If I told you that traveling alone for the first time wasn't scary, intimidating, and unsettling- I'd be lying. Traveling alone can be all of those words mentioned and more. However, it also has it's advantages once you get to know yourself and what you actually like to do. The top 3 things I often hear from people when it comes to solo travel is: "Is it safe?", "I'm afraid that something will happen to me" & "What am I supposed to do by myself?" While all of these are legitimate things to concern yourself with, they are also the same fears that hold most people back from ever experiencing anything. The truth is-- if you can go to the movies, to a restaurant, or to the beach alone, you can absolutely travel alone too. Another truth is- if you waited for other people to go with you, you'd never go anywhere. And for that reason, here are 5 great advantages to traveling alone...
1) NO ONE TO CRAMP YOUR STYLE. Meaning that if you want to wake up at 8am or at 2 in the afternoon, there's no one there to judge you or say otherwise. No one will debate with you about where to eat, what hotel to stay in, what restaurants to go to, what bars to visit, or how long is too long to stay in any particular place. You're free to do and go as you please. Often times when we go on trips with other people, we run into the complainers who complain about everything from not wanting to eat here, not wanting to go to the beach at this time, not liking the hotel, and many other little things that can definitely put a damper on our mood and our vacation. However, when you're alone- you don't have to worry about those things or those people. There will be no one there holding you back from your ideal vacation.
2) COME & GO AS YOU PLEASE. Are you a late riser or an early bird? It doesn't matter. You can do what you want on your own time when you travel alone. No one is there rushing you to wake up and get ready for an adventure that they have planned. No one can shame you for being late to something you really didn't want to go to in the first place. You can sleep in all morning, or hang out all night with no one's opinion or advice of how you should be spending your time. This ensures that you'll have an awesome vacation doing exactly what YOU want to do, and not what others want you to do.
3) YOU WON'T HAVE TO WAIT ON ANYONE! One of the most frustrating things I hear from people when it comes to traveling is that during the planning of the vacation, several people will throw their hands up in excitement and agree to go with you. However, as the vacation get closer to the departure date, many of those same people suddenly have other obligations that have nothing to do with the vacation. Their rent, bills, and other needs came up and they now have to back out of the trip. Or in most cases, they weren't really serious in the first place, and only agreed to go with you to feel included. Which then leaves you in a tough position. Do you take the vacation anyway and go alone, or do you miss out on an opportunity? Unfortunately, many people would rather miss out on an opportunity than to go alone. As I mentioned before, if you wait on other people to go anywhere with you, you may just be waiting forever. Don't be that person.
4) LEARN ABOUT WHO YOU ARE. When you're out there in the world all alone, you start to learn things about yourself that you might not have learned while being around others. No matter how strong willed or independent you think you are, sometimes we can be influenced by outside sources like our friends, family, or coworkers when it comes to decision making. When you're with a group of people, usually it's the majority who decide what to do. If it's 4 people on a vacation, and 3 decide to eat at McDonald's, but you want something different, you're usually swayed into getting what the other's want just to keep the peace or to avoid being left behind. When you travel alone, you don't have those concerns. You're able to learn yourself and let your mood dictate what you want, and where you want to be. It makes no sense going anywhere with anyone that'll argue with you about not wanting the same thing they do. Discover who you are and what you like through traveling alone. You might just come back a more empowered person.
5) YOU CAN NEVER BLAME ANYONE FOR NOT GOING. If you decide not to travel alone because your friends didn't have the time, money, or interest in going with you, at some point the blame will only fall on you. You can't blame others for not considering your plans. What's important to you will not always be important to them. What you have to do is imagine yourself at 70 years old when it's time for reflecting on your life. Are you going to be sitting around holding grudges against people for not wanting to go with you, or will you have to live with the regret of not going alone and making the most of the life you had? After all- it's YOUR life and no one else can live it for you or with you. It's better to grow old knowing that you did the things you wanted to do, even if it was alone, than to die with the regret of not doing anything because you waited for someone else. Ultimately, the choice is yours.
I'm just a solo traveler who decided to make the leap. I stood up for myself in saying that I would not miss an opportunity to do something that I wanted to do because of other people. Another person's life is not my life, and vice versa. We have to live for the moment and the memories. When life comes to an end, the biggest regret that most people have is in not doing the things they wished they'd done. Don't live with regrets, or fear. The only person stopping you from doing the things you want to do, is YOU. Take charge of your life!
xoxo- Ashawna Lane