Today, most adults live a super busy life, and they often end up burnt out and tired. Travelling can help you revive your energy and refocus you. Whatever your age, travelling makes you feel fresh, alive, and excited as you discover new things. It can act as a much-needed break from your daily rut.
Travelling is a habit everyone should cultivate, and it can mean different things to different people. There was a time when people travelled to places in groups with their loved ones, friends, and families. As time has passed, much has changed – the manner of travelling, the places we travel to, and the kind of companions we choose to travel with. A new travel culture has emerged known as solo travel. Let’s dive in and explore what it is.
What is solo travel?
Solo travel is a growing trend that is loved by introverts and extroverts alike. In solo travel, a person travels alone to the different places on their bucket list or itinerary without any partners or companions. Most solo travellers make friends along their journey and are at times accompanied by other solo travellers for certain stretches of it.
Exploring places on your own can feel like a break from everything around you. During this break, you can focus on yourself and and get some “me time,” which is quite right.
Learnings from my first solo trip
Having now experienced the solo travel culture, let me tell you what all you’d need to set out on your trip:
-A little bit of courage to shut out the initial doubts about your fabulous decision to go solo
-A pair of good sneakers and a fully charged smartphone to explore places and go as far as you want to
-A pack of PeeBuddy so that you don’t have to touch dirty seats every time you encounter a public toilet.
While this would be your toolkit for a wonderful solo trip, I’d also like to share some of best things I learned on my first solo trip.
You don’t always need someone to travel with
People may think that you need someone with you in order to enjoy a good trip. But while I was solo travelling, I found that this wasn’t true. You can enjoy a trip just as much, if not more, all on your own. And on the way, you’ll likely make lots of friends, and be happier for it.
Solo travel gives you the freedom to make up your own itinerary and travel at your own convenience with no need to adjust to anyone else’s schedule, timings or preference. This way, you won’t be stuck with a lazy or preoccupied travel companion and can truly enjoy your vacation the way you want.
I learned from this first trip that spending time travelling alone is better than waiting for someone to be free and to accompany you.
Taking a break from hectic life is important
Today, people’s lives are more hectic and demanding than ever before. Our jobs take the majority of our time and focus, and even if we’re off the clock, we’re often too drained of energy to want to do anything else. This can build up frustration and lead to a burnout, impacting our mental as well as physical health. Regardless of how well-equipped you are to deal with problems and to work under high stress conditions, you can reach your saturation point without any warning.
Hence, a break becomes absolutely essential, and everyone deserves one. The best thing I learned during my first solo trip was that you should always prioritise yourself. Work and other things can wait. It is better to take a break and rejuvenate yourself. So put in some vacation time and take a solo trip to your favourite place.
Strangers can be friendly
While preparing for a solo trip, the thing I was most nervous about was interacting with strangers. It is natural to feel some anxiety towards unknown people and places when you travel alone, and our apprehensions may prompt us to avoid strangers while travelling.
But interacting with strangers during your trip can help you learn something new, making you more knowledgeable and confident, as everyone in the world has something to offer. It can be incredibly exciting to get talking to someone you don’t know and explore more about who they are and where they come from. Think of it this way, your closest friends were once strangers who approached you and talked to you in order to get to know you better.
Also, while solo travelling, you may sometimes need help, and may have to rely on strangers for it. On my trip, I found myself in many situations where I required help, and was pleasantly surprised that the strangers I came across were amiable and helpful. I even made new friends who were solo travellers like me.
Solo trips are pocket-friendly
Solo trips are budget-friendly if you plan them well in advance. You can get early discounts by planning and booking your stay in well-rated hostels and small hotels that are pocket-friendly. This way, you get to travel as you wish, and spend on food and lodging as per your budget. You could enjoy the street food and local cuisine which are usually cheaper, and opt for modes of transport that suit your pocket. You can even spend a few extra days in a place you’ve taken a liking to and make arrangements accordingly.
I saved a lot of money during my first solo trip as I could do everything as per my preference.
You get time to think about things
Sometimes when you are frustrated and tired, you cannot make clear decisions. But some decisions need to be taken after thorough and careful thought. Solo travel helps you here. This is the best part about solo travelling – you can pack your problems in a bag, take them with you, and unpack and solve each one during your journey.
If you need to declutter your mind and make crucial decisions in your life, I’d recommend going on a solo trip and giving it some serious thought while you’re exploring new places and spending time by yourself.
Adventures make us feel alive
Coincidentally, my first solo trip was to the mountains, and it was filled with adventure. An important thing that I learned during this time is that adventure makes us feel happier and more alive.
I believe the learnings from my first solo trip can help you begin your own solo journeys to places that are just waiting to be explored by you.
Have you been thinking of travelling solo but are hesitant about it?
Let us know in the comments section below.