There’s a fun notion of travelling solo that goes like this: a wanderer closes his or her eyes, spins a globe, lets his or her finger land on a random country, and books the soonest possible flight there with a perfectly loaded backpack. While this scenario is fun to imagine, travelling solo isn’t that simple! In fact, there are numerous risks to consider before embarking on a solo journey.
Solo travel can be dangerous
Without anyone to look out for you, travelling solo can definitely feel less safe. For one, you can’t count on anyone to look out for your belongings. Meaning, you’ll either have to bring all your bulky luggage with you wherever you go or risk losing them. Hanging out at a restaurant, bar or café also means no bathroom breaks until you’ve finished your food or drinks.
But of course, the bigger security issue with travelling solo involves your own safety. You may wound up lost, especially in a country that doesn’t speak the same language as you. Being alone can also make you look more vulnerable, and there are many dangers to look out for. So, you definitely have to take extra precautions when travelling solo. It’s a sad truth, but the world isn’t always kind, and you’ll have to learn how to protect yourself especially when you’re alone.
Solo travel can get lonely
Getting lonely may not sound as bad as becoming a victim of heinous crimes. Still, loneliness can be dangerous, especially when prolonged. Going on a trip alone can seem exciting at first, but sometimes homesickness comes in and you have no one to remind you of home. Imagine seeing several beautiful sights or experiencing amazing adventures and not having anyone to share memories with. Believe me, travelling solo can eventually get depressing.
Solo travel can get expensive
Travelling in a group means you can split a lot of expenses. For solo travellers, however, you’ll have to deal with the heavy costs of restaurants that don’t serve single meals, hotels that have a two-person room minimum, and cab rides that you can’t share with anyone. The thought of overspending can be threatening, especially if you’re living with a tight budget. Running out of money during a trip doesn’t just affect your trip, it also involves a frightening aftermath when you return to the “real world.”
It’s difficult to plan
While it’s great that you won’t need to adjust your itinerary for other people, the mere planning of a solo trip can get exhausting. You have a lot more to consider, like your personal safety, individual budget, and energy to travel alone. Travelling with other people can lighten up your load as you can divide the planning tasks among yourselves. Meanwhile, a solo trip demands a lot of responsibility from you. You don’t have anyone to ask for second opinions, and all the decisions are in your hands. If your plans fail, there’s no one to clean up your mess.
Emergencies are inevitable
Going on adventures can be riskier if you’re a solo traveller. If you get into an accident, there’s no one to take care of you. You have to be more wary of your health — too many activities and you might end up fatigued. Natural disasters might happen too, and it can be traumatizing to deal with it alone. Oh, and of course there are a lot more travelling mishaps you might possibly encounter from the second you step into the airport. It’s just scary.
So… is it worth it?
Despite all these known risks, there are still so many wanderers who choose to travel solo. Wondering if you should follow their path? It’s up to you to decide. But, if you haven’t travelled alone yet before, then here are some things you have to know as well.
Solo travel is exhilarating
Everyone knows this. Exploring the world on your own gives you a sense of living in a storybook. With risks come endless adventures, and the feeling of independence can be really liberating! Imagine seeing places you’ve dreamed of going to ever since, and getting the thrill of journeying to those places alone.
Solo travel lets you learn
“When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” While this is mostly attributed to being respectful to local customs and traditions, I see this as a nugget of wisdom that travellers must get deeply involved in places. I’m a huge fan of immersion. I feel like the ultimate experience happens only when you live like the locals — go where they go, eat where they eat, sleep when they sleep. When you’re exposed to a whole new way of living, you learn surprisingly many things that you can never learn in your comfort zone.
Of course, travelling solo also means learning how to live on your own outside the cosiness of familiarity. With this, you learn to plan your itinerary on your own, to navigate a foreign destination by yourself, and to allocate your own budget wisely.
Solo travel builds your confidence
Since you don’t have anyone around you to be comfortable with, you’ll most likely meet new people. You’ll have to learn whom to trust. While making friends with strangers may not be easy at first, it’ll definitely be worth it once you meet like-minded travellers. Also, travelling solo will make you appear much more approachable so be ready for conversations anytime! It might surprise you how fascinating people can be, whether they’re a local or tourist.
Solo travel lets you reflect
If you want to hit the reset button, then there’s no better way to do it than to travel alone. When you explore the world on your own, you’re forced to leave everything familiar behind and trek the world with fresh eyes. Similar to how group travels make you learn new things about your travel buddies, travelling solo will reveal new things you never knew about yourself.
With all the risks of travelling solo, are you still up for it? Tell us what you think.