Back home now after almost five weeks abroad, I ponder the pros and cons of solo travel.
In full transparency, I did not spend the entire 33 days alone. As a matter of fact, one of my recent Jack’s Smacks was all about feeling off and lonely shortly after our May Kuel Life Tuscany Italy trip ended. If you want to read more about that, you can check out “How To Live An Expansive Life, Right Now”
The blip in emotions I felt on my first alone-day was cured a couple of days later with a fortuitous visit with family friends who just happened to be traveling nearby. What I discovered about myself is that as long as I pepper my adventures with moments of “home” and “comfort”, I thrive in the solo travel arena.
“33 days in Europe, evolved into the perfect blend of time with and without others”
Coincidence or not, the Midlife Moxie Podcast aired my episode on travel while I was gone. If you listen in on the conversation, you’ll note that we make fun of me for NOT having had the pleasure of solo traveling. Turns out that every prior attempt ended up just being an excuse for friends and family to join me. Until now.
The 33 days in Europe, evolved into the perfect blend of time with and without others. I strongly recommend branching out of one’s comfort zone and embarking on a solo adventure. After almost five weeks, many days on my own, I can honestly report back on the top five wins from my solo adventures.
Here are the top 5 reasons I travel alone:
1. It’s good for your brain.
The novel factor is high- which is basically a guarantee when we travel. Everyday is different. The patterns from home-life erased. Creature comforts left stateside. No real opportunity for mindless living. Mindfulness is the name of the game in that situation. Given this, it’s really okay to schedule downtime to regroup and restore. Always being “on” can be exhausting.
2. Go where you want – when you want – even if that means nowhere for a day.
There’s nothing wrong with compromise, but every now and again it is lovely to be self-indulgent. Having plenty of days where I am the sole arbiter of my agenda frees me up to be more accommodating when I meet up with fellow travelers.
“Successfully navigating and completing a leg of a multi-city or -country trip can feel like a victory”
3. Meet new people and practice the language.
More often than not I stumbled upon other solo trailers at cafes or bars. Quickly we would find one another — with a quick” Is this seat taken?” or “Where are you headed?” Another great place to find solo travelers: trains or tours.
4. Realize you’re a badass.
Accomplishing days or weeks of travel alone is a huge boon to one’s self-esteem. Navigating foreign languages, unfamiliar surroundings or customs is challenging. Moments of frustration, anger, even panic (when you can’t figure out which train is yours) are all part of the experience. Successfully navigating and completing a leg of a multi-city or -country trip can feel like a victory — which is not to be downplayed.
5. Get to know yourself better.
Spending inordinate amounts of time with just me gives me the space and time to think through “things” without distractions. It may seem a luxury, and it very well may be, but it’s a luxury worth pursuing if at all possible. As we all age and work towards becoming unfuckwithable (motivated, driven, and approved of – all from within), learning about ourselves and formulating the boundaries necessary to reach such a place is essential. What better way than to spend time with YOU?
If any of these reasons I solo travel pique your interest, I say give it a whirl. Tune into next week’s Jack’s Smack where I detail out some of the best solo travel hacks. After 33 days on the road, I definitely have some tips and tricks to improve your chances of success.
This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something Kuel Life may earn a commission. Thank you for your support.