You answer to NO ONE
|Fairy Stream in Mui Ne, Vietnam|
You can be cranky
Let's face it, as exciting and fun as travel is, it can take its toll on you (or at least it does on me) and when that happens, I get cranky. But when you travel with a partner, it can be tough to show your cranky side (we all do it, but how much of it you show can be the difference between an OK day and a terrible one for both of you). Travelling solo and feeling like crawling back under the covers or having a quiet day of wandering to ease the bad mood? Go for it.
There's an added element of excitement
Travelling as a couple (or with a friend) can be great but for me, it was always easier to rely on my partner to step in a make a decision when I didn't want to, to find our way when we took a wrong turn (or several), to help me feel more comfortable. But when you travel alone, everything is up to you and not having a safety net of a fellow traveller, although scary at first, is exciting. When I landed in Paris alone, when I landed in Barcelona alone, when I landed in Copenhagen alone (with no idea where I was going), I was scared but also totally exhilarated. The idea of "I can do it - alone!" is exciting no matter where you're travelling.
It can be easier to meet people
|Meeting a new "friend" in Dalat, Vietnam|
It forces you out of your comfort zone
You know that scary aspect of solo travel I mentioned, it has another benefit (yes, fear can be a good thing). Travelling alone pushes you outside of your comfort zone. Lost? Find your way. Not sure where to stay or for how long? Figure it out. Feeling overwhelmed? Learn how to handle the ups and downs of travel without a safety net. That might sound harsh, but the more you accomplish on your own, the more you prove to yourself how much you can actually do.
It helps you learn about yourself
There's nothing like a solo trip (whether a week or a month or more) to teach you a few new things about yourself. When you travel alone, you're forced to think on your feet and make decisions without the luxury of someone to bounce ideas off of, which can show you new things about not only how you think, but what you like, what bugs you and what makes you happiest. Most importantly, solo travel can teach you just how strong you can be. Of course, it can also teach you a few things you might not like about yourself, but that too, is an important part of that whole "life" learning curve that never stops.
*Note, pictures above are not from solo trips (I don't have too many of those...yet).
What's you favourite thing about solo travel? I'd love to hear about it.