February 7, 2015

#SoloHoneymoon, Yes Please


There are many travelers who claim that traveling alone is the best way to see the world, and I’m one of them. I want to experience the world without the influence of a friend or partner’s tastes, prejudices, or preferences. When you’re with a companion, it’s easy to focus on that person and forget about meeting other travelers. Traveling alone, you’re more likely to be on a voyage of self-discovery. Solo travel is the ideal opportunity to try something new. It can be delightfully self-indulgent.

Solo travel can be a scary thing, particularly if you’ve never hit the road alone before. The main advantage when traveling by yourself is that you can afford to be as selfish as you want. It’s simply nice to be able to truly do what you want, when you want, and go where you want with no one else to consider other than yourself. When you travel solo, you rule your wanderlust dreams, and yeah I don’t plan much when I travel, but even when I do, you can throw that all out the window if you decide you don’t like a place or want to go somewhere else sooner than expected. The planning becomes much more about what you and you alone want to get out of the experience, you don’t have to account for anyone else’s desires when planning your schedule.

When loved ones hear of a solo trip, they tend to get nervous and think the worst. It’s just natural, and when you travel alone, there are certain safety precautions one must take that may not be necessary if you’re traveling with a partner. For women, it’s important to remain on top of your game at all times and take a few extra precautions. I don’t walk alone by myself after dark. I’m careful about the places I stay. I try extra hard to befriend locals, particularly women, because then they’ll watch out for me. I’m super cautious about men in foreign countries, never giving them the benefit of the doubt.

If you love the outdoors but also traveling by yourself, it’s still possible to hit the trails and remain safe. It is important to plan ahead and have a plan though. There are two concerns for many solo travelers. The first is safety: the simple fact is that there are countries that are statistically safer than others for travelers. The second concern is a bit less tangible but just as critical: is the country you’ve chosen a happy place? Is it a country where you’ll be made to feel welcome, a nation where you can easily interact with the locals, where conversation flows easily even if you’re struggling with a new language? For truly rewarding solo travel, it’s crucial that you can connect with the culture and not feel like an outsider.With no back-up, the solo traveler has to be more aware of their surroundings.

Even the most hardcore solo traveler usually has to deal with loneliness at some point during a long term trip. The best way to deal with loneliness is to shut off the computer, the IPods, and the cell phones, and just talk to people. The interaction with others, especially locals, really makes the trip memorable, you’re often not really alone and by simply saying hello, you never know what door that will open.

Any type of travel, whether it’s a weekend getaway or a year-long trip, can teach a person so much about both the world around them and themselves. But traveling solo is a different thing all together. By hitting the road alone, you are forced to learn certain skills that you may be able to pawn off on someone else if you had a partner to travel with. Those skills will not only help you in your travels, but also in your daily life when travel is not a part of it. It’s unbelievable how much confidence I’ve gained as a solo traveler and that spills over into every aspect of my life. I have learned the art of patience. One learns to be one’s own best friend and your problem-solving skills and confidence goes through the roof. Self-discovery isn’t just hippie mumbo jumbo. It actually happens when you take time away from your world.

There may be those of you out there who still don’t think it’s possible, who still don’t believe, who are still afraid to take that plunge and head off into the unknown without anyone having your back. That’s all right; it’s a scary thing to do, which is why the vast majority of people wouldn’t even consider a solo trip around the world. But the fact remains that many people can and do travel the world alone, and they all feel they’re better people because of it.

I asked all of our solo travelers to give one final piece of advice to someone who may still be on the fence about a trip like this. The advice they give is invaluable for any traveler looking to take off on their own. Go for it! Do it. Meet people. Explore. Enjoy! It’s a precious opportunity for growth to push yourself outside of your comfort zone, that’s when you’ll have the most rewarding experiences.

Traveling solo does not mean being lonely. I do think it takes a certain type of person to enjoy solo travel – it’s not for everyone. There are plenty of ways to find travel buddies if you really feel like you need one. You will come back stronger, wiser and with a completely different perspective on life. Magical memories will be the norm and you will yearn to relive them the rest of your days. There’s no better feeling than setting a courageous goal for yourself and defying the odds to achieve it; jumping headfirst into the unknown with an open heart and an open mind. In everything that I do; the confidence and self awareness follows and carving a way for vast improvement in my happiness and quality of life.”

So, Solo Honeymoon; Yes Please!


Keep calm and Go Solo

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