I’ve taken a few solo trips and it is a completely different experience than travelling with a group or a travel companion. I’ll admit it can be a lot harder and sometimes lonely, but looking back, travelling solo has been so beneficial to me and I recommend it to everyone to experience it at least once! My solo trips have included Sydney, LA and London!
Challenges you like never before
Obviously solo travelling brings lots of new challenges to face, for example not having any support to make difficult decisions. It tests your navigation skills for one, I used to be really lazy on this front when I was with a group, taking the excuse that I wasn’t very good so I’ll let someone else do it. Ever since travelling solo, where I had no other option - I truly feel navigation is now one of my strengths! Now I tend to lead if I am in a group situation (still hate Google maps though, physical maps all the way! – Katie I’m looking at you.) Solo trips also makes you rely on your own intuition which is a skill that will be crucial to many aspects of your life.
Helps you stand out at job interviews
Being a solo female traveler also provides a lot of material for job interviews which could potentially help you stand out from the dozens of answers starting with, “well I had this group project at uni….” Your answer can be different! Talking about solo trips proves a strong character that employers will be impressed by. And there is lots of angles to take, potentially highlighting problem solving, initiative and confidence.
(Check out: How to Survive the Start of Your Career for more tips)
Pushes you to widen your social circle
When you are with a travel companion it is so easy to stick together and not push yourself to meet new people when travelling and make new friends. The characters you meet while travelling usually provide the best memories so make sure you push yourself to get out there and talk to people. All the fellow travellers I’ve met have had some interesting perspectives and in turn widened my perspective too! (This is also a good example for job interviews especially if interviewing for a company that prioritises cultural diversity.)
Another positive spin on a solo trip is that you don’t have to make any compromises. For me anyway, I’m always conscious of keeping people waiting or if they are not happy with a certain activity (I may be too much of a people pleaser though haha). There will always be a level of compromise when travelling in a group – hopefully by all members! But during a solo trip you can go to 5 museums in a row if you want to, go to that hippie market on the other side of town or simply take 20 minutes to get that perfect photo.
Independence – it’s okay to ask for a table for one
I know many people cringe at the thought of asking for a table for one. But I have always believed that being happy in your own company is really important. I don't like depending on anyone for my own happiness, not in a cynical way I just think you can’t expect to make anyone else happy if you can’t even make yourself happy! Don’t be afraid to go out by yourself, have some down time, crack open a book or stick your earphones in at the restaurant – have enough self-confidence to pull it off.
Being able to go on solo trips gives me flexibility and freedom to travel whenever I want and continues to challenge me in different ways……oh and always gives me time to a write a blog post or two!
Thanks for reading – would love to hear about any solo trips you have taken or any more solo travel tips!