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10 Reasons Why You Should Travel Solo

. Tuesday, 9 January 2018 .
If you follow my YouTube channel, you'll likely know that I do a fair bit of travelling. I went on some incredible trips in 2017 (if you want to read all about them, you can do so here), all of which were solo! When I tell people I travel solo most say they couldn't do it! But today I want to tell you 10 reasons why you SHOULD travel solo. It's something I think everyone should do at least once in their life - although in reality, once you've done it, you'll probably want to do it time and time again!

Me in Budapest (p.s. I took this photo using a mini tripod and the self-timer setting!)

1.  You'll develop new skills

Normally if there's something you're not good at, you'd leave it to someone else who's better at it. Or if there's something you don't know, you'd google it. But when you're travelling solo, often without consistent internet access, you can't just pass the buck to someone else. For me this is map reading and directions. Normally I'd run a mile from that kind of thing and leave it to someone else to work out, but since travelling alone my ability to direct myself around unfamiliar environments has greatly improved! I mean, discovering that you can use Google maps offline has definitely helped... haha! But I can also now use a physical map to find my way around places.

2. You'll get better at putting yourself out there

This is the kind of skill that will help you untold amounts throughout your life, and its definitely a skill I developed while solo travelling. Realistically, opportunities in life are highly unlikely to just fall at your feet. There will be times when you need to seek them out or put yourself forward. This is something you often have to do as a solo traveller if you want to have the best possible trip. For example, you might hear a few people in common room of your hostel discussing the really awesome day trip they're going on tomorrow, or the highly recommended restaurant they're heading to later for some great local food. It's always a little intimidating but asking if you can join people is a great example of putting yourself out there, and while it may seem scary, I've never been rejected so far! 

3. You'll be pushed out of your comfort zone

If you haven't travelled solo before it will definitely be a challenge, but one I imagine most people will love and flourish with. Solo travel removes the comfort blanket of knowing that at least if something goes wrong there will be other people around you that will be in the same situation. In my experience stepping out of your comfort zone can be the most exhilarating thing you'll ever do. It's only when outside your comfort zone that we can truly grow and develop as a person. It also makes it more likely that we'll be brave enough to step out of our comfort zones again, leading to more and more incredible experiences.

4. You'll learn to be selfish

Now, generally, being selfish is thought of a negative thing. Considering others and acting in selfless ways is seen to make you a great person, and don't get me wrong, I'm not proposing we never think of others. But sometimes we need to be selfish for the sake of our own wellbeing or dreams. It's not like I travel solo because I refuse to travel with other people, but often no one around me wants to do the things I want to do or go to the places I want to go to. So rather than miss out I just have to be a little selfish and go off to do it on my own. My worst nightmare is reaching an old age and regretting all the opportunities I missed out. 
There are so many times in life where we need to compromise and consider other people's thoughts and feeling. But travelling solo will give the opportunity to be selfish, without impacting upon anyone else, and trust me - that's a very liberating feeling. Selfishness often comes with a sense of guilt but not when you're going solo!

5. You'll learn not to take other people's opinions too seriously

While people will often say "I don't care what people think about me," in practice, that is often a lot harder to do than we think. But when you're off having the time of your life that is definitely much easier than you'd think! When you are truly enjoying yourself, doing the things you want to do at the pace you want to do them at, who cares what anyone else thinks?! 

6. You'll never actually be alone if you don't want to be

Despite travelling solo throughout this year, I've never REALLY been alone! The main reason I think a lot of people don't want to travel alone is because they don't actually want to do things like eat dinner or visit attractions alone. My most recent trip to Berlin for example, I explored alone my first evening in the city, but that's mainly because I was exhausted and just wanted to go for a bit of a walk, eat some food and go to bed! But the next morning I met an awesome group of people on a free walking tour from our hostel, then spent the rest of the trip hanging out and exploring things with them. This works perfectly for me because it means if I want to do things alone I can, but if I want to do something and someone else wants to do it too then we can do it together! Whereas if you travel with people, you're highly unlikely to want to just go off and leave them. Plus I now have friends all over the world, a lot of whom I've actually met up with again in different locations since originally meeting!
Exploring the Christmas Markets in Berlin

7. You'll end up with a LOT of funny stories

Like that time I travelled on the metro in Athens and didn't realise you had to validate your ticket. So when approached by a guard I showed him my ticket thinking I'd have no problems, only for him to start SCREAMING at me in Greek! I obviously had no idea I'd done anything wrong so was totally baffled and just stood there looking very perplexed until he finally just gave up and walked away. I only found out what I'd done wrong when I explained to the receptionist back at my hostel! 
Or the time I was sat in the shade cooling down in Cambodia only to have a monkey steal my GoPro (which it turns out I definitely shouldn't have left just sat next to me on the bench) and ran off with it. Needless to say my immediate reaction was to chase after it (leaving my bag with all my valuables still on the bench, thankfully no one took it!) much to the amusement of the locals. Thankfully the monkey dropped the camera and I managed to swipe it off the ground before any of the others lurking around could beat me to it! I did then end up getting it actually stolen a little while later, but that's a whole different story and not quite as funny!

8. You'll become a lot more confident

Making new friends, finding your own way around a new place and bossing it at this whole travel thing - they're all going to help boost your confidence! Particularly if before you left you, or other people, thought you wouldn't be able to do it. There's something incredibly empowering about travelling alone. Even if things go wrong (and chances are, things definitely will go wrong!), you'll figure it out and that will also give you a big boost! 

9. You'll get creative with your photo taking

Having pictures of the places you've been to is nice, but I personally like to have pictures with me actually in them too! Generally I get quite nervous about handing my camera to a complete stranger to take a photo for me (after getting my GoPro back from the naughty monkey in Cambodia I ended up having it stolen out of my bag on a bus journey - it was my first trip, A LOT of mistakes were made haha), as I'm always afraid my camera will be stolen and I'll lose all the incredible memories on it! 
I've now developed two ways to get pictures of myself while travelling solo. The first is more for touristy areas or attractions. I usually look for another solo traveller, or better yet a couple, struggling to take a selfie of themselves with whatever the tourist site is in the background. I'll offer to take a picture of them using their camera and then ask if they'll return the favour and take a picture of me. I'd hope by doing this, someone is less likely to run off with my camera as I've just done something nice for them (and it's been successful so far!). Another method I enlist is better for places where it isn't as busy. I'll set my camera up on a tripod, put it on a self timer and run to get myself into position. It sometimes takes a few attempts but I've got some really great pictures this way. I wouldn't recommend doing this where its busy though as someone could easily swipe your camera while you're a few feet away posing!
This photo was taken with the tripod and self timer method - it took me about 5 tries to get it right!

10. You'll get to know yourself a lot better

I personally think that it's only when we're truly left to our own devices that we work out who we are and what we like. It's through my travels that I've discovered a love for museums and history that I never knew I had previously! I've also discovered a love for bike rides from taking bike tours around new cities. I also love active things like kayaking and hiking. These are definitely things that I probably would have never tried if I'd been travelling with someone else and they hadn't fancied doing it. It's only because I was on my own that I decided to give it a try and no one was there to suggest otherwise. I've discovered who I am without the pressures of my parents, friends or a partner. Who I am without the context of having someone else to bounce off. It's quite a liberating feeling. 

Have you been on any solo trips? Or is it something you'd like to do in the future? Let me know in the comments!
If you follow my YouTube channel, you'll likely know that I do a fair bit of travelling. I went on some incredible trips in 2017 (if you want to read all about them, you can do so here), all of which were solo! When I tell people I travel solo most say they couldn't do it! But today I want to tell you 10 reasons why you SHOULD travel solo. It's something I think everyone should do at least once in their life - although in reality, once you've done it, you'll probably want to do it time and time again!

Me in Budapest (p.s. I took this photo using a mini tripod and the self-timer setting!)

1.  You'll develop new skills

Normally if there's something you're not good at, you'd leave it to someone else who's better at it. Or if there's something you don't know, you'd google it. But when you're travelling solo, often without consistent internet access, you can't just pass the buck to someone else. For me this is map reading and directions. Normally I'd run a mile from that kind of thing and leave it to someone else to work out, but since travelling alone my ability to direct myself around unfamiliar environments has greatly improved! I mean, discovering that you can use Google maps offline has definitely helped... haha! But I can also now use a physical map to find my way around places.

2. You'll get better at putting yourself out there

This is the kind of skill that will help you untold amounts throughout your life, and its definitely a skill I developed while solo travelling. Realistically, opportunities in life are highly unlikely to just fall at your feet. There will be times when you need to seek them out or put yourself forward. This is something you often have to do as a solo traveller if you want to have the best possible trip. For example, you might hear a few people in common room of your hostel discussing the really awesome day trip they're going on tomorrow, or the highly recommended restaurant they're heading to later for some great local food. It's always a little intimidating but asking if you can join people is a great example of putting yourself out there, and while it may seem scary, I've never been rejected so far! 

3. You'll be pushed out of your comfort zone

If you haven't travelled solo before it will definitely be a challenge, but one I imagine most people will love and flourish with. Solo travel removes the comfort blanket of knowing that at least if something goes wrong there will be other people around you that will be in the same situation. In my experience stepping out of your comfort zone can be the most exhilarating thing you'll ever do. It's only when outside your comfort zone that we can truly grow and develop as a person. It also makes it more likely that we'll be brave enough to step out of our comfort zones again, leading to more and more incredible experiences.

4. You'll learn to be selfish

Now, generally, being selfish is thought of a negative thing. Considering others and acting in selfless ways is seen to make you a great person, and don't get me wrong, I'm not proposing we never think of others. But sometimes we need to be selfish for the sake of our own wellbeing or dreams. It's not like I travel solo because I refuse to travel with other people, but often no one around me wants to do the things I want to do or go to the places I want to go to. So rather than miss out I just have to be a little selfish and go off to do it on my own. My worst nightmare is reaching an old age and regretting all the opportunities I missed out. 
There are so many times in life where we need to compromise and consider other people's thoughts and feeling. But travelling solo will give the opportunity to be selfish, without impacting upon anyone else, and trust me - that's a very liberating feeling. Selfishness often comes with a sense of guilt but not when you're going solo!

5. You'll learn not to take other people's opinions too seriously

While people will often say "I don't care what people think about me," in practice, that is often a lot harder to do than we think. But when you're off having the time of your life that is definitely much easier than you'd think! When you are truly enjoying yourself, doing the things you want to do at the pace you want to do them at, who cares what anyone else thinks?! 

6. You'll never actually be alone if you don't want to be

Despite travelling solo throughout this year, I've never REALLY been alone! The main reason I think a lot of people don't want to travel alone is because they don't actually want to do things like eat dinner or visit attractions alone. My most recent trip to Berlin for example, I explored alone my first evening in the city, but that's mainly because I was exhausted and just wanted to go for a bit of a walk, eat some food and go to bed! But the next morning I met an awesome group of people on a free walking tour from our hostel, then spent the rest of the trip hanging out and exploring things with them. This works perfectly for me because it means if I want to do things alone I can, but if I want to do something and someone else wants to do it too then we can do it together! Whereas if you travel with people, you're highly unlikely to want to just go off and leave them. Plus I now have friends all over the world, a lot of whom I've actually met up with again in different locations since originally meeting!
Exploring the Christmas Markets in Berlin

7. You'll end up with a LOT of funny stories

Like that time I travelled on the metro in Athens and didn't realise you had to validate your ticket. So when approached by a guard I showed him my ticket thinking I'd have no problems, only for him to start SCREAMING at me in Greek! I obviously had no idea I'd done anything wrong so was totally baffled and just stood there looking very perplexed until he finally just gave up and walked away. I only found out what I'd done wrong when I explained to the receptionist back at my hostel! 
Or the time I was sat in the shade cooling down in Cambodia only to have a monkey steal my GoPro (which it turns out I definitely shouldn't have left just sat next to me on the bench) and ran off with it. Needless to say my immediate reaction was to chase after it (leaving my bag with all my valuables still on the bench, thankfully no one took it!) much to the amusement of the locals. Thankfully the monkey dropped the camera and I managed to swipe it off the ground before any of the others lurking around could beat me to it! I did then end up getting it actually stolen a little while later, but that's a whole different story and not quite as funny!

8. You'll become a lot more confident

Making new friends, finding your own way around a new place and bossing it at this whole travel thing - they're all going to help boost your confidence! Particularly if before you left you, or other people, thought you wouldn't be able to do it. There's something incredibly empowering about travelling alone. Even if things go wrong (and chances are, things definitely will go wrong!), you'll figure it out and that will also give you a big boost! 

9. You'll get creative with your photo taking

Having pictures of the places you've been to is nice, but I personally like to have pictures with me actually in them too! Generally I get quite nervous about handing my camera to a complete stranger to take a photo for me (after getting my GoPro back from the naughty monkey in Cambodia I ended up having it stolen out of my bag on a bus journey - it was my first trip, A LOT of mistakes were made haha), as I'm always afraid my camera will be stolen and I'll lose all the incredible memories on it! 
I've now developed two ways to get pictures of myself while travelling solo. The first is more for touristy areas or attractions. I usually look for another solo traveller, or better yet a couple, struggling to take a selfie of themselves with whatever the tourist site is in the background. I'll offer to take a picture of them using their camera and then ask if they'll return the favour and take a picture of me. I'd hope by doing this, someone is less likely to run off with my camera as I've just done something nice for them (and it's been successful so far!). Another method I enlist is better for places where it isn't as busy. I'll set my camera up on a tripod, put it on a self timer and run to get myself into position. It sometimes takes a few attempts but I've got some really great pictures this way. I wouldn't recommend doing this where its busy though as someone could easily swipe your camera while you're a few feet away posing!
This photo was taken with the tripod and self timer method - it took me about 5 tries to get it right!

10. You'll get to know yourself a lot better

I personally think that it's only when we're truly left to our own devices that we work out who we are and what we like. It's through my travels that I've discovered a love for museums and history that I never knew I had previously! I've also discovered a love for bike rides from taking bike tours around new cities. I also love active things like kayaking and hiking. These are definitely things that I probably would have never tried if I'd been travelling with someone else and they hadn't fancied doing it. It's only because I was on my own that I decided to give it a try and no one was there to suggest otherwise. I've discovered who I am without the pressures of my parents, friends or a partner. Who I am without the context of having someone else to bounce off. It's quite a liberating feeling. 

Have you been on any solo trips? Or is it something you'd like to do in the future? Let me know in the comments!

15 comments

  1. wow I loved this, I'm actually too young to travel alone for the moment but you make it sound amazing so when I'm old enough and I start travelling abroad I might have to plan a couple of trips alone !!! (great pictures by the way!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm travelling with a company called Plan My Gap Year and they offer trips for 16 & 17 year olds. You don't have quite as much freedom as you would normally because they need to make sure you stay safe. But if you're keen to travel I think it's a great idea to introduce someone to travel. Plus you can go alone but its an organised group tour, so you'll meet a group of other people (most of whom will also be alone) and everything's organised for you!
      So glad you enjoyed the post! ❤

      Delete
  2. I'm going on two big trips this year (nothing confirmed, but I'm still so esxited!!) and travelling by myself seems so daunting. But your post have made me have even more excitement! Great post! :)
    Ellie | elliekblog.blogspot.co.uk xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooo how exciting! Hope it all works out and you have an amazing time! ❤

      Delete
  3. Hi, these all great points on menu should give it a try. I am to old for that now and enjoy holidays with my friends.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha that's fair enough! Solo travel isn't for everyone, but a lot of people think its scary so I love trying to show people otherwise! ❤

      Delete
  4. I love this post because going on holiday alone is something I’ve always wanted to do but unfortunately my anxiety prevents me from doing that right now. It’s always going to be on my agenda and I hope one day I can manage it.

    Jenny
    Http://www.jennyinneverland.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope one day you feel confident enough to go solo! But I totally understand that not everyone's situation allows for it! ❤

      Delete
  5. Just finished my exam this morning and was excited to come home to read your recent blog posts. Haven't had time to catch up on reading my favourite blogs because of exams! Honestly I admire your bravery and confidence to travel alone, I really hope to do this one day as you've pointed out endless amazing things about travelling solo. All of your trips look incredible and you must have so many stories. I'm definitely hoping to travel to more places in 2018 as visiting new destinations always creeps to the top of my bucketlist every year. Can't wait for more travel posts from you Chloe! xxx

    Love Char x
    www.scarletslippers.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  6. This incredibly helpful! I have been debating on solo travel for some time now since my bubs' job is not as flexible as mine in terms of time off. I will definately keep these in mind as I plan my next trip!

    Xx SOS
    www.goodbyebutterfly.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's definitely a fab excuse to go off and do some adventuring by yourself! ❤

      Delete
  7. These are ALL such amazing reasons! I do go quite a lot of places by myself in my city and around, but my first solo trip abroad is next month. I can already relate to some of those reasons from just exploring locally, but I think I'll definitely learn a lot more about myself and get some new skills when I do travel! I'm so excited but super nervous at the same time. Thank you for suggesting this post to me, I'm going to have a look through more of your content for some tips!

    Vicky x
    http://vickyviews.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have you have an incredible time on your first solo trip! ❤

      Delete
  8. Can we call studying abroad traveling solo? Sure it took the plane to New Zealand all by myself but after that i was never alone ^^ xx corinne

    ReplyDelete

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