Try It At Least Once: Solo Travel
I have a life-long passion for travel and I get it earnestly. I took my first international trip at 14 years old to West Africa and Italy with a group of teens with a now defunct organization to do a African roots discovery, performance art project. Since that first international trip, . I’ve also traveled to several other states as an adult for vacations and to visit family members. I’ve talked about tips for taking your first solo trip in this post, but wanted to talk about why you should consider taking a solo trip int the first place today.
I mention this because if you are a planner like me, you’re already plotting (and saving) for your travel for 2019). Solo travel doesn't necessarily mean that you need to go to another country like I do, but going to a nearby city or town you’ve been meaning to explore. With preparation and safety precautions (which frankly you should also do when traveling with others), solo travel can be a new experience that teaches you about yourself and the world around you.
1 | Take Advantage of the Privilege of Solo Travel At This Stage In Your Life If You Have It
I’m an older millennial. Most of my contemporaries are partnered and many have children. My girlfriends with husbands and young children are not in the position to travel as I currently am. I relish the freedom I currently have to travel as frequently as I do now because I know that will not always be the case. I suspect that there will be family and competing financial responsibilities that will make solo travel more complicated in the future. If you too have the ability to save up for trips or have disposable income to consider travel to places near or far, take a moment of gratitude and consider planning a trip. There’s no time like the present
2 | You Have the Opportunity to Be As Social As You Want To
Regardless of if you have an extroverted or introverted personality, you can shape a solo travel experience that works for your socializing needs. I’m most definitely an introvert and I love traveling solo for the opportunity to carve our social time and alone time in a way that I can’t necessarily do when I travel with others. For example when I went to Mexico City last year, I did group tours during the day and socialized with fellow group members and had quiet dinners alone in the evenings and at night chatted with my mom and friends about the interesting sights I saw and people I met during the day.
3 | You Can Explore A New Place on Your Own Terms
If you are like me and you love museums but know understand they simply aren’t super interesting to many of your loved ones, you can dedicate time during your solo travel to do things you love doing.
4 | You Can Build Confidence In Your Own Abilities
There’s nothing like negotiating your navigation around a city or town you’ve never visited to build your confidence in your own abilities. Even if you aren’t a planner, there are an abundance of travel companies, travel affinity groups and travel online resources available today; many of them are also geared toward twenty and thirty-somethings who are interested in travel.
5 | You Can Delve Into Another Culture or Micro-culture
Whether you are traveling to another city in the U.S. like New Orleans with it’s own unique culture that may be different from your own or are visiting a far flung country country half way across the world, it’s good to have at least one experience of learning about a culture or mico-culture that’s different from your culture of origin. There’s so many unique culture experiences that you can delve into through out the U.S. or around the world if you have an interest in experiencing another country. I’ve seen traditional dances performed in West African countries. I’ve seen ornate and beautiful cathedrals in Italy and Mexico City. I’ve seen antiquities in museums in NYC. I’ve indulged in food culture in San Francisco, NYC and throughout the southern U.S. There’s so many experiences to try if you’re interested.