Travelling in groups, whether on a romantic getaway with your significant other, or going on summer break with a group of friends or family is always fun. The inherent perks of travelling in a group are very obvious: you are never alone, you always feel safe, there’s a very small chance that you will get lost, and if you do, it could even be fun. Then let’s not forget the most important thing about group travel: there’s always somebody to take your picture for you.
However, there is something to be said about going on a soul searching journey on your own. Not only can it be an ultimately fulfilling experience, but you will come out of it having learned a lot about yourself afterwards. Of course going to strange places all on your own is more challenging, scary, and it’s really not for everyone. But for the few brave souls who go through with it, the rewards are significant, and the memories long lasting.
Below are a few benefits we have noticed in our experiences travelling alone.
You can get lost in your own world
There are certain people who enjoy their own company over that of other people. These people are not afraid to eat alone nor they are the type to fill uncomfortable silences with mindless chatter. These people are introspective but necessarily antisocial. They crave meaningful experiences but don’t turn their noses up to the usual tourist traps.
Sometimes the best memories are those you don’t have a picture of. (credit: goodtimes.ndtv.com)
This traveller does not consider it a waste of time or money to sit in a corner café to read a book or simply watch the people go about their business. The solo traveller will go out wandering with no specific destination or objective other than to just experience whatever they can.
If this sounds anything like you (even if it doesn’t, chances are, you’ll be able to relate to some of these things after travelling alone), you might find yourself craving to go out on your own. When the urge hits you, embrace it, book your flight and just go. Armed only with your passport, a camera, and your music, you can go out and get lost in your own world.
You leave yourself open to more experiences
Travelling alone may make you appear more vulnerable, but I choose to see it as keeping yourself open to more experiences.
You tend to be more adventurous and go out more. You will choose to go to places that you normally won’t go to if you have to worry about how your other companions will like it. Plus, the most important thing is you are more open to meeting people!
People are less likely to come up and talk to you if you are huddled in a group of people keeping to yourselves. In the same vein, you are less open to put yourself out there when you’re comfortable in the company of friends. When you travel alone, people transform from strangers to friends you haven’t met yet.
You can do whatever you want
Don’t you hate it when you’re with a group of friends and you can’t decide where to eat because for every suggestion, someone will always have something against it? Yeah me too.
Wouldn’t it be more fun to be able to go out and do whatever you want? It’s possible when you travel alone. Do you want to go scuba diving? You can do it now without having to worry about someone in your group who can’t swim. Do you want to go to the zoo? You can do that now without having to ask someone if they’re allergic to animals. Do you want to go drive an off-road trail? You can do that now that you don’t have to worry about someone in the group having asthma. So go out now, the world is an open road and you are in the driver’s seat.
You level up
Travelling alone is indeed a growing up experience, arguably more so than living alone. You need to learn to be self-reliant immediately, and most of the time you don’t have the luxury of time, money, or the ability to speak the local language as you try to figure things out.
Nothing will make you feel like you’ve really levelled up like navigating the very confusing train system in Tokyo, or driving in a different country in your car rental, or after you’ve done your grocery shopping in Poland where the only person in the store is a 70-year-old woman who doesn’t speak a word of English. Even the act of changing your money or ordering strange food which you can barely pronounce will enrich your life significantly, and open your eyes as to how differently you do things from other people. At the same time, you will also realise just how the same we all are, and you will feel more in touch with the global community.
The effects are felt even more when you try to experience life as a local and see the world through their eyes. Expanding your world view with a shift in perspective is good for the soul, and will make you a much better person. Yes, you can argue that you can also learn all these things when travelling in groups, but I think everything you experience become that much more meaningful when experienced alone.
Travelling alone is something that everyone should strive to experience at least once in their lives. The experiences of trying to figure out how to get around coupled with being forced to see things through the eyes of the locals is truly an enriching experience. So what are you waiting for? Satisfy your wanderlust now, and book your flight, and get ready for a life changing adventure. If ever you find yourself in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, and Gold Coast, making your way around would be much easier if you book a car hire in Australia.