Dreams don’t always have to be shared with friends, families or partners to be realized. Sometimes you just want to get out of your comfort zone to take some “Me Time”. Pursue your dreams and go on a trip by yourself. Traveling alone makes you the boss of your own destiny and author of your own story. Don’t get me wrong, I love exploring the world with friends and family. In fact, I traveled with my mom and brother to Hong Kong and Macau and even to Dubai. But sometimes you just want to prove something to yourself; that you can do what do you think you can’t. People ask me, why don’t I have a built-in travel buddy? While I obviously have a bunch of friends, nah! most of them are busy either being in a relationship, cannot take vacation, bad timing or don’t have enough savings for a ticket to Venice and yeah! sometimes their bucket list is boring. Too many reasons so I refused to wait, I couldn’t afford to delay my plan of seeing the world and I wouldn’t let them stop me from achieving my goals.
It was 2014 when I embarked on a solo adventure. I booked that last remaining seat at a very low cost to Bangkok, Thailand that keeps popping out my screen. I knew it was a sign, I’ve been bitten by a travel bug. Tadaaah! I’m backpacking solo in South East Asia where it’s known to be a hotspot for first time solo backpackers. If you get that opportunity of journeying alone, take advantage of it. You never know what it could do to you. I never felt unsafe and scared. Matter fact, to my excitement I never stop reading blogs and guidebooks about going solo. So the whole trip went pretty well. Guess what? It was followed by a solo trip to Bahrain and Turkey and recently concluded my dream Europe trip. There is nothing in the world compares the feeling of pride and joy I get from traveling. I’ve been to many places alone and learned a lot of things which I’m always excited to share. hhmm!
I know you are planning on your epic solo trip, this is the perfect time to make it possible! So if you are convinced to make your own story richer, here are the perks of a solo traveler that are too awesome to pass up:
1. Eat What You Want
Not only beautiful places you explore but authentic foods for sure. When you are on the road, food will always be your top priority. Mouth-watering gelato, happy pizza in Cambodia, tasty Bolognese pasta, seafood paella negra, Vienna sausage and schnitzels are all yours! Hungry? Street food are one of the best choices when in Bangkok. If you happen to visit Greece you can’t miss the authentic Greek salad and souvlaki. Your visit to the Philippines won’t be complete without eating Balut (egg embryo). Nobody will stop you from trying fried tarantulas in Hanoi. Fantastic! Life is too short not to taste them, so eat whatever, whenever, wherever!
2. Fall in Love
Who knows when you’ll meet your blue-eyed Italian lover on the road? It may seem crazy but you might end up dating your “The One” in Santorini. When you’re traveling alone, romance becomes possible and chances are endless especially if you come from a bad break-up. But it isn’t just about finding someone. The moment I saw the beauty of Eiffel Tower I became infatuated with it. I got attached to the master pieces of Leonardo da Vinci and decided to kill my time staring at it. The world has a lot to offer! nature, food, art and culture, and places that are waiting for you to fall in love with. Fall.
3. Learn the Art of “Selfie”
Ladies and gents let’s all give credits to that genius inventor of “wand of Narcissus” or the selfie stick. Believe me you will master the art of taking selfies if you travel solo. When I was at the Peak of Taurus Mountain in Antalya, Turkey I couldn’t ask strangers to take picture of me as nobody dares to reach the top. I brought selfie stick with me and took hundreds of selfies at the same view but only one out of the hundred pictures stood out. Not bad.
4. Meet Awesome Friends
The truth is you are never really alone. My travels in Europe and South East Asia gave me the chance to meet the coolest friends on earth. There is always a traveler who will strike up conversations with you on the road. When I was in Bangkok, a Spanish girl approached me and asked for direction to the Grand Temple. Yeah! I knew she got lost but it took me time to answer back as I couldn’t find my way as well. Cool. So we ended up traveling together. Couchsurfing is the gateway to build your social connections. I jetted off to Istanbul and celebrated fun-filled New Year’s Eve with the couchsurfers. Hostels are a great place to meet like-minded travelers and a way to start-up acquaintances. What’s more? Grab a beer in a bar, once you consumed 2 you become more talkative. You will find yourself striking up conversations with strangers over a shot of “sex on the beach”. Join a pub quiz or karaoke night. Bars are the perfect places to bowl over by new best buddies. The moment you find a genuine friendship with them is the most painful as travelers just come and go. But you can always exchange numbers and facebook accounts before parting ways and continue the journey. Who knows? You might bump into each other again.
Hell yeah! solo travelers can relate to this, oh come on! You are completely anonymous when embarked in foreign land. Sometimes you make up stories about who you are and lie about your age or name. Indeed you have the opportunity to do something different before you die. Go give a shot. Whatever happens in Florence, stays in Florence. How fun is that?
6. Discover Who You Are
When you travel by yourself, there are moments when you discover how awesome you are. (hug yourself!) You realize what you’re capable of. I didn’t know I could appreciate the Mona Lisa painting. Nor did I know I could eat scorpions and cockroach in Cambodia (it was awful!). I just knew that I enjoy watching the sunset and sunrise. Through it all, I discovered that the best travel companion I’ve ever had was ME. Enjoy your own company. The more you travel solo the more you discover yourself.
7. Overwhelming Freedom
Embarking on a solo trip means you can do what you want, when you want, with whom you want and where you want. Nothing can beat the freedom you get from traveling on your own. Stand up. Be fearless. Go where no one has gone before. For once, be free from all obligations. You are completely free to explore new things. Eat ice cream for breakfast, why not? Enjoy it. Once in a while you should loosen up! Smoke your favorite local herb and get wasted in Amsterdam. Go clubbing like there’s no tomorrow in Barcelona. No one will judge you anyways. Drunken nights will always make us great stories. Not being your usual self is something worth experiencing.
Traveling solo isn’t for everyone, though some prefer not to eat alone or are too shy to meet new friends. Others prefer group tours when they visit new places. At some point in your life, you must try to take on a solo trip. Get a world map, toss a coin and fly right away to where it land. I swear it’s effective. Just do it! Pack your bags and explore the beauty of our planet Earth.