Excitement, fear and nervousness. These feelings took place inside me when I decided to travel on my own for the first time. It took me over two years before I made the step of packing my bags and leaving Germany to go to South Africa and I loved every second of it. Since then I have been travelling alone over and over again. I asked myself: Why didn’t I do this earlier? Here are five reasons why you should pack your bags and travel on your own.
Making travel plans with friends and family means aligning multiple schedules. Finding a period of time that everybody is happy with is an almost impossible task. Because of this those travel plans stay plans without being realised, with the follow-up statement ‘We can do this trip at a different time’. When travelling alone the only schedule that needs to be taken into consideration is your own. The right timing can be now, tomorrow or next week. There are so many beautiful places on this planet to visit. You shouldn’t wait for the right time to arise, just create the right time now and not later!
2. Freedom of choice
After successfully aligning the schedules, a destination needs to be decided on, as well as the activities. When travelling alone there is no compensating in aligning interests with anybody elses. What matters is what you are interested in and what you want to do. No family or friends will intervene, the decision is yours alone. You can to explore the city or have a relaxing day at the beach. You have the option to travel wherever you want to go, do whatever you want to do and whenever you want to do it.
3. No prejudice
The decision is made to travel on your own. Wherever your travels take you there are new people that you’ll get to know. Who you are back home will be irrelevant, what counts is living and enjoying the moment and not looking back at the past. There will be no prejudice. Everybody is excited and open to make new connections and collect new experience and impressions.
4. New friends
To stay within your budget the cheapest accommodations are hostels, which often have kitchens and bars where you can chill out and have a beer with other travellers. You will get to know new people who you can travel and bond with through experiences. Sharing those moments will create a special connection. You will create a network of friends from all over the world and the next time you will travel you just need to send one text to sort out an accommodation for your next travel destination.
5. Stepping out of your comfort zone
Travelling alone is challenging because we are leaving our safe and comfortable environment behind. I hadn’t been on a plane for 18 years and my first travel alone to South Africa included transits, delays and a lot of stress, but I made it. When travelling alone there is no procrastination possible. Problems need to be solved now and immediately, which leads to growth. Being faced with challenges you wouldn’t have come across in your day to day life will develop you as a person and make you stronger.