The “Why’s” of Traveling Alone

Sometimes the friend you make has four legs.

Sometimes the friend you make has four legs.

“The scariest moment is always just before you start.” Stephen King

Why travel alone?  The quick answer is because you can.  Many women say they would love to travel, but are afraid to do it alone.  Even for those of you not willing to challenge that fear there are good solutions such as cruises or group tour.  For those braver souls willing to follow in my footsteps, you will find many benefits to exploring the world on your own.

  1. No regrets – I’ve heard many women say, “I’d love to travel, but I don’t want to go alone.”  It’s completely natural to be afraid of the unknown.  At the same time, it’s sad to live life with regrets.  Traveling alone is nowhere as scary as you think.  For the most timid, there are great choices like group tours and cruises.  Some even cater to solo travelers.  Many will arrange for a roommate to allow you to avoid single supplements.  For those who want more control of their experiences, heading out on your own can ensure you don’t regret missing that experience that is important to you, but not on anyone else’s itinerary.
  2. No restrictions – Have you ever traveled with someone with whom your interests differ?  Ever felt you had to compromise what you want to do for their choices?  Sometimes this is worth it.  Costs are lower for shared rooms.  Few like dining alone.  When you travel alone though, you choose the exact destinations and timing you want.  Restaurant choices are all your own.  You can follow your own pace and vary it at will.  Eat, sleep, rest, and explore when you want based on your own personal clock.  For example, I like to visit lots of historic sites and museums.  Others get tired of those and want to lounge around.  Why should I give up what I want or force someone else to have a vacation that is less than what they would have liked?
  3. No need to be alone – It’s easy to travel alone and never be lonely.  Some of the best travel experiences I’ve had include people I’ve met on the road.  Sometimes it’s a local who shares a special spot that isn’t in the guide books or who exposes me to parts of their culture I wouldn’t have experienced otherwise.  Sometimes it’s swapping stories and tips with fellow travelers.  Many times it’s a waiter or waitress who sits down with me to chat.  In all these cases, I both have company and new learning opportunities.  If you can be even the slightest bit outgoing, good people will come to you.

There are more reasons to travel alone that will be covered in future posts.  I’ll also be posting some companies that make solo travel easier.  Stay tuned!

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