From Our Readers
July 06, 2014 12:29 pm

When I decided to take my first solo trip, venturing across the Atlantic for a week in London, everyone thought I was crazy. I was told by various family members, friends, and coworkers that it was unsafe for me to travel alone, that I’d be bored without someone to talk to, and that I’d probably get lost in such a big city.

Thankfully, none of their predictions came true, and I wound up having the time of my life. I spent the week staying in hostels and exploring the surrounding neighborhoods. I mastered the Tube, the city’s underground rail system. I visited Dalí Universe, which has since closed, and stood in awe at the brilliant pieces of artwork. I spent a lazy day at Kensington Gardens, touring the grounds and reading a book by the pond. I saw the usual tourist attractions like the Tower of London, the Tate Gallery, and the Natural History Museum. One day, I wandered around with no destination at all. I did whatever I wanted, and I had a blast.

The trip was completely invigorating and I’ve since traveled solo a few times. While it is always fun to travel with loved ones, there is something freeing and empowering about going to a new place and discovering it by yourself. I truly believe it is something everyone should do at least once in their lives!

If you still aren’t sold on the idea, here are four reasons to consider it:

1. You can live on your own schedule

There’s no need to worry about when everyone plans to get up, agree on a time for meals, or plan an afternoon nap for a child. You are the boss. If you want to sleep in, stay out late, or grab a bite on the go in lieu of a sit down meal, you can. You don’t have to live by anyone’s schedule.

2. You can go anywhere you want to

Not only do you not have to worry about other people’s schedules, you also don’t have to worry about their preferences. Traveling with friends or family means a lot of compromises. There isn’t always the time or interest in going where you want to. Going solo means you can visit anywhere that your heart desires, and don’t have to spend anytime doing anything you don’t wish to.

3. Solitude is nice

I’m all for good conversation and fun company but it’s nice to be alone sometimes too. When you are in a new city, there’s so much to take in: the noises, the smells, the hustle of daily life, the architecture, and all the little things too. You are given the chance to really take in everything happening around you without the distractions of a companion.

4. It’s good to be independent

When traveling with loved ones or with tour groups, there is always someone there to help you navigate your way through a new place. It’s really great to be able to do it all on your own with no assistance.

As you set off to enjoy another summer season, take the time to consider a solo trip of your own. It may be scary and intimidating at first, as new things often are, but you’ll be surprised how relaxing and empowering it can be when out there on your own.

Lake Edwards is an indecisive college student still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. She loves the great outdoors, blogging about daily life, and Hugh Grant rom coms.

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