If you’ve ever been bitten by the wanderlust bug, you’ll know how difficult it can be to ensure your itch is well and truly scratched. Even if you’ve ventured halfway across the globe or taken a jaunt to your dream destination, on your return home you may find that you’re eager to set off once again. Travelling can become a way of life. You set foot on the plane as one person and return a very different entity. Life back home seems to stay still, never moving forward. While you try to fit in and casually discuss the footie results or what was on TV last night, inside you are aching to get away and see a little bit more of the world.
You may feel a little daunted by the idea of travelling alone. Last time you may have gone with a pal, but now they’re settled back into a every day life, and the wanderlust within them has dissipated. Don’t panic. Travelling alone can be the most life-affirming activity you ever undertake. Read on to find out why.
As it’s just you travelling to these new and wonderful destinations, there’s no need for you to consider the wants and needs of anyone else. Far from making you selfish, you simply have the luxury of planning a highly personalised multi-destination jaunt. Take a step back and think about what it is you want to get from your time away. Do you want to immerse yourself in new cultures? Do you want to learn a new language? Or perhaps you want to find the most idyllic beach you can and stay there for a few months? It doesn’t matter what your aims are when abroad, if it’s only yourself that you need to worry about, you have more flexibility to achieve your travel goals.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re travelling alone or with a friend, you need to have a good level of organisation skills. You need to arrange your visas, flights, transport, accommodation and excursions. If this was something that your friend did on your last trek abroad, you need to learn fast. On the other hand, you could decide to relinquish the responsibility of the logistics of your trip to a company like Just You that specialises in organising unique tours for the single traveller. This means you won’t have to constantly feel like the gooseberry or odd one out on excursions and you have a greater chance of meeting like-minded people when you’re halfway across the globe.
Being alone on your travels doesn’t mean you have to be lonely. Travelling by yourself can broaden your horizons, give you time to grow as a person and help you understand and value the different perspectives of the world. You may find yourself returning as a more open, tolerant and relaxed individual. Without a doubt, you will grow in confidence and become more assertive. If you’re naturally shy and timid, you cannot afford to exude this persona when you need to book your train tickets to Kathmandu, or you have to find a hostel to rest your weary bones. You’ll find your limits and stretch them, becoming a more resilient person in the process.
As a single traveller, you’ll meet other people in the same boat as you, trying to make their way across the planet while taking in the sights, sounds and smells of their environment. You may meet someone so similar to yourself in a hostel that you pair up with them for a few destinations to experience a culture together before saying your goodbyes and taking different paths. However, this shared experience will keep you bonded for life and will help forge a long-lasting and meaningful relationship. You’ll be able to meet travellers from all over the world, and even if language is a barrier, your shared love of seeing the world will overcome the linguistic obstacle.
Travelling alone isn’t miserable, lonely or sympathy inducing; it’s the exact opposite. Being your own boss when taking a trip of a lifetime means there will be no dramas on your trip and no need to surrender to the wants of another individual.