People are divided into two groups: those who love traveling solo, and those who haven’t tried it.
I used to look at traveling solo as a boring way to explore the places. Loneliness, no one to count on, vulnerability, and fear – it all crushes you at one moment. It all changed when I tried it two years ago.
It was 1st May and all Universities had official days-off so students headed home, most cafes were closed, and all the student parties were over. I felt a bit homesick as my family was about to go to the country house for some barbeque. So I made a decision to hitchhike back home, crossing the border and passing through over 10 regions. And guys, the trip to Kyiv exceeded my expectations. Was smooth, fast, and funny.
So why should you go and travel solo?
1. Traveling solo literally challenges every spectrum of you.
You will be put in lots of situations when you and only have to decide. Should you get into this car? Should you take a bus or walk 12 km? How to find a host? Where to get food? Who to ask for the painkillers? How not to get lost?
You will be answering every single question. You will be counting only on yourself.
2. Traveling solo gives you freedom of choice.
You will have no need to compromise, to wait, to discuss. You are allowed to do whatever you feel like. You want to walk faster and hike the mountain for the sunset. Yes, please! You opted for a vegan dinner instead of pizza? Sure! You can be your own boss.
3. You connect to strangers much faster.
That is perhaps the happiest part of traveling solo. Just because you lack conversations and you are eager to share some emotions with someone, you have a much stronger will to connect to locals or other travelers.
I have found my new friends in Strasbourg, in Paris, in Barcelona, in Palma de Mallorca, in Hamburg, in Berlin, in Zurich, in Konstanz just by letting some strangers come into my life and share that vital moment with me.
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4. You will become a braver traveler.
Three years ago I would laugh on even should you tell me I would hitchhike by myself one day or would send numerous Couchsurfing requests mentioning “I am a solo traveler”. Now it became a part of my life. Every time I am about to go somewhere alone, I am mentally prepared to live the adventures, to exit the bubble, and to make insane decisions. Since then I got enough courage to take a speedy motorbike ride, to jump from the bridge to the river, to jump from the waterfall, to hike fjords, to get lost without a phone, to ran out of money in a new city, to just be me and share my “being me” with others.
5. Solo-travelers upgrade their language skills much faster
Just because there is no one to translate for you, no one to reply instead of you, you will handle the fight by yourself. You will be so impressed with the progress you are going to make.
During my winter trip to Spain, I made a decision to speak Spanish 90% of the time. And I switched to English only when I had a limited time to explain something crucial. Results? I got much more fluent and managed to explain all of my thoughts. Slowly. Carefully. With tons of mistakes. But remember the point of language is communication. So as long as both sides understand each other – chill and have fun.
6. You will get creative
No one to give you extra pants cause yours got wet? No one to take a photo of you? No one to plan the accommodations?
That is a moment when your creativity has to be turned on. Yes, creativity, no depressing vibes or bad mood. Get out of the bubble, and try to figure out how to make the things work.
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Don’t date a girl who travels. She is hard to please. The usual dinner-movie date at the mall will suck the life out of her. Her soul craves for new experiences and adventures. She will be unimpressed with your new car and your expensive watch. She would rather climb a rock or jump out of an airplane than hear you brag about it.
7. Most important – traveling solo is a way to discover yourself.
You might be scared to be left alone with your own thoughts, but that is the most important step towards wholehearted living. You have plenty of time to dig deeper, to uncover untold truth about your own emotions and desires. During the solo trips you will be your priority, so all the focus will be moved towards ‘What YOU really want’.
And there is nothing better to understand that you stand on new land, totally in full control of your thoughts, of your emotions and your desires. You are like that panther who runs across countries, cities, streets staying true and being strong. Being strong independently of people, their moods, and wishes. Trust me, it is the most beautiful feeling you can ever wish to experience.