Words: @oliverinstead • Photo: Myself • Location: The city of Pest, from Buda
One of the most asked questions when I told people that I was going on a trip by myself / have gone on a trip by myself was : “Can you not find someone to go with you?” And my internal response was “Um, must I have a companion to travel?”
So in this week’s #TravelTuesday, I just want to talk about five reasons why I sometimes choose to travel by myself, and why you should do the same at some point (in fact, various points) in your lifetime.
one You’ll go wherever you want to go
…or do whatever you want to do. If you want to go to the same cafe everyday that you’re in the city, you can, because you want to. Equally, no one can stop you from trying out a new dining spot every evening. Travelling solo means you don’t have to please anyone, or feel guilty for not doing certain things.
two You’ll have your own experience
This is especially true when you’re visiting somewhere new. Travelling with someone who’s been to that city / country before poses the risk of said person imposing their opinion of the destination on you… and that’s the last thing you want.
You should aim to make up your own mind about everything and ridding all those noises will make it that much easier to form your own opinion.
three You’ll be able to truly soak it all in
Not having a travel buddy who you’re constantly having to negotiate with re: what to see next or where to eat tomorrow night means that you’re free from distractions and that you can take as many moments as you wish to stop and smell the roses.
four You’ll supercharge your confidence
Navigating your way through a foreign city where half the population doesn’t share your lingua franca is no mean feat. If sense of direction isn’t your strong suit (trust me, you’ll still survive regardless) then you’ll have the perfect opportunity to overcome your weakness, and you’ll become more confident in your ability than you ever were for it.
five You’ll learn to appreciate your own company
True, I was ‘alone’ throughout the entire trip but I did not feel ‘lonely’ for a sec… for two reasons : first I simply didn’t have time to feel lonely because I was constantly on the move. second I learned to enjoy my own company.
I asked myself questions; what are my interests? How do I want to spend the little time I have in this city? Where do I really want to go during my brief visit here? And I planned my days accordingly.
Notes : I’m by no means shading those who crave companionship but the truth is everyone should be their own person : and there’s no better way to realise that than spending some time away from everyone and everything you know.
Having said all that, this weekend I’ll be travelling with someone to Malta – somewhere new that we can both tick off our bucket list. To keep up with my travels, be sure to follow me on Instagram – where I’ll be sharing a tonne of Stories as they unfold.
What about you? When was the last time you packed up, waved goodbye to everything, and just took off by yourself? Let me know in the comments below!