It’s almost the one year anniversary of my first solo travel experience- my 3-day vacation to San Francisco!
This particular experience was incredibly empowering and brought with it a new sense of independence. There were a lot of fears and preconceived notions about travelling alone that had previously made it feel impossible.
When I happened upon very low airfares that I actually had enough points for, I started asking all of my friends if they wanted to go with me. They all said no. In the past, that would’ve been the end of it, but I didn’t want to lose the opportunity to see a place I’ve dreamed of.
What if I went alone? What if I followed through with the experiences I want to have, even if I had to go solo? What if I could enjoy it? I’d made up my mind, booked my airfare, and was filled with a sense of nervous excitement.
I’ve since then also traveled to New York City alone, and am truly feeling the benefits of vacationing alone, which I’ve outlined below:
Planning a trip with another person can be difficult when you are trying to match your conflicting schedules.
It feels like your dreams are slipping through your fingers when you realize traveling with your preferred partner is a nonviable option. Of course you want to take trips with your spouse or friends, but if the opportunity to travel arises I suggest you take it.
What do YOU want to see on this vacation?
Traveling alone is such a freeing experience, you suddenly realize you are the only one there is to please! There is no compromising, and you don’t have to visit any attractions that you aren’t interested in. You get to be true to your travel style and your preferences without disappointing anyone.
On my first full day in San Francisco I became tired and decided to take an afternoon nap. This helped me realize how much freedom I suddenly had on this journey, I wasn’t inhibiting anyone’s plans and was able to fully take care of my body.
I was also relieved; one of the last vacations I’d taken had brought about an argument with my travel partner, in which I wanted to visit certain places and they really wanted to avoid crowds and anything touristy. My trip to California was a liberation to my travel style.
At the end of my time in the Bay Area, I realized how proud I was of myself. I had traversed the entire city, seen all the sights, truly enjoyed my time, and I had done it by myself!
I had a new confidence in myself that I could take back to my daily life.
Visiting a new place is always exciting, but imagine adding the layer that it will be a solo journey. Suddenly a regular vacation feels like a true adventure!
Traveling with out a partner is not in many people’s comfort zone, but adventure never occurs within your comfort zone.
The awareness you have of your surroundings is different when you are alone. You will notice small details, it’s easier to be fully present, and interacting with strangers is more common. When you travel with a partner you are experiencing it with them and your attention becomes divided.
The act of traveling in solitude changes your perception of new destinations and is beneficial in raising your mindfulness.
Solo travel is a truly rewarding experience, a real adventure with a sense of freedom, bringing you new perspectives and a new sense of self-resilience. Whether it’s cruising, a day trip, or a dream vacation, I highly encourage you to experience the joy in traveling alone.
If you missed last weeks post, make sure you check out 7 Tips for Mindful Travel.