Traveling solo may seem like an intimidating prospect. Imagine what it’d be like getting lost in an unfamiliar place where you don’t know anyone. You’ll face unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells, and there’s the danger of falling victim to some hustler’s scam. You might even end up taking the wrong bus and alighting at some strange, remote place. Scary, right?
However, think about all the wonderful people you’ll get to meet, people who are a reflection of their country’s culture and who, despite not speaking your language, can show you kindness in your time of need. There’s also all the wonderful destinations you’ll get to see, like little bits of paradise tucked away in a remote locale.
Imagine what you’ll feel like after you’ve come home from an episode of solo travel when you can say you’ve stepped out of your comfort zone time and again during that trip and come out a better person.
The world can be a big, scary place but it can also hold hidden gems that can make for some of the best memories you’ll ever have.
Solo female travel isn’t anything new. It’s been around for ages and it continues to grow. 2019 saw a 230% increase in web searches for “solo women travel”. According to a Princeton study, 26% of millennial women have traveled solo.
Traveling solo is perhaps one of the best things you can do for yourself, and it’s possible to travel solo and stay safe while enjoying local culture at the same time.
Why You Should Travel Solo At least Once
Times have changed during the past few decades. Today, women have fewer obligations. Traveling, whether by land, air, or sea, has also become more accessible to more individuals. Technology made it easier for us to research prior to visiting a place and it also lets us communicate, to some extent, with the locals.
Demographics have also changed. Women are marrying or having children at a later age. We enjoy more education and earn more money than ever. We’re also continuously looking for more meaningful experiences that fulfill the soul.
Solo travel is empowering
Traveling alone challenges you in a good way. It brings out strengths you didn’t know you had. You too can scale mountains or discover a local gem, and you’ll learn to become more independent and grow to be more confident as you go along your solo journey. Solo travel is also a great teacher and it can shape you to become more resilient and more in tune with yourself.
You can also think of it as a form of self-care. Solo travel is one of the intentional ways you can take better care of your overall well-being. It allows you to recalibrate and refocus on yourself and your needs.
You’re in charge
Traveling with family or friends can also be a memorable, life-affirming experience, but things may not always go as planned. You won’t necessarily have similar travel styles or have that much freedom to move around, especially if you’re following a strict itinerary.
Solo travel lets you become more assertive in your decisions. It gives you total freedom in how or when you want to do things. You can have your vacation however you want without fear of being judged by your companions. Your top priority is yourself.
You’ll experience things firsthand
When you’re with family and friends, you’ll often have shared experiences. Solo travel lets you fully immerse yourself in unique experiences and often draws you out of your comfort zone, which can make for more intense travel experiences.
You’ll gain a new perspective
Whether you’re taking a short vacation or looking for the best places to take a cruise, you’ll benefit from getting a new perspective on things. Solo travel can prompt you to learn or acquire new, necessary skills like how to connect with people across different cultures, how to be wiser with your budget, or how to avoid being scammed.
While traveling alone as a woman does seem intimidating, there are a number of ways you can stay safe while making the most of your experiences. Doing enough research prior to a trip is particularly helpful. Knowing where to go and what essentials to bring (like a GPS or a topographical map) can help make the experience more pleasant.
Traveling solo helps you learn more about who you really are and what you’re made of. It can make you braver as well as surer of yourself and the decisions you’re making. You’ll make new connections that can last for a lifetime. You’ll have the knowledge that the next time you go back to a place or to somewhere different, you’ll start to see things with a fresher, more positive perspective.