As with everything else, there are pros and cons to travelling alone but, for me, the pros far outweigh the cons…
The primary reason I love to travel solo is the freedom it allows me… I can go where I want when I want. I don’t have to discuss my plans with anyone – I can just make a decision and go.
The other reason I enjoy travelling alone is that I have always found I meet more people this way. I don’t actually like being on my own that much so I am forced to seek out company, which I feel adds another dimension to my travel experiences. I have met and travelled with people from all over the world on my solo travels yet travelling with friends/family I have met far fewer people – probably because I haven’t needed to as I already had people to share my experiences with.
I also found that travelling independently gave me a lot of confidence. The knowledge that I could travel thousands of miles on my own, get myself out of difficult situations and participate in all sorts of new activities without any help was a revelation! It was definitely life-changing.
But there are of course downsides to travelling alone. One of the main ones being there is no-one to look out for you or your stuff, which can be an issue in some places. Many a time I have had to drag my big, heavy backpack into a toilet cubicle with me as I had no-one to leave it with whilst I used the facilities at a bus or railway station.
Another downside is that accommodation costs tend to be a little higher – unless you stay in dorms in youth hostels that is. Single occupancy rates are usually not half the rate for two people meaning you pay slightly more for your accommodation.
Something else I’m not too keen on is dining alone. I tend to look for somewhere I can get served, eat my meal and get out quickly. I guess I see restaurants as places for socialising and therefore I find it odd eating out on my own.
And of course, in the past, there was also the problem of getting yourself in your travel photos… an issue which has now been solved by the invention of the selfie stick!
Despite the issues above, to me the benefits of solo travel far outweigh any negatives and some of my most memorable travel experiences to date have been when travelling on my own… which is not to say I don’t enjoy travelling with family and friends, I do – it’s just a different experience that’s all.