Last May I threw caution to the wind and set off alone down America’s west coast. The winter season in Whistler had finally drawn to a close and it was time to burst the ski town bubble and head for the ocean. Though I was nervous to leave behind my Whistler family, this adventure was just for me and I couldn’t wait to start the journey. Turns out, it was the best journey I ever made. Here are the top five reasons that make solo travel an unmissable experience:
- Ultimate freedom. You’ll never be more free than this. It’s up to you and only you to go anywhere, do anything and change your plans however you feel best. There’s nothing and no-one to hold you back, no need to compromise; this is your journey.
- Be 100% YOU. Unrestricted and undefined by others’ opinions, when you travel alone you have a fresh slate: be whoever you want to be. Learn about yourself and get to know who you are when set free of the external influences of your everyday.
- Meet amazing people. The best thing about travelling alone is the extra opportunities you have to meet new people and make global friendships. Solo travellers seek each other out and have incredible stories to share of their adventures. Hostels and tour groups are the best places to find like-minded globe-trotters.
- Expand your comfort zone. Meeting new people is guaranteed to expand your comfort zone, as you join them on activities you would normally avoid, or that your friends back home aren’t into. I’d never considered doing a 6 hour hike before I found myself scaling waterfalls in Yosemite with my Trek America tour group last year!
- SEE more. Travelling by yourself gives you the time and space to gain perspective on yourself and the world. The chance to sit quietly in new places, just thinking and watching, soaking up your environment, allows you to take in and appreciate so much more than if you were chatting away with an old friend about life back home. Taking those thoughts back to your hostel dorm and mulling over the big questions that seeing the world inspires is where the richest value of solo travel lies.
Travelling by yourself can be daunting. Perhaps you’ll get lonely… and what if you need help? Rest assured, the rewards far outweigh the drawbacks and once you get used to your newfound freedom, you’ll find those worries melt away. Now could be the perfect time to start planning your solo adventure. There is so much out there to see.