It’s no secret: as humans, we love to travel and explore the world around us. And why wouldn’t we? It’s a big world out there!
To prove it, the numbers really do the talking – for example, in 2017 the total contribution travel and tourism made to the global economy was 8.27 trillion US dollars.
Travel is an exciting and enriching experience, and there are many ways to enjoy it – whether that’s with a whole host of friends, a couple of you, or even going it alone.
Solo travel is becoming increasingly more popular, and there are some valid life lessons it teaches you along the way.
In this solo travel guide, we list 5 important lessons that solo travel teaches you. Learn solo travel tips and get solo travel inspiration for your next trip.
First and foremost, solo travel really does open those doors and broaden those horizons, making you a lot more adventurous than you ever thought possible. You really do surprise yourself, trust us!
Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is one of the best things you can do, and those with a thirst for adventure will thrive on the thrill it gives you to go out there and just embrace all you can.
Skydiving in New Zealand? Sure!
Hiking up a mountain in South America? Sign us up!
Boost your confidence
Travelling alone means you have to be a lot more open to meeting new people and, in turn, this helps to boost your confidence.
Being by yourself, trying new things, and having to speak to new people each and every day really pushes you out of your comfort zone – you’ll be surprised at what you can do when you really put your mind to it!
Above all, doing anything alone teaches you how to be independent.
For those who have never lived alone, or pretty much relied on others up until this point in their lives, travelling solo provides a big reality check – and a good one at that.
Getting on a plane, bus or boat and not knowing what the next day will bring is one of the most exciting things in the world.
To make this possible, you need to embrace that independent lifestyle. This can also teach you not be too self-obsessed, either, and not to sweat the small stuff too much.
Life’s too short, after all!
When travelling the world alone, you’ll be able to do exactly what you want without being held back by others.
When in a group, your options are often limited by what everyone else wants to do. When you’re alone, however, the world is your oyster: it’s entirely up to you what the next day will bring.
This will enable you to soak up those new cultures at your own pace. You can learn the local language, speak to the locals and visit all the historical sites to your heart’s content.
You’ll come back a new person, armed with new knowledge and experience to transform other areas of your life in the future.
Plus, what better way to impress everyone on your return than with all the stories of the new places you’ve visited, and new experiences you’ve had?
It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many, so you don’t want to waste it.
Trust your instincts
Yes, it’s clichéd but true! Travelling alone is a huge learning curve and it’ll teach you to trust your instincts.
Staying in hostels alone, taking a night bus with no one else there, or boarding a plane solo; they all mean you have only yourself to rely on.
You’ll often find that your instincts are right the majority of the time, and it is even more important to trust them when you’re by yourself.
Always listen to your gut instinct, but don’t forget that solo travel can teach you to trust other people, too.
If you’re open and approachable (whilst still remaining vigilant, of course) you’ll be sure to make many new friends, and you’ll also find lots of people willing to help you out – not only locals but often other tourists, too.