There’s a new cool travel trend in town.
The past few years it feels as though solo travelling has gradually increased in popularity, perhaps as everyone is trying to catch up on adventures they missed out on during Covid. Solo travelling is a great opportunity to learn to enjoy bits of life without waiting and counting on other people, and with enough preparation, the cons are limited.
The pros of solo-travelling
The main pro is the self growth, as travelling on your own will increase your confidence and social skills.
Even before your flight or train leaves for a new place, you have already learnt a lot more from the pre-travel organisation by doing it on your own. You will have to think of transport, connections, accommodation and finances while out there, and of course, keepings yourself entertained and safe.
Travelling alone gets easier with each new place as you learn what routine works best for you: are you a ‘museums and pre-booked tours’ person? Maybe a ‘cycle around and see where you arrive’ person? Or even one that travels exclusively for the nightlife?
Doing it alone will teach you how you get the most out of a new city or country, without the added pressure of pleasing everyone.
A huge part of travelling is experiencing new cultures, and without another to share this with, it can push you to join strangers in their joy and wonder, to properly absorb what you’re witnessing. You might feel shy to talk to people outside the Louvre, or ask someone to take a picture of you deep inside a jungle, so think of it small scale: if you’re on a bus that breaks down, you can make a joke about the state of public transport to the person sat next to you, and even if they don’t laugh, you will both forget it by the end of the day. People will not judge you for enjoying yourself.
Solo travelling, as a name, seems pretty misleading once you know people who do it. Most times, solo travellers bind together, on southern hemisphere beaches and Slovakian hostels, in the kitchen, coffee and foreign brand toast waiting for them. I think what scares a lot of people off trips on their own, is the fear of getting lonely. This gets a lot easier when you realise every city will have blocks full of people doing the same, looking for the safety in numbers.
Cons of solo-travelling
While I do not want to look at it negatively, there is an obvious problem with solo travelling that goes beyond personality types, and that is the safety of particularly women and people of colour.
There is a difference between stepping out of your comfort zone and putting yourself in danger and if the experience can harm you, don’t feel as though you failed by waiting to go with your friends.
If you do not feel comfortable doing a whole trip on your own yet try to dip your toes in: go with a group but plan days and activities that you would like to do alone. That way, you have someone in the same city in case you need them, but you still get to enjoy your own company and that of strangers.
Solo travelling is not for everyone, but if it something you’ve been thinking of, Adam’s stance is that ‘as long as you’re travelling with an open heart and an open mind, even if you’re travelling solo you’re never really travelling alone’.
The pictures above are courtesy of Adam Ben Tekaya (@adamandthecity), who has been travelling through Europe and Australia for over a year now.