Sophie Harpur, our well-travelled guest blogger shares her thoughts on solo travelling.
"Solo trips are a completely different experience than travelling with a group of travel companion. It can be a lot harder and sometimes lonely, but they can be so beneficial and everyone needs to experience it as least once!"
Challenges you like never before
Obviously solo travelling brings a whole new lot of challenges to face without any support for difficult decisions. It tests your navigation skills for one, I used to be really lazy on this when with a group, taking the excuse that I wasn’t very good so I’ll let someone else do it. Ever since my solo trips where I had no other option, I truly feel navigation is one my strengths! And now tend to lead if I am in a group situation. Solo trips also makes you rely on your own intuition which is a skill that will be crucial to many aspects of your life.
Helps you stand out at job interviews
Solo trips also provide a lot of material for job interviews which could potentially y help you stand out from the dozens of answers starting with, “well I had this group project at uni….” Yours can be different! Talking about solo trips proves a strong character that employers will be impressed by. And there is lots of angles, potentially highlighting problem solving, initiative and confidence.
Pushes you to widen your social circle
When you are with a travel companion it is so easy to stick together and not push yourself to meet people and make new friends. The characters you meet while travelling usually provide the best memories so make sure you push yourself to get out there and talk to people. All the fellow travellers I’ve met have had some interesting perspectives and in turn widens your perspective too! (This is also a good example for job interviews especially if interviewing for a company that prioritises cultural diversity.)
Another positive spin on a solo trip is that you don’t have to make any compromises. For me anyway, I’m always conscious of keeping people waiting or if they are not happy with a certain activity. There will always be a level of compromise when travelling in a group – hopefully by all members! But during a solo trip you can go to 5 museums in a row if you want to, that hippie market on the other side of town or simply take 20 minutes to get that perfect photo.
Independence - it’s okay to ask for a table for one
I know many people cringe and thought of asking for a table for one. But I have always believed that being happy in your own company is really important. I don’t like depending on anyone for my own happiness, you can’t expect to make anyone else happy if you can’t even make yourself happy! Don’t be afraid to go out by yourself, have some down time, crack open a book or stick your earphones at the restaurant – have enough self-confidence to pull it off.
Being able to go on solo trips gives me flexibility and freedom to travel whenever I want and continues to challenge me in different ways……oh and always gives you time to a write a blog post or two ;-).