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I vividly recall my mindset before taking my first solo trip over four years ago.
College was about to break for vacation, and I had confided to a few of my close friends that I would be taking a solo trip during the holidays to Rishikesh, a town in the foothills of the Himalayas.
When my friends mentioned to a few people about my plans, I was uncomfortable. I didn’t want people to think I was a weirdo for travelling alone. So I told my friends that I would appreciate it if they didn’t go around telling people about this.
I didn’t know anyone else who had travelled solo, so I was anxious and didn’t know what to expect. But I had a burning desire to go to Rishikesh for the past couple of years and I didn’t want to wait around any longer to make that happen.
My solo trip to Rishikesh was a short one and lasted a week, but I loved it so much that I travelled solo again a couple of years later, this time travelling around India for three months.
The second trip turned out to be nothing short of life-changing, and now I no longer feel weird or embarrassed about travelling solo because I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Here are three compelling reasons why you should solo travel at least once.
You will meet plenty of amazing people
One of the biggest arguments against solo travel that I often hear is that “isn’t it lonely travelling by yourself?”
After having travelled on many occasions with a group of friends and even with just one other friend, I can say from my experience that I've never met more people on a trip than when I travelled solo.
When we travel with a group of people, we tend to stick to our comfort zone and don’t usually have to go out of our way to meet people since we already have company.
Whereas when you travel solo, you will naturally make an effort to be more social, and you will also become more approachable to locals who will often go out of their way to help you.
If you stay in a backpacker hostel which is what I usually do when I travel solo, you will meet plenty of amazing people, especially other solo travellers.
Sure, there will be times when you will be just by yourself while travelling solo, but these times will help you become more comfortable in your own skin and learn to enjoy your company.
Here's me getting hit with a snowball (while climbing the Indrahar pass in the Himalayas along with other solo travellers)
You have complete control over the schedule
When you travel with a group of people, your itinerary largely depends on other people. You will need to make compromises because you wouldn’t want to hurt other people’s feelings.
But when you travel solo, you have complete freedom about where to go, what to do and how long you want to do it. There is no need to feel guilty about exploring places to your heart’s content because you have complete control over your schedule.
If you find a particular place fascinating, you can end up staying there for hours.
When I visited the Beatles Ashram in Rishikesh (where The Beatles had come to learn meditation in the 60s), I ended up meeting another solo traveller and spent almost four hours there and had a great time chatting with him and exploring the place.
I can't imagine doing something like that if I was travelling with a group of people.
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Your social skills will improve massively
Solo travelling has helped me become more confident and helped to overcome my shyness which had a crippling impact on my life.
I used to be the kind of person who would usually awkwardly smile whenever I was introduced to someone new and I’d be uncomfortable around new people.
Staying in backpacker hostels and being in unfamiliar places forces you out of your comfort zone to interact with plenty of new people each day, and this will undoubtedly have a positive impact on your social skills and confidence.
Deciding to travel solo, especially taking my second solo trip for three months around India has been one of the best decisions I have made in my life.
I have never met anyone who travelled solo and regretted doing it. Instead, many solo travellers have told me that they wished they would have started doing it earlier.
If you are even mildly fascinated by the thought of travelling solo, I'd urge you to try it out for yourself.
Here are some of the most impactful and useful articles from the 100 Articles that I have published on The Soul Jam.
5 Simple Techniques To Deal With Urges And Break Bad Habits
You can find all the articles that I have published over here.
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