5 Reasons You Should Travel Alone

5 Reasons You Should Travel Alone

(At least once)

5 Reasons You Should Travel Alone-Wandering Hello

I was 22 when I followed my wandering heart across the Atlantic. I found a job in the Netherlands as an au pair to supplement travel costs and have a home base. Then I would journey around Europe, as much as I could and mainly travel alone.

I’m not going to lie, it was one of the most challenging, but also one of the most wonderful things I’ve ever done. Traveling alone can be super lonely and intimidating but don’t let that stop you! It is so worth it.

1. It forces you out of your comfort zone

The first solo trip I took was to Paris. My host family owned a house in the French Ardennes and they would spend summers there. My host family thought it was super boring for a young 20 something, so they sent me to Paris… Alone… On a whim.

I didn’t have a plan.

My host family took me to the train station, bought me a ticket, and told me, “look for a youth hostel. They are safer”.

“uh… ok… thanks.”

This was not my comfort zone… Possibly the furthest thing from my comfort zone.

But I survived and maybe even thrived.

2. It forces you to think for yourself and become a problem solver

On the train to Paris there was (thankfully) Wifi. I franticly googled “youth hostels in Paris” and found one that looked the least freighting.


Booking.com

After I had booked that, I had a small panic attack because I didn’t know my way around Paris. I googled the directions from Gare du Nord to the hostel and took screenshots of the directions.

I felt overwhelmed.

But I was doing this. On my own, alone.

And you know what? That felt wonderful.

After getting to Paris, I realized that I could do what I wanted. I could go to the Eiffel Tower when I wanted. I didn’t have to follow other people’s schedules.

That first day in Paris was kind of liberating. I explored this romanic city how I wanted, I ate a bagette in the park, and I went to a cafe and quietly drank a latte while people watching.

3. You’ll make new friends

Let us start of this section by laying down the fact that I am an introvert. I find people very interesting and love hearing stories (hence my blog), however I don’t like small talk or crowds of people. Meaningful is important to me.

While in Paris, I was sort of basking in my introvertedness. I loved wandering by myself and breathing in the culture from a distance.

However, my host family also shipped me off to Dublin alone and stayed at a hostel. I originally asked to stay in a large hostel room with about 15 other people, but they had a large group who asked for that room.

They asked if I would mind a small room with 3 other girls.

Three other girls. That probably means I have to talk to them and not sink into a corner in the room.

But it was one of my best experiences traveling alone. These 3 girls were traveling together and we became friends instantly. We went dancing together, walked around the city together the next day, and experienced a new country together.

Making friends from all over the world is amazing to me. And staying at hostels makes it easier to meet like-minded travelers.

4. It gives you time and space to reflect

No matter how or where you travel, it will be eye opening on some level.

Traveling alone gives you the space to reflect on a different level because you are not fixed to anyone else’s schedule. You get to decide what and when you do something.

‘When you’re traveling with someone else, you share each discovery, but when you are alone, you have to carry each experience with you like a secret, something you have to write on your heart, because there’s no other way to preserve it.” – Shauna Niequist

When traveling alone, you it get the opportunity to reflect on the people and culture around you. It is open eyeing to see a different country and culture.

I remember my last day in Paris sitting in the Jardins du Trocadéro, across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower, eating my croissant. It was early in the morning in late August, so it wasn’t that busy around the park. I was thinking back over my time in Paris and how even though I had a difficult year, I had already accomplished four of my life long dreams: to travel to Europe, to see the Eiffel Tower, to live abroad, and the learn a new language.

5. It detoxes you from technology

My first time traveling alone around Europe was in 2012. I was young and could not afford to buy the world sim card. So I traveled without a phone.

Sounds super scary, right?

Well it wasn’t. It was actually amazing.

Adding to my fourth point, it gave me time and space to reflect without being distracted by facebook or instagram.  Detoxing from my phone was nice. I could truly travel alone.

 


Have you ever traveled alone? What was your experience?

Or, do you want to travel alone? Whats holding you back?

 

xo, Erin Kay


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5 Reasons You Should Travel Alone-Wandering Hello




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Comments (31)

  1. Cristina Leau

    Reply

    I traveled alone only once. It was nice. But I like it more when I’m traveling with my husband.

  2. Reply

    I would love to do this one day! I’ve always enjoyed being alone. Traveling alone means I can do my own thing without worrying what anyone else wants to do.

  3. Reply

    I traveled to the Bahamas for two weeks completely alone. I didn’t want anyone to tell me when to get up, where to visit, etc. I absolutely loved it! I did what I wanted to do and felt all the braver for it.

  4. Jessica Taylor

    Reply

    I am terrified to travel alone, but I guess I can see how that would break someone out of their comfort zone.

  5. Reply

    I loved how you explained that it forces you to solve a problem. Yes, traveling alone can really change your life on your independent path.

  6. Ruth I.

    Reply

    This is the first blog I read about travelling alone. This kind of reminds me of a friend who loves to go alone. He told me, it was fun and that I should do it too. Well, he is single and I am not. Lol

  7. Reply

    Traveling alone means learning more about yourself and what you can do. I think it’s something that people should experience at least once in their lives.

  8. Reply

    That is so cool of your host parents to just send you off to Paris! We visit the Belgian Ardennes often and love it but haven’t seen the French Ardennes yet. Before meeting my partner I used to only travel alone and loved it!

  9. Reply

    I’m too much of a worry-wort. I’d get paranoid or something. I watch too many “Missing People’s” TV shows. I wouldn’t feel safe. But I admire people who do feel safe, you guys are very brave!

  10. Reply

    I’ve never gotten to travel alone, but I kind of felt your second point when I moved to a new city. It’s both scary and liberating to learn what you can accomplish all by yourself!

  11. Jessica T

    Reply

    Great tips although I’m not sure I would enjoy being alone while travelling. As a very extroverted people person I loved travelling through Europe with my husband and I would love to do something like it again with my children

    • ErinKay

      Reply

      Hi Jessica, It’s not for everyone! And harder if you have a family. I think it’s great that you want to travel with your kid! I think it’s the best way to teach them about the world. 🙂

  12. Kiwi

    Reply

    I just came back from Mexico for my bday for my 3rd solo trip. It was one of the best bdays I ever had and I can make up my own schedule!

  13. Reply

    I don’t have travelling alone experiences for far destinations.But,I like visiting to nearby attractions.That allows me to relax.

  14. Reply

    I’ve never travelled alone (unless you count the 30 or so hours travelling TO my destination, where someone was waiting for me… I don’t!) but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I feel like it’s definitely something to do to ~find yourself in ways you didn’t really expect.

  15. Reply

    Love this! I always love alone time. Be it a trip or binge watching or working out. I went on a solo trip once and it was truly the best experience! It really makes you think for yourself!

  16. Kossy

    Reply

    Kay the reason you stated here are giving me goose bumbs!! esp numbers 2 and 4!!

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