Culture, Featured, Lifestyle, Travel

Going Solo: Here’s Why Travelling Alone Is The Only Way To Travel

Doing anything alone carries an unfair stigma. Whether it’s going to the pub alone, spending Saturday night in front of Netflix or just mooching about, there’s always the sneaking suspicion that the only reason people do things by themselves is because they can’t do them with anyone else. Travelling has been tarred with that brush but I reckon that’s holding people back from having a brilliant, life-changing experience. Here’s why:

It’s Good To Scare Yourself
Being safe 24/7 just isn’t good for you. Psychological studies from the University of Westminster have shown that overcoming being scared can make you more confident, be cathartic, and clear your head. Travelling alone is a challenging, often frightening experience (depending on where you go) and will end with you being a more interesting person with better anecdotes. What’s not to like?

You’ll Meet New People
A short list of some interesting people I met when travelling alone: a Balinese cockfighter, a German dancehall fanatic, a group of Dutch longshoremen, a pro surfer, some guy who claimed to be a prolific drug dealer, a few Nigerian engineers, and more weird hippies and spiritualists than you could shake a stinky dreadlock at. Being alone forces you to talk to randoms and that means meeting people you never would have otherwise.

You Actually Might (ugh) ‘Find Yourself’
‘Find yourself’ is a wanky term used by wanky people. It all feels a little ‘Eat Pray Love’, which can distract you from what is a good (if vague) concept. If you’re doing a job you hate, feel like you’re stuck in a rut or just want to make a change, travelling alone can give you the distance to look at your life, decide what you like about it and what you don’t and then work out how to make a change. That’s pretty hard to do if you’re hopping from temple to temple or racing across SE Asia to make it to the next Full Moon Party. Admittedly, you might spend six months in an ashram and come out none the wiser so don’t expect too much.

You Don’t Have To Answer To Anyone
Maybe you like to have everything planned in advance, maybe you like to just book the flight and hope for the best. Either way, the only way you’ll get to do what you want, when you want to do it is by going out there on your own. No more pointlessly expensive meals you can’t really afford and no more bloody temples, unless, of course, that’s what you want to do.

You’ll Have New Stories For Your Old Friends
If you’re like me, you’ve probably got a small, close knit group of friends you constantly chat with. It’s the people who keep your What’s App buzzing 24/7 and these are always the mates you end up travelling/going on holiday with. That means when you get home, you experienced everything together so there’s nobody to tell any stories to. If you go away you’ll have some batshit experiences you can relate/brag about and it’s great.

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