Wanderlust is overcoming Millennials across the globe. As photos of exotic locations become more prominent on Instagram, our desire to explore foreign lands and different cultures grows exponentially. But what if we’re not one of the lucky ones who have plenty of friends with the money (1 in 3 Millennials are prepared to spend as much as £5,000 on a summer holiday) and freedom to travel? Well, there’s an answer to that obstacle, an answer that more and more people are turning to – solo travel.
If you’re still unsure about taking that leap of faith, here are a few reasons to give you and your backpack the push you need.
1) Freedom of choice
If you’ve ever been travelling or on holiday in a large group, you’ll understand the stress of deciding what to do and where to go. The beauty of solo travel means every decision is up to you: if you want to skip lunch for a museum then you can, if you fancy trying some local street food for dinner, go right ahead. There’s a liberating feeling when you’re solely in charge of your own destiny, but be warned, it’s a feeling that you won’t want to surrender too quickly.
2) You’ll make loads of new friends
It may seem like the opposite of the term ‘solo travel’ but if you’re a sociable person who loves meeting people, solo travelling will force you to step out of your comfort zone and spark up some conversation. Travelling in a small group typically makes you become fairly enclosed – you’re unlikely to make friends if you’re always huddled together on the table in the corner.
When you’ve just arrived at a hostel in a new city, it’s up to you to head to the social areas and start chatting to that guy reading a Lonely Planet or that girl looking for a beer pong partner. Once you do it once it becomes much easier, and trust us, there are few better feelings than enjoying new adventures with a group that you instigated – you’ll maybe realise you’re more outgoing than you first thought.
If you’re not one to reach out and get involved in a game of pool or a karaoke night, there are plenty of websites tailored to joining groups in a new place, such as Meet Up.
3) You’ll gain confidence and independence
Nothing will make you realise the limit of your capabilities more than arriving in a foreign city where you don’t speak the language and navigating your way to your hotel or hostel. Figuring out the logistics of traversing a new city showcases skills you never knew you had – you’ll become much more confident, independent and fearless – come the end of your trip, you’ll feel like a different person.
Finding friends to go exploring with will soon seem like a redundant task, instead, the moment you return you’ll be searching for the best cities for travelling alone.
4) You’ll have endless stories to tell
Travelling alone opens up a spontaneous side you might not have known you had. If you’re with a partner or friend, you might not want to branch out of your little bubble, but if you’re alone and someone asks you to join them on a hike tomorrow morning, it seems like the perfect way to get some exercise whilst making a new friend.
With so many cheap deals on exciting locations, you’ll have no excuse not to head out solo again and make more stories to make your friends jealous once you return.