Some of the greatest travel writers in the world have been espousing the benefits of solo travel for decades, and it is evident that the number of travelers venturing alone is on the rise. A study conducted by LastMinute.com discovered that one in three traveled polled planned to take a solo trip in 2015, and the industry hasalso noted an increase in the amount of people booking trips alone. For many travelers, however, a solo trip is still seen as an intimidating, daunting venture; top concerns are generally cited as safety and boredom. And yet the benefits of solo travel are extensive. The potential for self growth is enormous, and pushing through your comfort zone is guaranteed to result in greater self-esteem and resilience. And, as author David Mitchell notes, if you “travel far enough, you meet yourself." So here are four more quotes to inspire you to book that solo trip you've been meaning to take.
"As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal." -- Robin S. Sharma, author and inspirational speaker
It can be argued that solo travel pushes you out of your comfort zone in a way like no other. Language barriers, getting lost, or falling ill can initially be terrifying by yourself; however, it soon becomes apparent that you can be capable of far more than you ever imagined. There have been numerous studies noting the positives that come from pushing through your comfort zone, and visiting a new destination by yourself is one of the ultimate ways to throw yourself into something new. Having to come up with solutions entirely on your own will prompt you to use initiative and heighten your perceptions. You’ll be forced to just “build a bridge and get over it” and, when everything works out, you’ll emerge much stronger.
As a nice side effect, traveling solo will also allow you to experience just how helpful others can be. It’s amazing how far out of their way people will go when you request help -- from simply recommending a place to visit, to providing a ride and sharing food.
“The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.” -- Henry David Thoreau, author and poet
One benefit of traveling alone is that your traveling styles ultimately improves. Your perceptions will become heightened, making you far more aware of your surroundings and experiences, and you'll also open yourself up to more chance encounters. There's no need to compromise with anyone on which activities to try or places to visit, and as a result you will be able to live in the moment and visit anything that takes your fancy. Likewise, you won't be forced to participate in anything that doesn't interest you, and you can stick to your budget exactly how you like. And, as solo travelers are usually perceived as far more approachable than those traveling in groups or as couples, you are far more likely to develop new friendships with both locals and other tourists.
“To travel is to take a journey into yourself.” -- Danny Kaye, actor
Spending time alone also allows for self reflection. As you can tailor your trip to cater entirely to your own needs when traveling alone, you can allow more time to fully appreciate what you are seeing. Having the time to take in all our your surroundings will make for a far richer travel experience, and you may even discover a hidden passion while you are away. Getting used to your own company will alter your perspective on what’s important, and can even give you the time and clarity of mind to make important decisions regarding your direction in life. Of course it sounds corny -- going away to “find yourself” -- but the reality is, traveling alone offers the perfect chance for self-reflection.
“Travel brings power and love back into your life.” -- Rumi, poet and scholar
The famous adage “absence makes the heart grow fonder” perhaps holds the most truth for those traveling solo. While away, it’s inevitable that you’ll miss family and friends, but think of it as an opportunity to reflect on their good points. If you’re used to traveling with your partner, a trip away will likely just reinforce your feelings towards them, and you’ll appreciate them even more when you return home. Going on a solo trip can actually improve your relationship: you will establish your independence and grow in confidence. Provided that both people are happy with the idea of the living without the other for a while, the relationship can actually benefit from one person traveling alone. After all, if a solo trip is something you really want to do then your relationship is sure to strengthen if you follow your dreams -- even temporarily.