travel

Why solo travel will be the best thing you ever do, from someone who knows.

I am one of those people who began travelling solo not because I wanted to fulfil some greater purpose, but because I had no choice. To be honest, I didn’t just wake up one day and decide to hop on plane by myself, although that day did finally come. My solo travelling came from a place of frustration.

When planning trips with others, you have to be in sync. You need to be able to take the same days off of work and afford the flights and lodging in addition to the cost of living or activities in a destination.

If I had always waited for someone to be in sync with me in regards to travel I would’ve never seen places like Iceland or Copenhagen or Colombia. I wouldn’t have swam with sharks in Belize or spent a month in Malta exploring virtually empty towns. I also would’ve missed out on several life lessons.

Monique Wise quit her job and bought a one-way ticket overseas. She’s been travelling solo around the world ever since.

While travelling solo I’ve learned just how fearless I can be.

I’ve always marched to the beat of my own drum, but I feel as though I’ve taken fearless to another level. There is nothing like navigating subway systems all over a new city. Imagine getting lost and a solution not being as simple as asking for directions because you can’t find anyone that speaks English. Imagine going to check into your Airbnb on a small island and finding out that the host, who’s in another country, forgot to leave a key. These things have all happened to me and while I could’ve panicked and shut down, I simply figured things out.

I’ve learned to try new things, even when I’m positive I won’t like it.

One of my favourite things to do in other countries is to take food tours. I will never forget the cheese I tried in Paris that was about 70 times mouldier than blue cheese and obviously left a strong aftertaste. The sardine pâté in Lisbon was a delightful surprise but still something I wouldn’t eat again. I’ve had foods that I would’ve never known existed if it weren’t for travelling, and more specifically travelling alone.

solo female travel Monique Wise
"If I had always waited for someone to be in sync with me in regards to travel I would’ve never seen places like Iceland or Copenhagen or Colombia." Image: Instagra: @wanderlustmyway.
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There’s always a chance to make friends, even if you know you’ll never see them again.

I travel with the goal of making lifelong friends, but it doesn’t always work out that way. There’ll always be that hostel roommate that you connect with, but you’ll wake up one morning to checkout or realise they already have, and you’ll never speak or see each other again. You may also meet someone on that free walking tour of a city and become the best of friends, planning annual trips together or FaceTiming on a daily basis.

Sure, all of these things could happen when travelling with someone, but when we’re in a group or with friends, we tend to stick with each other. We don’t have meals alone and people watch or chat up the person at the next table. We don’t usually find hole in the wall restaurants with local food prepared by families because everybody has to agree on a place to eat. We also don’t have the need to figure out problems on our own because we have someone to lean on and bounce ideas off of. Solo travel will truly change you for the better while making you resilient at the same time. It’s up to you to take that leap.

Have you experienced solo travel? What are your thoughts on it? Tell us in a comment below.

Tags: features , travel
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