to see things clearly and make pure decisions. Life just keeps going at full speed. The only way to gain perspective is to get away for a while and constructively re-evaluate everything to decide my next move.

 

Career

I want to be a professional travel writer and believe the best way of making this happen is to just get out there and see more of the world. I feel that travelling by myself will give me more focus. I got into journalism with the idea of wanting to be a travel writer. But I ended up working as a regional newspaper reporter. After almost five years in journalism, I have reached a point where it is make or break. I know a change of direction is needed. I want to start making things happen and am more determined than ever.

 

No regrets

I only have a few years left until I am 30 and do not want to be left with any regrets. There is that famous saying: “You regret what you didn’t do more than what you did do.” Before I settle down, I want to make sure that I have gone full throttle in pursuit of my dream. And if it does not work out then at least I know I tried.

 

Learn more about myself

While I am able to appear relatively confident in my job as a newspaper reporter, I am naturally an extremely shy person. I need to push myself to get out of the shell and find that the more often I take risks and do things out of my comfort zone, the easier it becomes. After time it is easy to label yourself as a certain personality type, but I believe there is always more to discover about yourself and more you are capable of if you only take that leap of faith; my leap of faith being solo travel.

 

Get out of my comfort zone

Travelling with friends or a partner is like having a comforting cushion of familiarity around you at all times. There is no need to get out of the shell and make much effort to speak to anybody else. Although it is still possible to meet people when travelling with company, it is easier when you are alone. I travelled solo for around 10 days in Sydney, Australia and naturally met more people. You seem to get invited along to more things and people are less intimidated to approach those alone.

 

Have you travelled solo? Why did you choose to solo travel?

 

 

21 Comments

  1. December 4, 2011 / 21:27

    Wonderful reasons – especially the last two. They’re so important! I just ended my trip and I can tell you I got exactly what I wanted out of the trip for myself. And even more!

    • December 5, 2011 / 20:30

      Hi Adam, it’s really great to hear that your trip worked out so well for you. Makes me more determined hearing things like this so thank you!

  2. Chad
    December 4, 2011 / 21:37

    Congrats on taking the leap of faith! It takes a lot of courage to do that. I have traveled solo many times myself and have had some of the best times of my life! I met so many awesome people along the way that I probably would not have met otherwise. I hope you have amazing adventures on your trip! I look forward to keeping up with your stories along the way.

    • December 5, 2011 / 20:35

      Hi Chad, Thank you very much! Sounds like you have had some great times travelling solo. I can’t wait to experience this kind of travelling for myself.

  3. December 5, 2011 / 03:54

    i hope you learn about yourself. that is a good enough reason for me

    • December 5, 2011 / 20:40

      Hi Zablon, this is definitely one of the most important reasons for me wanting to travel solo. Thanks for your comment.

  4. December 5, 2011 / 04:04

    Alison, these are great reasons to want to travel alone. I find that I meet so many more people when I’m traveling by myself than with friends. It really opens up the world in a very different way.

    I’m looking forward to hearing about your experiences as you go!

  5. December 5, 2011 / 20:45

    Hi Peggy, thanks for your comment. I’m really looking forward to meeting people whilst travelling. It’s funny how people who travel solo always say that they’re hardly ever alone and always meet more people. Sounds good to me.

  6. December 6, 2011 / 19:36

    I’m really looking forward to reading about your solo travels, it’s something I’m considering doing myself.

    • December 7, 2011 / 22:07

      Hi Claire, thank you I hope I have some good stories to tell, he he. Good luck if you choose to travel solo as well. By the sounds of it, it’s the way to go!

  7. Daisy
    December 6, 2011 / 22:47

    Alison, I love your comments and I feel in exactly the same place as you right now. I took the plunge in August and travelled to Germany alone for a week (not a million miles away I know but I had my reservations being a naturally shy person) and I had an amazing time. I met great people and found it such an exhilarating experience…it’s a reminder that your alive and there’s a whole world out there that needs exploring! Im eyeing up my next solo adventure now!:)

    • December 7, 2011 / 22:03

      Hi Daisy, glad your first solo adventure went so well and hope your next one is just as fabulous :-)

  8. December 19, 2011 / 15:01

    I started travelling solo when I couldn’t find other people to travel with (especially after some disappointment having many trips cancelled due to last-minute pull-outs – but I also understand that not everyone of my friends can be as enthusiastic about travel as I am).

    And I have enjoyed it a lot – to the extent that nowadays, I don’t necessarily look for company. Solo travels comes with with some great freedom, to let your mind wander and your steps take you from one adventure to next. Although an interesting point to note is that in some rare trips I’ve had with other solo travellers, I’ve enjoyed them a lot – so, maybe it’s just the right company all solo travellers are missing out on! :)

    • December 20, 2011 / 18:12

      The freedom and flexibility is something I’m definitely looking forward to. I’ve travelled solo for a week before in Sydney and loved it. But can’t wait to try it for longer. This trip will probably be around six weeks. Just need to decide where to go. Keep changing my mind!

  9. April 26, 2012 / 22:25

    Your reasons for travelling solo are similar to my reasons. I like to do what i want, when i want. Most of my friends are married and or have kids so i can’t wait around for a time when they are free, that will never happen. Also, you meet more people when you are solo. It forces you to get out there more and i have made some incredable friends along the way. The people I’ve met when travelling are the people i know i could travel with. Also, don’t be afraid of turning 30 and don’t let it stop you from doing anything. It’s not so bad, just start using a really good eye cream now!!! Happy Travels :)
    Michelle Blake recently posted..Victoria and NanaimoMy Profile

    • April 27, 2012 / 11:28

      Hi Michelle, ha ha like the eye cream advice! I could do with some of that now actually (even with a couple of years to go until I’m 30). Sounds like solo travel has really worked for you and the flexibility it provides is a real plus I think. I’m glad all the solo travellers that have responded on here have said they meet so many people as well! Thanks for commenting :-)

      • April 27, 2012 / 16:22

        Hi Alison, i’m serious about the eye cream advice :) It’s never too early to start preventitive measures. I started when i was 27. I am now 31 and people still tell me i look 25. You will thank me one day, hehehe
        Michelle Blake recently posted..Victoria and NanaimoMy Profile

        • April 30, 2012 / 14:32

          Ha ha, good for you! Might go and get myself some anti-wrinkle creams or do a posh spice and never smile! ;-)

  10. May 31, 2012 / 18:14

    Great article! I’ve traveled solo a few times although I find that after a week or two I start getting lonely. Although, doing the solo thing does help one break out of their shell and meet new people.
    Bohemian Trails recently posted..Historical Highlights from IsraelMy Profile

    • June 1, 2012 / 19:57

      Hey Megan, solo travel has suited me so far, but you’re right there are moments where I’m alone and feel like company. Although most people in hostels are sociable, and there’s usually people to go to dinner with or on trips, there are quite a lot that are with other people and are not too friendly so you need to be able to adapt. It’s definitely helping me with the confidence and pushing me to speak to people more though :-)