travel-independentlyYou might not expect me to advocate solo travel, given that I organize small group tours, but I absolutely do.  Small group tours have big benefits and make the most sense to me for some travel, but going solo has its own rich rewards.  If you have contemplated a trip by yourself but haven’t done so, I encourage you to…21968854-5fa0-45c9-8d44-aaa7cfdb83ae

 

 

Repeatedly people say to me that it takes courage for a woman to travel alone.  Would you be surprised to learn that a study in 2013 found that more women than men embark on solo travels? And, that of those who do travel alone, 12% are over age 65!  I believe that’s because women are more prone to seek out situations that provoke self discovery which is a core aspect of traveling by oneself.  Every time I travel alone I find the solitude a path to increased self mindfulness.

 

 

Some of my most cherished memories (and best stories) are about my time spent travelling through Papua New Guinea by myself.  Was I apprehensive at times? Yes, most definitely, but the trip was one of personal discovery and serendipitous encounters.

 

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My top three advantages to travelling on one’s own:

dd9038d8-8e00-4e31-9182-6008177f54941.  It’s self-empowering and engenders self-awareness.  Having already moved beyond your comfort zone, every day you spend by yourself in an unfamiliar city/culture you will find yourself more open to challenging your fears and insecurities and that often means reconnecting with a part of yourself that may have been hidden away.

 

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2.  It provides the opportunity to see and do exactly what you want without compromise and without worrying about the priorities of others.  Although my group tours always include time for travelers to explore on their own, when you are travelling by yourself you are totally free to do what you want, when you want.  You can spend entire days roaming about and making surprise discoveries.

 

 

50a2e634-4663-408f-ad6d-7d342e645e9b3.  You’ll engage more with others.  I find that I become much more extroverted when I travel by myself.  Inevitably, I find myself reaching out to meet other travelers and local residents.  We quickly find common ground and share information and experiences, which provides valuable insight into my host culture.

 

 

Are there disadvantages to traveling solo?  There are. 

It can be costly – no one to share the expenses with.  Indubitably there will be days when you are tired of making decisions and wish you had a companion.  And, of course, it is fun to share a new experience with close, like-minded friends.   Yes, it can be intimidating at times, but to my way of thinking the pros outweigh the cons and the more you do it, the more addicting it will become.

Having said all of that – I do hope you’ll join my final group tour of the year to Nepal this October…last chance to sign on at an unbelievable price point.  Email me at scolony@gmail.com