Reasons why solo travel will give you a better social life. (Watch this video!)
I wouldn’t call myself “outgoing” or “the life of a party”.
As personable as I might have seemed to others growing up, there was always an intrinsically quiet and shy person inside, who longed to be a social butterfly, but felt like a failure at it. Always awkward at parties, my inability to connect with small talk chit-chat, weather, politics, business, verbal jousting (all totally not my thing)… all enhanced my flailing confidence. Those pinches of social loneliness haunted me into my adult years.
But then that all changed, when I began traveling alone. Solo travel boosted my social life!
Why people are driven to solo travel.
Solo travel isn’t always a traveler’s first choice. In fact, travelers are often driven to it out of necessity. The most common reasons tend to be:
– Difficulty aligning travel plans with friends.
– No one is interested in the countries you’re interested in.
– You can’t find friends with the same travel style or budget as you…
– And you’re tired of waiting on other people to start your dream to travel.
These were all of my reasons when I first started. But likewise I had many fears and self-doubts too, such as “Will I be able to get around by myself?” “Will I have to eat dinner all alone? “”What if I get into a bad situation and have no one to help me out?”
Is traveling alone lonely?
For a while, I believed this myth about solo travel being lonely. The mere thought of it reminded me of the pain of my social awkwardness. As a result, I put off solo travel for a long time.
We assume that “Solo” equals “Alone” and “Alone” must mean “Lonely”.
Having been a solo traveler for over six years, I find traveling alone is actually not lonely at all. It’s actually quite opposite. This was something my first solo trip to India revealed to me and has continued since. Traveling alone made me realize I am quite social, well-adjusted to meeting people, adaptable to changing cultures and conversational. If you can travel the world and converse with people from all corners of the globe, but can’t do so in a party at home,… then what gauge will you trust?
No, I’m not broken. Traveling alone, I’ve learned that… I’m just fine.
Reasons why solo travel is not lonely
These days, I meet more and more women traveling alone. I also meet many first-timers and when I ask them if they feel lonely, a majority of them deny the myth of loneliness. Many tend to say the same thing– I feel I’m almost never alone.
Of course, there’s always exceptions to the rule. Admittedly, I have my winces of loneliness, but they’re nowhere near the loneliness of being at a party among people I had no shared interests with or I’m traveling with someone, whose travel style is not a good match. Solo travel has opened me to a larger and more vibrant social life. It’s better and more active than my social life at home. How can this be?
1. Solo travel makes you more open to making friends
Alone, I have the potential to meet more people. People are easier to meet when you’re on-the-road. No one talks about their job or concerned with their ego. Everyone is excited to share, meet, explore the adventure around them… which is Travel. Travel is the passion string and conversational piece that binds. You won’t find yourself struggling to find things to talk about here.
2. Being alone makes you more approachable.
Locals and travelers are more inclined to offer you aid when you look lost, if you’re alone. Being alone makes you less intimidating.
3. People feel more protective towards women traveling alone.
I always find people soften towards me because I am a woman. Locals, fellow travelers, mothers, single men.. every one of these people have offered shelter to me at some point of my travels. I’ve had local families offer assistance or take me under their wing, if they see danger headed in my direction.
4. Solo travel teaches you to befriend or adapt to your environment quickly
Travelers often carry a little fear when entering “foreign” environments. It’s natural. But as a solo traveler, I only have myself to rely on and because I can’t do it all alone… I have to befriend my environment and find resource in it. I have no choice but to rely on locals, travelers and the new environment around me. So I don’t feel fear of my environment. Instead, I find comfort in it. I make it my home.
5. Solo traveler’s survival instinct will forces you to be direct and outgoing.
If you’re shy, solo travel is a perfect cure to breaking you out of your shell. Based on the innate will to survive and the fact you’ll need help in order to get around, you’ll talk to strangers to get crucial information. The greater your need, the less self-conscious you feel in asking for it.
6. With solo travel, you have the power to create your travel experience.
Many first time soloists don’t understand the freedom at their fingertips, but if they put a little effort into it, they quickly learn. The world is a buffet and you can pick and choose your experiences and who you want to travel with, invite to dinner, share a ride with, etc… Being on the road makes people open-minded to experiencing new things and people. Most travelers are open to meeting others and joining up in activities. Thus, being alone is a choice.