travel alone solo traveler

Traveling alone can be an incredibly liberating experience. / Image: Daniel Foster via Flickr CC.

Right after graduating from college, I experienced many changes in my personal life and decided it was the perfect opportunity to do the one thing I’d wanted to since high school: travel alone. I willingly packed up my backpack for two months and planned out the places I wanted to go around Europe. Beginning in Turkey, I had total freedom to travel wherever I wanted with just my carry-on bag and the desire to find my own way. It was one of the most liberating and self-reflecting things I’ve done in my life. Here are a few reasons why you should think about traveling alone too:

  • You open yourself to make friends everywhere and meet new people.

While traveling alone, you don’t just fall into the routine of talking to your own friends but rather, walking up to someone new in the hostel and finding a buddy to go tour the Eifel Tower with you. I have made friends all over the world from traveling alone, and those different perspectives have definitely made me a more compassionate, well-rounded person.

  • There is comfort in knowing you can be happy alone.

When you travel alone, there is a lot of you time. It may feel overwhelming at first, but there is amazing freedom and joy in being able to do whatever you would like and love being with just you. I gained the ability to be self-sufficient and independent during this experience abroad, which is perhaps one of the best outcomes of my travels.

  • You begin to handle more decisions and situations by yourself rather than relying on others.

Traveling alone makes you more reliable for getting from point A to point B and it also makes it fully your decision on anything you do. When you travel solo, you are forced to rely on yourself, think quickly, and be decisive. I definitely came out a stronger person after spending time alone in a foreign country.

  • You will become a more positive person.

Spending time alone or with strangers will make you rely on yourself for entertainment and realize how important it is to stay positive. Being on your own in this way makes you perceive your surroundings differently, as well as your relationships with others and yourself. There is a lot of good that comes from deep self-reflection, and for me, it definitely made me a more positive person.

Have you ever traveled alone before? What did you like or find challenging about it?