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Why YOU should travel solo

For lots of people, the thought of travelling to a country or city alone is one of the most daunting things that they can imagine. When I told people that aged 18, I was going solo interrailing around Europe, I was met with a whole host of questions: Aren’t you scared? What happens if you don’t meet anyone? Will you be safe? These were just some of many.
People are right of course. All of these are things that you have to bear in mind when you travel solo. You certainly have to take more care both when picking destinations and when deciding what to do when you are there, but these shouldn’t be things that put you off. In my opinion, solo travel is one of the most freeing experiences that you can have.

You don’t have to worry about pleasing your group, going to places that you don’t want to go or missing out on places that you really do. Solo travel is the best way that I have found to meet new and exciting people from across the globe. Many of the people that I have met along the way have become close friends of mine, and it really helps to have beds that you can crash on in a variety of different countries.

As someone who is not naturally the most outgoing, I have found that solo travel has really forced me to get out of my comfort zone and introduce myself to people at new destinations. Easily the best way to do this is to stay in hostels when travelling. These really are the hubs of the backpacking community wherever you go. I have found that you will meet plenty of other solo travellers, and even those that are travelling in groups are often more than happy to chat to you, especially if it’s over as drink at the hostel bar!

When I am solo travelling, I have often had the best experiences and done things that I could never have imagined when I started out on the trip. Whether that be seeing the Pope in Rome or ending up at a mariachi bar on my birthday in Mexico City. Both of these activities I have done with people I have met during my travels, and it illustrates that it pays off to say yes!
So, what I am trying to say is, once you get past those questions that your family and friends ask, solo travel really is something that everyone should try. It doesn’t have to be a 6 month trip around the world, it could be a weekend away to somewhere you’ve been before. Travelling solo really gives you a different perspective on a destination and you never know who you might meet, and I think that is the best thing about backpacking, everyday is full of surprises.

 

Me and some guys I met whilst travelling in Ecuador playing the drums in the style of a traditional Amazonian wedding party.