Most of us have become somewhat complacent and dependent on other people for companionship, acceptance, validation or cling to others simply out of a fear of loneliness among a multitude of other possible reasons. As such, very few people are truly independent. Unfortunately in our society, those who have the strength and courage to be truly independent are socially stigmatized, especially on lovely Hallmark holidays such as Valentine’s Day.
For this reason, most people find the thought of being alone, never-mind travelling alone on vacation completely and utterly daunting.
I bring this up because the most common objection to solo travel that I hear is that people don’t want to be alone. But why?
Nobody to talk to? Afraid of getting lost in one’s own thoughts? Fear of being in a dangerous situation and unable to help oneself?
The fact of the matter is that in this day and age, people don’t even really TALK to each other anymore. I mean, everyone just texts or instant messages and nobody actually picks up the phone and actually calls each other anymore. Last week my younger brother stayed at my place and when my phone rang, he handed it to me and said, “Wow, your friends actually call you?”.
Heck, these days even if you sit in a coffee shop alone and aren’t scrolling through your smart phone or reading a book people will look at you like you’re a psychopath.
What I’m trying to get at here, is that although we are so “connected to everyone” we are not truly physically or directly interacting with people in person. This type of communication (texting, IM, emails, social media even real phone calls! etc. ) can all be done while abroad and while travelling solo. So what is everyone so afraid of?
I digress. Now that that’s out of the way, lets explore how taking a solo vacation can benefit you and why it is the best gift you can give yourself!
5 Reasons Why Everyone Should take a Solo Vacation at Least Once in Their Lifetime:
1. You Will Make New Friends
When travelling alone, you will have to interact with others whether you like it or not. Some interactions may be brief and superficial however you will very likely meet other travellers that you otherwise never would have met or engaged with if you were in the company of your travel companion(s). Chances are you will also meet other solo travellers and if you meet someone you like, make plans to do something together even if it’s just to sit at a beach for a day, share a taxi or grab a coffee. Don’t be afraid to reach out.
2. Your Self-Confidence Will Improve as You Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Without anyone to depend on but yourself, you have no choice but to take care of all of the planning and preparation for your trip. If you find this potentially daunting, all you have to do is write out a list of your plans and everything you need for your trip and cross them off as you’ve completed each component of your itinerary. Upon returning from your adventure, you will not only be proud of yourself for all of the organization you put into the trip but also all of the amazing experiences you had as a result. It was all you! This will no doubt boost your self-confidence immensely.
3. You will become more introspective and in-tune with your surroundings
4. You Get to do Exactly What You Want When You Want.
You are in complete control of your vacation from start to finish. You can plan your itinerary just as quickly as you can ditch it and devise a new plan and not have to worry about upsetting anyone else. Want to sleep in? Do it and have nothing to feel guilty about as after all, it’s your vacation. Want to wake up early the next day and go for a run or a head start on a road trip? No problem, just go! Tired and want to go home? Go home! Hungry? Well, go get something to eat, whatever YOU are in the mood for and take as long as YOU like.
5. You Create your Budget and Control it.
As you can see, there are a multitude of benefits to taking a solo vacation but there are some potential setbacks. For example, if you are embarking on an all-inclusive vacation, most resorts have a singles surcharge which can be as high as $1000 or more. Even worse, some resorts such as Sandals, ban single travellers all together as though singles are some outcasts in society (But don’t take it personally because these same resorts also ban gay couples so why anyone in their right mind would support such a bigoted organization is beyond me!). Furthermore, if you are travelling solo, you must exert extra caution to ensure your personal safety especially if you are female.
Prior to booking and shorty before you leave for your trip regardless of where in the world it may be, be sure to check out your country’s government travel advisory page. If the region or the country you will be visiting becomes subject to a travel advisory, your travel health insurance or your trip cancellation insurance may be affected.
So what are you waiting for? Suck it up Princess, and go book yourself your dream solo vacation! You’ll be so proud you had that experience and have memories you will never forget!