Being surrounded by people all the time can take its toll, which is why a solo-break is wonderful every now and then. While family holidays and baecations are great fun and strengthen relationships, your primary relationship should be with yourself, and should be nurtured.
Here are eight reasons why solo travel’s good for you:
No time constraints
For some, this would be the only time we don’t have to answer to anyone. You can plan your itinerary, but you’re under no obligation to stick to it unless you’ve made bookings. Use your time to explore, laze around, read, sleep, eat, and repeat!
Meet new people
This is a great opportunity to befriend the locals and make new friends. Find out from friends who’ve previously visited your travel location where the hotspots are, or gather brochures from your hotel or accommodation reception. Lifelong connections are often made during one’s travels. Who knows, if you’re looking for love… You see where we’re going with this, don’t you?
Make new discoveries (about yourself and others)
This is a wonderful opportunity to try new things. You might find yourself picking up a new hobby or even learning a language. Find out as much as you can about your destination and educate yourself and your friends at home.
We’re sure you don’t really need much encouragement here, but in case you do, guilt-free shopping is allowed. However, make sure you stay within your budget. You don’t want to return home to money problems.
Healing after a challenging time
If you’ve been through a rough patch, personally or professionally, a solo trip will do wonders to help you regain perspective or simply just help you to unwind and deal with your feelings. There’s nothing as refreshing as a clear mind! In the words of Chaim Potok: “I’ve begun to realise that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own.”
Face the unknown, and your fears
Stepping out of your comfort zone and into the unknown can really help you face your fears. There are always lessons to be learnt in every situation and you might be surprised by how well you cope.
Meditate or create
When travelling alone, you can ditch some of the tourist activities or attractions to sleep in late, meditate, or create something new that you may have been putting off.
Learn a new language or two
When you visit a country where no one speaks your language, you’re forced to learn to communicate in a new language. The obvious benefits of this are numerous, including the ability to communicate with people you may not necessarily have been able to before and explore new horizons.
Dr Mosadi Mahoko from Cape Town says: “Everybody should be open to a solo trip. It’s good for introspection if you’ve come through a tough time, but also allows you to experience many different things. It’s a great idea even if you’re in a great space. I just wanted to go away and no-one could come with me, so I figured: ‘Why not just go on my own?’”