I don’t frequently get to write about solo female travel. It’s not exactly my area of expertise. If you follow my blog on a regular basis or simply scan my About page, you’ll know that I travel with my husband, about 95% of the time.
When I travel alone, I approach each new journey with the trepidation of a wobbly-kneed calf taking its first steps. However, towards the end of the journey, I always feel intoxicatingly energised, with more trust in myself than ever before. Here’s why I make time each year to travel solo (even if I don’t have to), and why you should too!
To Meet More People
I definitely chat to more people in a single day when I travel alone than I do in a week when I travel with my husband. People tend to approach me more frequently when I’m travelling alone, whether on a plane or at a market. I’m still not sure why this is the case – I guess couples or a pair of friends come across as a closed-off unit, whereas a person traveling alone seems more accessible.
If I’d been traveling with Brent, I wouldn’t have spent the afternoon waiting for a bus with a Norwegian woman and chatted about her plans to sail to the Canary Islands; or practiced my Japanese with the cashier in an incense shop and talked about the time she visited Canada.
And ultimately, talking to strangers – whether they’re other travelers or locals – is what travel is really all about. Landscapes and monuments can be impactful, of course, but I think the real reason we all travel is to meet people with different perspectives and connect with cultures unlike our own. Traveling solo helps you do more of that.
To Prove That You Can
It’s no secret that the world views solo female travel differently than any other kind of travel. When I tell my friends and family that Brent and I are planning our next destination, they’re inspired; but when I tell them that I alone am planning to travel somewhere, they’re concerned.
To be honest, so am I sometimes.
Almost every time I travel alone, there’s at least some point each day when I think: “I can’t do this.” Solo travel can be intimidating, particularly when you’re an introvert like me. I miss the comfort of turning to Brent to confirm “We’re on the right train, right?”; or being able to laugh off an awkward encounter or stupid mistake together.
But you know what? The only way to overcome the fear of traveling alone (or any other fear for that matter) is to just do it anyway. Even though I feel scared, I commit – I book the ticket and I make myself go. It’s only when I force myself to travel alone that I realize I’m completely capable of doing it. It’s a powerful reminder that the only barriers stopping me from doing anything in life are the ones I create for myself.
To Change Your Perspective
When I travel with my hubby, I am ecstatic. I rattle on about everything I adore about wherever we are and make plans for what we should do or see next. When I go alone, though, it is quiet – almost reverent. I can tune into the minute details of the area I’m going and get a better sense of how I feel being there.
The entire “Eat, Pray, Love” journey may be a cliché by now, but there’s some truth to it, and there’s a reason why this type of tale connects with so many of us. There is nothing but you, the destination, and your thoughts when you travel alone. That seclusion leads to a deeper self-discovery that you can’t really get when you’re travelling with someone.
When you go out into the world on your own, you have to confront yourself with who you are, what you care about, and what you want to accomplish with your time. Certainly, our species’ literature bears this out, with travel at the heart of many of our best and most significant tales, novels, and memoirs. When you travel with people, you will discover amazing camaraderie, distraction, and fun—but when you go alone, you may find yourself.
Read also: Best Books for Women Travelers
How to plan a solo trip without feeling guilty?
A solo journey may need more planning than any other type. After all, it is all up to you. So, for your own safety and peace of mind, it’s a good idea to plan ahead of time. If you’re feeling lonely on the road, turn off the flight search engine and keep reading. Loneliness is not only a completely natural sensation, but it is also more prevalent than you may believe.
And the great news is that there are several things you can take to prevent loneliness from spoiling your trip. The fact is that you should not be frightened to travel alone. All you need to know is how to deal with loneliness when it strikes.
You may alleviate some of the guilt associated with solitary travel by remembering that not everyone wants to travel as much as you do. If you have a perpetual wanderlust but your homebody spouse can’t tolerate the notion of spending so much time away from home, they might not object if you spend a weekend exploring a new place alone. If this is your reality, you may be causing yourself needless guilt as a result of your travels.
What is the best time of year to travel solo?
When you decide to go may make or break your trip. If you just have a few weeks, timing is more essential than if you are gone for months. Tourism is divided into three seasons. Peak, off-peak, and shoulder seasons are all available. Your plans will fall under one of three seasons depending on the time of year you’re travelling. Choosing the proper season to travel may have a big influence on both your enjoyment and your money.
Read also: 9 Crafty Ways to Save Money for Travel
Traveling in the off-seasons, such as spring or fall, will also save you money. There are less crowds and even lower rates, and visiting locations as the busy season ends might be even more amazing than seeing them during the summer months. This is especially true during the cherry blossom season in locations like Liechtenstein and Japan. Finding rooms near the end of the summer season can be less expensive, but if you must go during the summer, book early in advance for the lowest deal.
As cheesy as it might sound, when I travel with someone I fall in love with the world; but when I travel alone, I also fall in love with myself.
And that’s why you need to travel solo – at least sometimes.
Do you make time to travel alone? Why do you do it?