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The Upsides And Downsides Of Traveling Alone

September 23, 2016

Traveling alone can leave a lasting and positive mark in your life in so many different ways. Not only will teach you to step outside your comfort zone, but it will broaden your perspective of the world as well. Furthermore, it’s an exciting and life-changing journey that offers an opportunity to meet a bunch of friendly and charming people across the world.

But, contrary to popular belief, the life of a solo traveler isn’t always filled with rainbows, sunshine and fascinating experiences. From falling ill to losing luggage and missing a flight, solo escapes can sometimes get rough, leaving you frustrated and fairly close to throwing in the towel. But, all of these hiccups and stumbling blocks are just a small price to pay for every epic and memorable experience that may last a lifetime.

Want to know the pros and cons of traveling alone?  Let’s take a quick look at the ups and downs of solitary travel, starting with the good.


The upsides of traveling alone

1. It’s an exciting world with an endless array of surprises

Every day is an adventure, when you’re traveling alone. Just picture yourself immersing in a new environment each day, while experiencing a multitudes of cuisines, customs and cultures across the world.  This is the life of a traveling solitary nomad, where your new life is on the road and the society’s constraints no longer apply to you.  You world becomes a playground, your 9-to-5 routine fades away, and weekdays feel like weekends.


2. It gives you a well-deserved and much-needed “me time”

Feeling a little bit overwhelmed by your bustling city life? Disconnecting from the society and your daily grind can be supremely therapeutic to your mental health and overall well-being. Traveling alone not only lets you escape the digital distractions of our bustling ever-connected world, but it also allows you to clear your thoughts from turbulent thoughts that may be harboring within.


3. Bumping into remarkable folks

A lot of people think that traveling alone can be terribly lonely. As a matter of fact, many are scared to venture into the world as a solo traveler because they don’t want to feel lonely and miserable for the whole duration of their trip. But, little do they know, traveling alone can lead to tight and lasting friendships.

Based on my personal experiences, like-minded backpackers, locals and strangers chat up with you naturally, when you are traveling alone. They provide tips on places of interest, ask you about your solo journey, and oftentimes even tag along with you. And for me, the people you meet along the way are just as important as the beautiful sights of your destinations.  What’s more, the string of intriguing characters you will meet on the road is never-ending.


4. Traveling alone will change your whole outlook in life

Traveling alone will transform anxiety into confidence, teach you invaluable social skills, as well as force you to re-evaluate your priorities and goals in life. As solo traveler, you’re going to spend your days learning, exploring as well as cultivating a deeper understating and appreciation of the world we are living in. And ultimately, you are going to know more about yourself and even figure out your true calling.


The downsides of traveling alone

1. The art of saying goodbye

Constantly moving from one place to another means you have to say goodbye to some of the most incredible people you’ve ever met. In addition, it means you have to start out again in a new place on your own.

And make no mistake about it – forging new friendships all over again does not get easier either. Plus, in spite of ambien versus lunesta, you are likely never to see each other again. Days will turn into weeks and months, and before you know it, the folks who have made a big positive impact in your life, and whom you have shared numerous exciting escapades with, are no longer in your life.


2. It’s not as comfortable as most people think

Solo journeys aren’t as fabulous and glamorous as most IG pictures, Facebook posts and travel magazines paint it. As I’ve said before, travel is not always pretty, and it can get pretty uncomfortable at times. You have to constantly deal with change, survive overnight train rides, trudge through heavy downpours and sleep in crammed hostel dorms.


3. Going home

Coming home is often the hardest part of traveling alone, especially if you have been accustomed to the solitary lifestyle on the road. So many things have happened, while you were away, and as great as it is to be reunited with your family and friends, nobody seems to understand the new version of you. And all you want to do to hit the road again, to dive into the unknown and find comfort in things that aren’t comfortable.


The final verdict

In spite of all the potential stumbling blocks of traveling alone, the positive experiences and merits far outweigh its downsides. Traveling alone nurtures you through hardships, transforming you into a strong and more capable individual. So, pack your bag, embrace the unknown and travel alone to your heart’s content!


Got a bad or positive moment on the road as a solo voyager? Feel free to share it below! Cheers!


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Ashley Thompson
A fun size lass born in rock and roll who dreams to become a rock star, or a world traveler, or both.

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