It seems as though every trip must be taken with company these days. Girl's trips, bachelor parties, and family excursions all involve some sort of travel entourage. But when was the last time you set out solo? Before you completely write off the notion of traveling as a party of one, hear us out… Here are a few compelling reasons why you may want to ride alone for your next adventure.
1. Opportunity for autonomy
The best part of traveling alone is that you can put yourself first! While this may sound a bit self-centered, it’s a completely valid pursuit. You’ve got the power to call all the shots on independent trips. Nobody’s going to pass judgment if you bow out of your hike at the two-mile mark. Or, perhaps you want to go rogue and bag a 14er without having to wait for your less-experienced hiking friends to bring up the rear. It’s your adventure and yours alone. So spend a guilt-free day at the river’s edge, completely secure that your desire to fish from dawn till dusk didn’t impede on anyone else’s plans for the day.
Your freedom to choose extends beyond daily activities. One of the highlights of traveling to a new place is trying the hottest local eats. Unfortunately, if you’ve got to worry about the lactose-intolerant member of your group or deal with your friend who hates Mexican food (to which we ask why you’re friends with them), your dinner preferences are rather irrelevant. Luckily, this tragedy can be easily prevented by traveling on your own. Exercise your freedom to eat all the cheesy burritos that your stomach desires! Consensus is overrated anyway.
2. Space for self-reflection
Take time to get right with yourself when traveling alone and sleeping in your car. The newfound freedom may inspire you to try your hand at journaling or perhaps the trip will present the perfect time to give meditation a try. If you’re really hardcore you can activate full Eat, Pray, Love mode in a quest for self-discovery. The options for introspection are endless when you’re exploring as a party of one.
Taking time to focus on yourself is an important self-care practice. We all give so much of our time and energy to things that don’t always give it back. The 9-5 job, the endless emails, and the deadlines of our day to day can really sap the life out of us. Taking a trip by yourself allows space and time to recharge to hit the ground running when Monday comes.
3. The empowerment of independence
Traveling alone can be incredibly empowering! The ability to navigate a new space on your own is a great reminder of how capable you are. Making your own plans and successfully managing your agenda (something we can’t even do it during most work weeks) while traveling independently is quite the feat.
Traveling solo forces healthy self-reliance. A solo trip offers the push often needed to overcome travel challenges by yourself. You may be surprised by the self-reliance that reveals itself when you serve as captain, first mate, and backseat driver all at once.
4. Focus on your surroundings
Lastly, independent travel is the perfect time to connect with the locals. Sometimes traveling with buddies can buffer a full immersion in your surroundings since it’s easier to engage with the people you came with rather than the strangers around you. The little bubble formed by you and your travel squad can mean that there is more interaction amongst the group than with the surroundings. Riding solo eliminates the middlemen, making it easier to connect with the people and culture of the place you’re visiting.
Traveling alone can be a little intimidating, but it can also be very empowering and rewarding. Try your hand at solo travel to explore a little deeper this weekend!