TDB’s very own travel blogger Rachel speaks about her love for travelling alone!

“This may make me sound very anti-social, but I love to be alone. Alone time has always been really necessary for me, even as a kid. I was the youngest of three, and my siblings are both older than me and very close in age, so I guess I grew up spending a decent amount of time alone while they were out together with friends their own age. Now, as an adult, I need time to myself, and that is why traveling alone is really good for me.

The biggest stipulation about traveling alone is that you have to be comfortable being alone. You do not necessarily need to love it as much as me, but the more comfortable you are by yourself, the easier your travels will be. You need to be content doing almost any activity regardless of if someone joins you or not, and I think more people are drawn to you and want to strike up a conversation if you seem very comfortable and confident.

One of the best things about traveling alone is that you have no obligations to anyone. You can sleep as late as you want, go where you want when you want, and you never have to compromise.

When you travel with friends, you constantly have to compromise so that you both are happy with your plans. I recently traveled with a friend that has much more expensive taste than me at this time in our lives, and it was really difficult to agree on places to stay, places to eat, and activities to do that we could both be happy with based on her desires and my limited budget. I spent a lot more money than I would have had I been traveling by myself, and that created a difficult situation for me. I realized then, that traveling with friends might not be the best idea for me right now because of my budget constraints as a backpacker.

You are also more likely to latch onto friends that you travel with instead of going out of your way to meet new people. When you travel alone, you meet people, make plans with them if your goals align, and if not, then you both go your separate ways. Traveling alone means more interesting experiences and less pressure, in my opinion.

As a solo traveler, I talk to just about anybody. I learn all about their story, and I get a chance to tell my own. It is very satisfying to exchange stories with people from other cultures and backgrounds. You can learn a lot about the world this way!

If you have never traveled alone before, I suggest that you give it a try. Do not be afraid! You may actually really love it! And if you do not love it, then it is no big deal! Traveling solo is not for everyone, and at least you tried.

Whether you enjoy it or not, you will most certainly learn a lot about yourself. You will be forced to rely on yourself for everything. You will need to make all of your own decisions and judgement calls. You will learn to laugh at yourself when you do stupid things, and you will learn from your mistakes. Give it a try, even on a short trip, and let me know how it goes!”