Fly Solo: 4 Tips for Taking a Solo Vacation

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March 31, 2014

Have you ever been on a trip by yourself? If you have, you may already know how gratifying the experience can be. If you haven’t, you should really consider planning a solo vacation of your own.

When we go on trips with others, we tend to be at the mercy of their schedules, moods and interests – but when you are by yourself, you can do whatever you want to do. In our daily lives, we are almost enslaved to all who depend upon us but if you travel alone, you can take a break from that and focus on yourself.

Personal Growth

There will be no one to fall back on when it comes to finding directions or choosing a restaurant. Instead, you have to rely on yourself and this can be incredibly empowering, especially if you are someone who struggles to make decisions. On a solo journey, you call all the shots and there’s something liberating about that.

On the flipside, those who are already particularly independent may have to learn to ask for help, especially if traveling to an area in which you do not know the language. It can be difficult to admit that you can’t do something completely alone but that’s part of understanding our own limits.

New People

Naturally, whether you are alone or in a group, it’s always a good idea to be careful of your surroundings and it’s probably best not to following strangers to new locations. That being said, you can also encounter some truly interesting and enlightening people on your voyage which can be a lot easier when you are not preoccupied with traveling companions. The people you meet may provide you with good tips for the best places to eat or could share some wisdom that shakes you to your core. That’s the beauty of it – you just never know!

Increased Awareness

When you are busy trying to make sure everyone is comfortable and happy with the trip, you miss out on a lot of things. When you are alone and make your own decisions, it leaves so much time and energy for actually paying attention to and appreciating the world around you. You will likely realize that you notice many things that you would have taken for granted and this increased awareness could continue once you return home.

By the same token, you may become more aware of what is going on inside of you. What do you love? What would you prefer not to do/eat/see? What makes you nervous or giddy? What feeds your soul/intellect/heart?  You will get reacquainted with yourself on a very primal level and it’s a beautiful thing.

Solo Trip Ideas

As the idea of traveling alone grows in popularity, the options continue to grow. You could embark on a special interest tour (such as cooking and culinary, camping, birdwatching, etc…), a rail trip or a cruise. Those, of course, will be more structured than figuring things out on your own but they can be extremely enjoyable.

Another option would be to go on a volunteer excursion and see the world, meet new people and do something good for others. Habitat for Humanity offers programs that will allow you to travel and provide assistance to the less fortunate while immersing you in local culture with the familiarity of being associated with a group.

Finally, there is the rest of the world. Whether it’s a charming bed and breakfast in a small town, an all-inclusive beach resort or a backpacking adventure through Europe. The sky really is the limit and you are in charge of every decision. Enjoy yourself!

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