There has been a sudden rise in the solo travel industry in recent years, especially among women. Whether you are single or married, I highly recommend taking that solo trip at least once in your lifetime. Women especially need that time to decompress, refocus, re-energize and just simply let loose. Yes, I can guarantee that you will experience some good, some bad, and some ugly, but ultimately it is up to you to decide if solo travel is for you. The trick to travelling solo is to be prepared.
Next to safety, one of the largest deterrents for solo travel is that it can definitely be expensive. However, the travel industry is beginning to change their views and policies in order to accommodate the rise in the number of solo travellers. Many travel companies, tour companies and cruise lines now offer packages with no, or minimal single supplements, in order to make travel more affordable for the solo traveller.
Solo travel is definitely not for everyone. I am here to provide you with my experiences of the good, the bad and the ugly truth during my recent solo travels. I can guarantee that you will encounter some, if not all of these while travelling solo. Once you are armed with the pros and cons of travelling solo, it is up to you to determine whether or not the benefits out-weigh the risks.
To all of you wonderful men, I apologize in advance as I am writing this post from a woman’s perspective. I would love to hear from you though to hear if men also encounter the same good, bad and ugly as we women do?
Given that I always choose to remain positive, I will start with the good.
The thought of travelling the world, seeing new places and meeting new people can be intimidating, but it is the most exhilarating feeling that you will ever experience. You are in complete control of your own destiny, not your spouse, not your partner and not your friend. Nobody, just you! There is no waiting around for your friend to finish her makeup, or do her morning workout before heading out to explore for the day. I personally am too eager to get out and enjoy the day than to spend the extra time beautifying myself or waiting for my travel companion. I leave the beautifying for my night out on the town.
Solo travel allows you to hit the road running as soon as you are ready. It allows you to travel when you want, where you want, do what you want, and see what you want. Or, if you don’t want to do anything at all, then you don’t have to, that’s okay too. This is your opportunity to experience the true meaning of freedom. Embrace it! Get out there and explore. My number one rule that I follow whenever I travel, is to always try something new. Whatever you do, revel in the freedom that solo travel provides.
Before I get started with this section, I would like to clear up a misconception about travelling solo. The word solo does not have the same definition as the word single. If you are in search of your life long soul mate, travelling the world might not the ideal way to find your forever person, although it is possible and that’s a good thing. Many of my friends have found love while travelling abroad. Now that we have that cleared up, you will know how to deal with people who judge you, as there will be. Give them a dictionary lol. In all seriousness, just simply ignore them. Who cares what people think, you will never see them again. Don’t take it personally. Unfortunately there are still lots of cultures in the world that do not accept the fact that women can and do travel alone.
Throughout your travels, you will get very accustomed to using the words “Just One”. This is how I came up with my blog name “Just One Passport”. Whether you are participating in an activity, or eating your meals, you will get asked “for two?”. This always makes me want to look around for my nonexistent travel buddy. I do find that assuming that you are travelling with another person is the most frustrating part of travelling solo. My advice to you is to learn the words “Just One” in every language possible, and always say it with a smile. After all, we don’t want people feeling sorry for us. Little do they know!
Will you get lonely at times when travelling on your own! The sad truth is that absolutely you will. Keep in mind that there is a difference between being lonely and being alone. I for one love being alone, but there have been times that it would have been nice to have a travel partner with me. It is always nice to share those first experiences with someone. If you find yourself getting lonely, I recommend that you join a tour group. This is also a great way to meet new friends, which after all is what travel is all about.
The sad truth about solo travel is that many activities will require more than one person. If you encounter this problem, then again, I recommend that you join a tour. You will also be surprised at the number of people you meet that you also allow you to tag along with them.
As with everything in life, the good must come with the bad and the ugly. It is no different when travelling solo. I love solo travelling so much, that the only ugly that I can come up with is safety. Safety must always be first and foremost on our minds whether travelling solo or in a group. The difference is that with solo travel, you don’t always have the luxury of protection. You can only rely on yourself, so always be prepared for the unexpected and ensure that extra precautions are taken to protect your safety. My philosophy when travelling is that if I don’t do it at home, I sure as hell better not do it when abroad.
The ugly truth is that whenever travelling, whether it be solo or in a group, you will occasionally encounter the odd hiccup. Nothing is ever perfect, but don’t let that stop you. You are on vacation and this is your time to enjoy life and all that this wonderful world has to offer. Take every opportunity to learn new things, experience new cultures and meet new people. This is your opportunity to shine and don’t let anything or anyone hold you back. If you want to do it, then just do it but remember, take it all in stride, just one step at a time.
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So there you have it…the good, the bad and the ugly of solo travel. Now it is all up to you, are you up for it? If you are new to solo travel and need some recommendations for safe places to travel to alone, there are many. I would love to know what your thoughts are about travelling alone?
SAFE & HAPPY TRAVELS 🙂
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