This is an article I submitted to an amazing website called Travelettes. I would really love to contribute on this website because I totally resonate with their goal and mission. It’s a pretty great website to say the least.
This post is similar to one I have already done, but I made it flow a little more. Consider it a rewrite. I added some new things too.
Why Every Girl Should Travel Alone (at least once in her life)
In the past 5 years, I’ve learned to become a very independent woman. I want to think for myself, learn for myself, make mistakes for myself.
This independence has led me into the wonderful world of traveling alone. Being a solo female traveler can, of course, be intimidating, especially if you’ve never so much as traveled to the bathroom alone. But, I can promise you that it will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.
So, here’s why every girl should experience the thrill of traveling alone:
1. To Build Confidence. It’s no secret that many girls may have issues with self-confidence; unsure of the choices they make, or how the world perceives them. But, by taking the plunge into solo traveling, your confidence instantly increases 82.3% (statistic yet to be proven). But, seriously, by putting yourself in an unfamiliar situation, you are forced to make decisions for yourself and you can feel proud about that. You don’t have to stand in the shadow of someone else. Build your own uniqueness and feel comfortable in that.
2. To Meet people. When I travel to a new place with friends, I don’t really feel the need to reach out to the people around me. I already have people to talk with inside my little bubble. But, when I’m alone and traveling, I meet and talk to so many more people. You want to have some human interaction, of course, so you are more likely to make friends with the people around you, those in your hostel or perhaps random passers-by. While sitting at a café in Paris, a guy walking by decided to stop and talk with me. We sipped café au laits and had a wonderful conversation in broken French and English. Usually, that kind of situation would slightly freak me out, but traveling brings out so many different sides of me. When I get to talk with people, I learn more about the culture and experience more of the true essence of each place I visit.
3. To Learn about yourself. Being put way outside your comfort zone, especially when you are alone can be a life shaping experience. It’s hard to explain exactly how this happens unless you experience it for yourself. You learn how you react to difficult situations, like somehow trying to make it on a 5am flight when the airport is over an hour away and you barely speak the language. You can discover different parts of your personality that you didn’t know even existed. Maybe, you realize you are more of a risk taker or dare devil, or that your shyness fades away. Personally, I have learned that I can roll with the punches a lot more than I thought I could. I don’t always have to plan everything out and have a strict schedule. It’s quite freeing.
4. To Challenge yourself. When you decide to book that first trip abroad alone, you instantly have a sense of accomplishment. It feels like you’ve accepted a great challenge, and you have. It quite empowering to decide to be a solo traveler, like you are an ambassador for independent girls everywhere. It’s a fabulous way to push your comfort zones. You don’t have to challenge yourself to the point of being miserable. For example, for your first time traveling alone, I wouldn’t suggest going to the remote jungles of Papua New Guinea where no one speaks any language that you are familiar with. But, then again, maybe you are up for that kind of challenge.
5. To see the world. One of the things that first inspired me to travel alone was simply the fact that I wanted to see the world, as much of it as possible. If you can’t coordinate travel dates with anyone, it might be discouraging. But, hopefully, your desire to travel will be great than relying on someone else. Traveling alone is a perfectly great option. I have traveled to many more places than I would have if I had waited for someone else’s schedule to line up with mine.
Just start small. Maybe take a trip within your own country by yourself. You’ll feel a bit more comfortable while getting used to solo travel. If you have a dream of traveling somewhere, just do it. Alone. I believe in you.