I have been traveling, mostly alone, for decades. I have visited 35 countries on 4 continents around the world from France to China, and I’ve learned a number of meaningful and powerful life lessons along the way. Not only have I learned about myself, but I have learned about others and the world around us. I created this website, because I am passionate about sharing my love of solo travel and helping other solo travelers never feel like a tourist no matter where they are in the world. Here are 10 reasons why I choose to travel solo, and why I believe you should too.
1. Challenge the Way You Think
Learning new things and discovering new ways to think are two of my favorite things garnered from solo travel. Simply venturing outside of you comfort zone, and placing yourself in a new environment causes you to see things in a new way- especially when you do those things alone. Without the comfort of familiarity, you learn to embrace the present moment so that you can observe your environment, learn from it, and expand your understanding of the world and the people within it.
2. Learn About Yourself
My sense of independence grows with each trip I take. Solo travel strengthens my confidence which helps me be more comfortable in my close personal relationships. Solo travel strengthens my ability to be comfortable alone. To be able to be content by yourself is very important in life. For me, traveling the world solo strengthens my sense of faith. It helps me develop a deeper understanding of what it really means to have faith.
3. Learn to Be Happy, Regardless of Circumstance
Oftentimes, solutions to problems surface when traveling. solo traveling has taught me how to be patient and acknowledge my current state of being. As I always say, “Live in the moment!” Enjoy where you are and what’s happening to you during each trip, whether it’s good or bad. You tend to appreciate what you have and value your life more while traveling. It lifts your spirits and helps you grow emotionally and spiritually.
4. Find a New Zest for Life.
Traveling alone makes me feel more alive than anything else in the world. The feeling of excitement that I get when embarking on a new adventure is just as potent every time I do it. It truly never gets old. Traveling challenges me in new ways, which keeps keeps me young, and continually growing as a person. It provides me with new ideas on how to improve and live my life on a higher level: more simply but still sophisticated. It is fun and exciting for me, and it brings me such pure, unequivocal joy.
5. Make New Friends and Acquaintances
I always come back from a trip having made new friends and acquaintances whether it’s a trip near or far. Meeting other travelers allows you to find like-minded people to connect with. There is an unspoken bond between people who love to travel, and it makes for deep, meaningful connections – often with people from across the globe. Connecting to people from other cultures, whether they’re travelers or locals, teaches you about what makes us different as people, but more importantly, what we have in common.
6. Gain a Better Understanding of the World
Cultural literacy is a key element of Astrid Solo Travel Advisor. I always approach foreign places with an open mind, and consider what another culture may be able to teach me. I prepare myself to be amazed, and I always am. I also try to serve as a positive representation of American culture. I believe in expressing good will for all people, and always try to put forth an energy of peace and acceptance in the world. Solo travel increases my capacity to love, be tolerant and compassionate in the world.
7. See the Wonders of This World
This world is magnificent. Even when I travel to places I’ve been before, when I travel alone, it’s as if I’m seeing it for the first time. I always notice new things and try to take in my environment in its entirety. I notice the sights, smells, sounds and feel of a place. When I travel solo, it’s almost as if my senses are heightened because I can give my full, undivided attention to soaking in my surroundings.
8. Have the Freedom to do What You Want, When You Want.
I love to travel with friends or family, but traveling alone affords me the freedom to do what I want when I am exploring the world. This means I can design my own itineraries and schedules without worrying about whether or not someone else will enjoy it. Personally, this allows me to do all the shopping my heart could ever desire. Traveling solo around the world lets me explore flea markets and specialty shops, and buy the diverse art, jewelry and clothing I love. Shopping isn’t for everyone, but it is for me. The best part is that, when traveling solo, doing what you want is all that matters.
9. Treat Yourself in Ways You Normally Wouldn’t at Home
I believe in affordable luxury solo travel because I am the kind of person who enjoys the finer things in life, but has no desire to needlessly spend money on overpriced or incredibly expensive things. I love to stay in unique hotels- ones that feel like my home away from home. (I go into detail about how I choose the perfect hotels, at the right price, in this podcast.) I love to treat myself to unforgettable dining experiences and entertainment. I love to explore the diverse architecture, art, gardens and more that each culture has to offer. Treating myself to these experiences ensures that I return home feeling enlightened and invigorated with a new zest for life!
10. Learn Practical Life Skills
Solo traveling has taught me the importance of planning in order to avoid issues, but also how to tackle unexpected problems calmly and effectively. Just as a personal feat, traveling solo has made me much more tech-savvy. As a whole, traveling causes you to think-on-your-feet, face your fears, and become a more resourceful person.
If you need a little trip inspiration for the coming year, listen to this podcast on my top travel destinations in 2019 and head over to the Trip Planning page to find all the tools you might need to plan your trip!
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Author: Astrid Clements
Astrid Solo Travel Advisor CEO and founder, Astrid, has spent over 40 years traveling around the world. She is passionate about embracing the world’s diverse cultures and sharing with others the global need and personal benefit of cultural literacy. Her focus is on affordable luxury travel that is both substantive and fun! To read more about her and each one of our Solo Travel Advisors, head over to the About page!