Are you scared of travelling alone? Here are all the perks of solo travel that even introverts know by heart.
Solo travel can sound unfamiliar and scary, especially if you’re a female tourist. There is no one to help you with directions, no one to share food and hilarious moments with, and no one to look out for you in a foreign land. But as someone who is in her early 20s and has travelled solo nine times (though not once with a friend, oops), I guarantee that travelling alone is the BEST, more so if you’re an introvert. As long as you’re well-prepared and have learnt all the essential travel tips, there is nothing to worry about. So take a look at these public holidays for 2020, pack your holiday reads and get ready for international adventure.
Reasons why solo travel feels amazing
You can indulge in your own weird/obscure entertainment
Don’t we all have that friend who needs to go to every single tourist attraction and spends an hour taking selfies in front of a subway station? Solo travel means no more compromising and a flexible schedule. One time in Amsterdam, I went to this eccentric but fascinating Torture Museum that showcases a selection of European torture devices in small dark rooms and there were literally three people in it the entire time – I wondered who would’ve gone there with me if I wasn’t alone and able to visit wherever I wanted.
You get to eat by yourself and it feels great
Going to a diner by yourself isn’t sad or embarrassing (seriously no one is caring or judging). It’s just relaxing to sit down and eat in peace, without being intruded on by any forking lurkers. If you really want entertainment while eating, have a book in your pocket or pre-download a few episodes on Netflix. I’ve also realised that waiters/waitresses tend to be extra nice to you if you’re just chilling by yourself, or is it just me?
You blend in like a local resident
They say solo travel puts you in a dangerous position of being easily targeted by criminals. I say it’s the opposite. First, people won’t easily notice your tourist identity since you aren’t surrounded by a bunch of loud friends – you might have a foreign face but you can still be a local. When you’re on your own, you tend to have your guard up, meaning pickpocketing is less likely to happen to you. Just another advantage of travelling alone.
You meet like-minded people when you feel like it
As an introvert, I avoid crowds and social settings. But that doesn’t mean I don’t spark up interesting conversations with like-minded people at underground gigs or museums while travelling. Because it feels great to chat to people who share the same interests as you. When you’re with your friends, you won’t have as much opportunity to do so as when you’re alone. Also, if the conversation doesn’t go well, you can always call it quit, because no one is stopping you when you’re travelling alone.
You learn how to enjoy your own company, even in complete silence
There are days when we feel like we’ve lost touch with ourselves – work, work drinks, dinner with friends, sleep, work – the cycle continues. Solo travel is a great chance for you to get out of your comfort zone, make your own decisions and experience new things that only you will remember (and you can romanticise it however you want). Isn’t it great to have something that is just all about you for once? Treat yourself to a moment (or two) of silence.