Many people choose not to travel on their own due to the fear of being lonely while abroad. What people may not realize, solo traveling is a freeing and empowering experience. The possibilities are endless because you get to plan your itinerary. You can spend your trip doing whatever you want each day of the week. Most end up leaving their first solo travel experience learning more about themselves.
What to know before embarking on your first adventure:
Before boarding the flight for your first solo adventure, it’s helpful to learn about the destination you’re going to and read up on the culture. Of course, you’re going to know the country or city you’re going to, but it’s best to do a little bit of research about the culture of the area. Having an idea about the culture of your chosen destination will be a great advantage.
Questions you may want to research before your solo adventure:
- How do the locals dress?
- What is the country’s dining etiquette?
- What is the country’s currency?
- What is the native language spoken?
- Are there any common scams that you should look out for while abroad?
While you may be excited about your first solo adventure, there are a few tidbits to keep in mind before you explore the world:
- Purchase travel insurance before your trip. Travel doesn’t always go as planned, and flights can become delayed or canceled at any time. There’s also the dreaded chance of lost or stolen luggage, so having the safety net of travel insurance will ease the worry that may come along with traveling alone for the first time.
- Know where the embassy of your country is at your destination. If anything goes significantly wrong while abroad, contact the embassy with any questions or concerns.
- Keep a copy of your passport information with you while you’re out and about. Keep the copy tucked away and leave your passport back at your accommodation in a safe place.
What to know while traveling abroad:
If you’re a first-time traveler, whether that be the first time abroad or by yourself, it’s a good idea to be aware of what to expect while traveling. Homesickness, loneliness, and the feeling of being overwhelmed are common feelings for many solo travelers. Be patient with yourself, especially if it’s your first time traveling abroad as a solo traveler.
Traveling by yourself doesn’t have to be a scary or intimidating adventure. Go easy on yourself while traveling. Make reservations in advance at the restaurant you’ve been dying to indulge at or save yourself a seat at that live show you’ve been excited to see. Learn to forgive yourself while you travel. You can’t become enemies with yourself during your time of exploring the world around you. Feel the world unfold around you as you learn to listen and watch. Solo travelers are more open to cultural connection and discovery.
The benefits of solo traveling:
Solo traveling builds confidence. Over time, you’ll realize that you’re capable of so much more than you thought. During your travels, you may not even notice that you push yourself out of your comfort zone every day. You’re responsible for yourself and every decision you make.
Travel isn’t perfect, and it doesn’t have to be. Throughout, you’ll become more confident with yourself and your choices.
While you’re traveling, you’ll have a lot of “you” time. Use this as an opportunity to enjoy it however you’d like. Whether that be strolling through a city center to hit up all the hotspots or connecting with locals, it’s your time. Another great benefit to solo traveling is self-discovery. Chances are, you’ll try something you never thought you ever would.
What it’s like traveling for the first time by yourself:
As someone who is an introvert, I was worried about making friends abroad. Luckily, I didn’t run into that problem in any city that I went to, and after making plans daily with new friends, I was craving my alone time after a while. Throughout my solo travels, I learned the hard way. I overpacked, I didn’t know how to deal with being homesick, and I felt alone at times, but in the end, traveling is now something that I never want to stop doing. Learning to be on your own, and be okay with it, is an empowering experience. The greatest achievement I accomplished while solo traveling was owning the power of being alone.
Whether you’re a first-time solo traveler or onto your second or third adventure, I am a firm believer that everyone should solo travel at least once in their life. Traveling by yourself is empowering and lets you discover things you may not have known about yourself. It’s a truly remarkable experience.
Travel on, friends!