Your best friend invites you on a stupendously amazing international holiday. You readily agree and quickly your mind begins to imagine the two of you exploring some amazing destination, sharing every moment. They then tell you that their friends Adrian and Liam are coming too! You’re going as a group! Hurrah! Except for the fact that you would rather smack your head repeatedly into a wall than go on holiday with Adrian and Liam. You suddenly remember that you “have to go to a wedding” the week of the proposed trip. When you can’t get the right people together to go on a trip with, there really is something special about making the decision to go by yourself. It offers a unique, reflective style of holiday and you really learn a lot about yourself.
- You Learn to Be Comfortable in Your Own Company
Everyone needs friends, but you might not be all that used to going out by yourself in situations that traditionally involve some sort of social interaction. In your own town, you’re probably going to have friends readily available, but this isn’t going to be the case when you travel by yourself. But this can feel like a revelation of sorts. There’s nothing sad and single about exploring an exotic destination by yourself, and it’s really remarkable how quickly you will come to enjoy the solitude and appreciate the pleasure of your own company.
- You Learn to Trust Your Own Judgement
Having someone to bounce ideas off can be useful when you travel. This might be the case when deciding where to eat, which excursions to go on, or even if that bar you’re considering might be a little dangerous. When you’re by yourself, you will quickly learn to trust your own judgement and instincts. Another good aspect of this is that if you get lost, make a social faux pas or find yourself in another kind of embarrassing situation, there will be no witnesses travelling with you to tell the story at a later stage.
- You Rely On Yourself
There will be nobody else to rely upon but you. Unsure about which train to catch? Not sure what the suspicious looking meat is in that dish you’re planning to order? You make the decisions based upon the available information, without the ability to be reassured by a travel companion. Your powers of self-reliance will just grow and grow.
- You Set Your Own Pace
Don’t want to go to that particular museum? Nobody is going to try to coerce you. Want to save money by not going to that fancy restaurant your friend would have chosen had they been with you? No dramas, get a burger instead. There is something so very relaxing about setting your own pace when you travel by yourself. It makes for a curiously interesting way to explore a destination.
- You Have Time to Reflect
It can perhaps feel a little odd to not have someone to share your thoughts with – and when you experience the stimulation of an exotic holiday, chances are that your thoughts will constantly be bubbling over. Why not share your thoughts with yourself? Try keeping a travel journal. Your impressions can be shared with others at a later stage, and it will be a more compelling memory than merely taking a photo.
- You Are Forced to Be Outgoing (Sometimes)
There can be an element of loneliness when you travel alone, and this can often hit in the early evening. This is when you see the residents of your destination heading out for an evening of socialising with their friends, and you’re strolling around by yourself wondering where you should grab dinner. Even the most introverted people will find themselves transformed when they travel. It’s not out of an abject feeling of being alone, but sometimes some human company is nice! You will find yourself striking up conversations with strangers in bars, befriending the fellow participants on one of your day tours in Havana, and will become infinitely more approachable than you might have been before (not that we’re suggesting you weren’t before).
- You Grow As a Person
All of these things you experience when you travel alone culminate in a satisfying feeling of self development. Once you have successfully tackled the world all by yourself, other issues you might face in your day-to-day life will take on less significance. You’ve faced challenges and overcome them, and while you won’t exactly feel like a brand new person when you return home, you will have a rather useful level of self confidence that you might not have had before.