Hi everyone! Recently I wrote an article for a German student magazine about travelling alone or, to be more specific, five reasons why everyone should have done it at least once in their life. So now I translated it and put it on here for you guys to read it as well…
“I’d love to fly to XY during the next holidays, but everyone else still has exams/ no time”. Almost everyone has heard this sentence from one of their friends before or they were the one to say it. But travelling alone can have its perks. What you experience when you are on your own is not worth any less just because you’ll remember it alone instead of having a laugh about it with your friends a few years later. The opposite is the case. It can be worth just as much and here are the reasons why:
1. You’re independent
The first reason is obvious: Dependency will be nowhere to be found. From nothing and nobody. If you’re not eager to do a day trip to anywhere or going out, if you’d rather read your book or go for a swim in the ocean instead you’re fine. Nobody’s holding you back and there’s nobody you’ll have to conform to. You can do absolutely everything you want. That is as obvious as it is rare. Only after being in such a situation for a while, after you’ve recognised the feeling of it, you’ll see that it does not have to be a limitation but a liberation.
2.You’ll get to know more people
Well, not necessarily more, because that would also depend on your friends if you were on a trip with them. But at least you get to know people differently than if your friends were there. One thing I noticed about people on my travels is that if you’re on your own when travelling, you’re likely to approach people more often than when your own friends are around. Because then you got company and you only put effort into getting to know those who approached you. But imagine the situation if none of you’re friends were around. Plus, if you’re the shy type, that is the best way to give getting new people to know a go. In an easy-peasy atmosphere, where nobody knows who you are and you can be completely relaxed. No scene is easier for meeting new people than the backpacker scene where everybody is of chilled and young mentality. Backpackers also often travel alone, so, if you look at it that way, you’re in the same boat.
3. You’ll focus closer on your surroundings
You can observe your environment without any distractions. If you see something on your day trip where you’d like to stay for a while, you can stay. You can make a stop anywhere and discover everything there is to see in your own pace. You can stroll around markets and linger at every stall you wish to have a closer look at without the feeling that someone might be already waiting for you to finish. Talking about the other way around, you also don’t have to wait for anyone and can skip things that don’t excite you. All of this gives you time to look at the things that cross your way differently, if not more precisely.
4. You’ll get to know yourself better
Travelling alone has of course – as all things in life – its disadvantages. One of them is that it can get pretty lonely at times. Especially if you, for example want to talk to someone about something personal and you get the feeling that nobody is there who knows you well enough to give you good advice. Other than the fact that you might also not want to tell something personal to newly known people. Or if you just have practical or profane concerns like finding someone who tells you that you look like you’re about to get a sunburn and applies some sun screen your back just in case. Whatever the situation, you’re gonna find a way out of it because you have to. Be it either by asking for help or by being your own helper. Either way, you’ll grow as a person thanks to situations like that and get to know yourself better on the way.
5. The time is now
The opportunity has never been within reach as much as it is while you’re a student. And it won’t be for much longer. At least not if we’re talking about a longer trip. You’ll rarely have as many liberties in life as you have while you’re at Uni. Let’s be honest, your plans for longer travels are being crossed many times because it never seems to be the right time as somethings always coming in between. That won’t be any easier in the future. More like the opposite: With a job and a partner/a family it’s going to be tough to find a time frame to get away for a few weeks. Apart from that your interests will likely change and you don’t want to be on vacation without your partner/family. Hence why now is the best time to get your butt on a plane and see what’s out there for you!
It doesn’t matter if you’re planning on doing a city trip or passing your time discovering Asia for four weeks. Even a one-week beach holiday in Spain can be fun alone. The motto for this whole thing is: Don’t make yourself dependent! If you want to go and see things, what are you waiting for? There’s no reason to miss something just because you don’t want to go there alone. We’re not in that age anymore where you can just go to places if you have a friend/partner that comes along with you. Don’t risk missing out because you wait for someone to have time. That you’re gonna be alone should not be a reason holding you back to do the things you want to do.
And by the way, who says you’re gonna be alone in the end? 😉
To all my German readers, you can read the article here.