All my life I felt that I wasn’t allowed to do certain things unless I was with someone else. I thought it made me look pathetic if I went to a movie by myself. I thought people would stare at me if I ate alone in a public place. I was told repeatedly that it was too dangerous for me to travel on my own, and that it was better to stay at home instead of being out in the world all alone. But the more I did things by myself the less I cared about what other people would think. I began to care more about enjoying my life and living in the moment, no matter if anyone was by my side or not.
I always loved to travel and explore places that I’ve never been to before. It was hard in the beginning when I tried to do stuff on my own. I’m not sure if any of you guys know, but traveling is crazy expensive! That was one of my biggest struggles. Either no one wanted to help pay for anything, or everything I wanted to do would put me into debt for half a decade.
But the more I traveled the more these worries seemed to disappear. I became less afraid, more financially savvy, and definitely more Independent. I would much rather travel on my own than with people that I know would give me a hard time about what we do and how much it costs.
While traveling solo, there are few things that I discovered that make everything so much more sweet by myself.
Waiting for other people to make up their minds is a waste of time!
Have you ever asked a group of people what they wanted to do? They all suddenly lose all sense of individual thought. No one wants to be that person that chooses what the group does in case no one has a good time. This frustrates so much that I wind up how I became friends with these people in the first place.
There is nobody around to rush me
As much as I hate waiting on other people, I also hate being rushed. When it comes to certain things like museums, sightseeing, shopping in bookstores, I like to take my time. I love history, art, culture, architecture, and losing myself in my surroundings. That’s something that you just can’t rush.
I was able to meet some of the greatest people I have ever met in my life
Traveling alone can get a bit lonely, but that is where your extroverted side comes into play. There are so many other solo travelers out there and they are all extremely nice and friendly. I have met a lot of my favorite people while on a solo trip. The best part is listening to all of their stories and meeting amazing people that you’d never have noticed if you were surrounded by other people.
I don’t have to compromise
I can be pretty determined when it comes to planning what I want to do. I am the friend that comes up with the group itinerary so we have enough time to eat, sleep, and pack as many things as we can in the entire trip. When you are with other people, you have to pick and choose what you want to do with other people; and if the group doesn’t want to do any of the stuff you want to do, then you’re in for a pretty disappointing trip.
It’s easier to get into places when you’re by yourself
If you are a party of one, things are so much easier to do. You can get into places faster because you don’t have a large group of people with you, lines are usually shorter, and food service is a breeze.
Have you ever stayed at a hotel by yourself? It’s magical
Being in a nice, clean, and quiet hotel room by yourself is one of the most underrated joys of being on vacation. You don’t have to share a bed or even a bathroom with other people.
If I do something stupid, there’s not going to be any witnesses that can bring it up later to embarrass you
We’ve all had that low point during spring break in college that our friends still bring up to this day. (war flashback to Spring Break 2016). If you want to get a little sloppy, no one would really know. You just have to make sure that you don’t go viral!
I feel much more independent
Nothing makes you feel more like a boss a** b*tch then paying for your own vacation. You didn’t have to split expenses, you have full control of everything, and there is no one around to rain on your parade.
Although I love traveling by myself, there are a few drawbacks. Like anything in life, everything has its downsides. When traveling I found that there were, in fact, some drawbacks to being 100% solo.
There is no one who can help me take cute Instagram pictures
Look, I’m not going to sit here and say that my Instagram is Explore Page quality, but the best part about going to great locations is to take nice photos (and also brag to your friends and family that you’re living your best life). The best part of having a friend with you is so they can help take some amazing vacation pics. When you fly solo, you are at the mercy of complete strangers, and about 90 percent of the time they never look good.
It could be dangerous- especially for women
If you are not traveling with some sort of travel group or somewhere where most people speak your native language, it could become a dangerous situation when you are completely alone. Luckily, nothing bad has happened to me, but I know people that have been robbed at gunpoint and attacked the street. A good rule of thumb is to stay away from any dark allies where no one else seems to be.
I am actually on my own
If something happens to me, there is no one else to help me diffuse the situation. If my credit card doesn’t work when I check into a hotel, I’m homeless. If I have an emergency and need to go to the hospital, I won’t have anybody until someone shows up to wherever I am to help me out. If something happens I am completely screwed.
Even though solo travel does have its drawbacks, it is still my favorite way to travel. I got tired of waiting for other people to want to come along on adventures with me. I had wasted too much of my time afraid to do things by myself because of what other people told me. I’m not going to sit around and wait for someone to show me the world. I’m showing it to my own damn self!
Don’t waste your time like I did. Go see that movie. Go to that concert. Go on that trip you’ve always wanted to go on. If you wait on people that are most likely never going to show up, you’re doing nothing but holding yourself back. Enjoy life no matter who is or isn’t beside you. The only thing that matters is whether or not you spent every second with joy, happiness, and fulfillment.
Being alone does not make you lonely. Being around the wrong people and not enjoying yourself will make you lonely.
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