The rise of solo travel: Discovering the world alone

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When was the last time you went on an adventure by yourself? While doing things alone can seem daunting at first, the experience is like no other — especially when it comes to traveling. Discover the intricacies of solo travel, including factors to consider during planning and how to make the most out of this once-in-a-lifetime journey.

Woman standing on top of canyon
An adventure of a lifetime awaits. Experience the world on your own for transformative moments of self-discovery. Photo credit: Depositphotos.

There’s no better way for self-discovery

Out there is a whole world waiting to be seen and an adventure of a lifetime. Doing so alone can be the most fulfilling and humbling experience — you truly have no one to rely on but yourself as you explore unchartered territory and unfamiliar cultures.

One of the secrets to finding joy in life is pushing past your boundaries and doing what feels scary. It seems backward, but you experience the most self-growth in these moments. That’s why so many people travel solo. It’s definitely not easy, but the journey will be the most rewarding. There are a few key factors to consider for a successful trip.

Plan your solo adventure to avoid any sticky situations

Not everyone is a type A traveler; some prefer to do things on the fly. However, it’s always best to do a baseline level of research and create your own travel planning guide for safety and logistic reasons.

The first thing to do is check to see if there are any visa requirements or other mandatory documentation for travel. Destinations like China require a visa, and you’ll need to account for the processing time before booking any flights.  

You should also try to understand local customs and etiquette. For example, in Japan, talking on your phone or speaking loudly on public transportation is considered rude. Learning about and respecting the culture will go a long way toward making you a welcome visitor wherever you go.

For your safety, research what areas to avoid. Not all parts of a city are suitable for tourists — you don’t want to stumble across a dangerous situation. There may also be remote locations where it’s best to enlist a trusted guide to take you. Remember to share your itinerary with a friend or family from back home for safety reasons.

When you’re traveling, it’s helpful to have a list of attractions you want to visit so you can make the most of your time. This saves you from having to do research during your trip. While you don’t have to strictly stick to the list — sometimes the best attractions are the ones you stumble across — it’s better to have something to go by than nothing at all.

Your travel guide should account for several considerations, yet the most important thing is to make it flexible. It should have enough structure to cover the essentials but give yourself room to go on unexpected adventures. That’s where you’ll make memories of a lifetime.

It’s not always going to be easy

With your travel guide in hand, the trip may still feel daunting. The truth is, you’ll face a few bumps on the road, but overcoming them will be fulfilling. Common issues solo travelers face include navigating local roads, language barriers and feeling lonely. You can pre-empt these by purchasing eSims to access data and translation apps, staying in hostels or joining group tours to make some friends.

After finding your way to your destination despite some scary moments and using sign language to communicate with locals, you’ll feel like you can accomplish anything. These experiences will boost your confidence and problem-solving skills, teaching you that you can handle any situation with a little patience and trust.

Meeting people beyond your usual bubble

One of the best parts of solo traveling is meeting people you don’t usually come across. You’ll find that each individual has an exciting story of their own. It’s eye opening to learn how people from diverse backgrounds experience life. Who knows? You might find a lifelong friend who lives halfway across the world.

Stay in social accommodations like hostels to meet other travelers or locals. Do your research beforehand on well-reviewed hostels and the usual age groups that stay in each location to make sure they’re the right crowd for you. Join group tours or Airbnb experiences, which list a variety of activities like cooking classes with local chefs, boat rides and more. Solo traveling doesn’t mean you have to be on your own all the time.

Expanding your palate with local cuisine

Trying out local delicacies is a must to truly immerse yourself in a region’s culture. Indulge in authentic foods with flavors you can’t find anywhere else. Sure, you may have had pho before at a restaurant back home, but eating pho in Vietnam — where the dish originated — will be a whole different ballpark. 

Traveling can be difficult for those with dietary restrictions or preferences. Health-conscious travelers or vegans should consider staying at an Airbnb with access to cooking supplies. This makes it easy to prepare homemade snacks using produce from the grocery store. For example, zucchini chips have a quick prep time and are nutritious snacks that are perfect for hikes or any other journeys.

Preserve your memories

You’ll want to remember your solo adventures long after they happen. Journaling, blogging or vlogging are all great ways to document your travels. They also encourage you to reflect on your experiences and stay present as you regularly share your thoughts and emotions about your journey. Looking back at your entries a few years later will bring back happy memories as you relive your fond experiences.

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An opportunity of a lifetime

Stepping outside your bubble will offer endless opportunities for personal growth, exciting stories to share and unforgettable sights. From the meticulous planning phase to trying local cuisine and making lifelong friends, traveling solo will take you on a memorable journey. It’s time to pack your bags and discover not just the world but also yourself. 

Zuzana Paar is the visionary behind four inspiring websites: Amazing Travel Life, Low Carb No Carb, Best Clean Eating, and Sustainable Life Idea. As a content creator, recipe developer, blogger and photographer, Zuzana shares her diverse skills through breathtaking travel adventures, healthy recipes and eco friendly living tips. Her work inspires readers to live their best, healthiest and most sustainable lives.

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