Why I Love To Travel Solo

When you tell people about your latest holiday, one of the unavoidable questions is "Who was with you? :)" and, in my case, more often than not, the answer is nobody. Depending on the person, and how well they know me, this can lead to long faces, and confusion. Travelling alone is still not the norm and even the shiest people seem to search for a travel companion rather than go on their own.

I have to admit that the first time I did a solo trip, I was a bit scared but I soon discovered its joys and how amazing it can be. This was also the first time, I took a life lesson away from a trip: you can do almost everything on your own, and it is fun! If you find someone to go see that concert with you, great! If not, go on your own! It is still great fun!

I am happy to note that my independent #SoloTravel spirit has carried over to a few friends of mine, who also decided to try - albeit shorter - trips on their own, and learned that it ain't too bad. And no, nobody is going to stare at you for eating your breakfast alone; they're all too busy looking at their coffee anyway. 

However, what makes solo travel so great for me?

The Comfort of Being Alone 

Since I work a lot with people, have to be friendly all the time, my working atmosphere can be stressful. This means that sooner or later I just had it with seeing another human being. So I find being alone very comfortable, especially when I personally choose to be. This way, I can let my mind wander around and even run on neutral while it creates white-noise.

Being alone also means that I can stare at that mountain range for as long as I want to, and take a moment to appreciate nature, a building, or simply the peace and quiet. These are simple pleasures that we all love and don't have a way to explain why. 

As an added bonus, the only person you have to consider in all of your travel planning is yourself, which can be a relief.

Furthermore, there is no better way to get to know yourself than being on your own. You don't react subconsciously to someone else's presence or needs. Which neatly brings me to ....

Can Go Anywhere Where You Want, How You Want, And When You Want 

Your planning is absolutely free! You can schedule your activities exactly how they suit you, starting at breakfast and ending at when you go to bed. Fancy an early end of the day? You go right ahead. Want to start early? Nobody to worry.

Furthermore, if you want to finish an activity early ... who is stopping you? You don't have to worry about upsetting anyone. While it is possible to bail out of activities when you are travelling with friends, it becomes much harder when you also share a room and/or a car.

Travelling on your own also gives you complete freedom to reschedule activities depending on your own well-being. For example, I shorted a skiing day in Seefeld drastically because my knee had started to ache, and I knew it would become unbearable soon. Travelling with a partner would have not only drastically change which slopes I would have picked but also for how long to ski per day - depending on the skill. Furthermore, having to cut a day short because of an aching part of my body even though I have no control over it, would have left a sour feeling in my stomach no matter what ... 

Since I had been alone, I simply decided to store my skis safely back at the hotel and talk a walk around the town for the rest of the day.

No Half-Assing 

The same way you can only do stuff that you are interested in, you don't have to do things that you don't really want to do anyway. After all, there is nobody bullying or guilt-tripping you to go look at the museum you don't quite want to see anyway.

The other side of the same coin is ....

No Keeping Others Entertained 

This is something I faced before, when almost all of the responsibility of a trip lay in my hands. I had to  plan out activities and alternatives of what we could do, without really getting a response from the other end. So while I snapped photos of a castle, thought it was beautiful and so on, there was always a nagging voice in my head wondering "are they really happy with this? Or are they just tagging along because they have to?"

Furthermore, while I don't mind planning a trip for myself, it becomes very bothersome to do the same for another person who is not giving you any feedback at all ... 

When I travel alone, the only person I am responsible for and have to keep entertained is myself. And yes, sometimes that is taking my time to take photos of a tiny castle and other times it is dozing on the bed and watching an old Tatort episode.

Despite loving to travel alone, I don't always do so. However, picking the right travel partner for me is hard and has only happened once so far. This one being Barb - my road trip buddy - because we seem to think alike in those aspects and don't give a shit when we differ. When we both want to do the same thing, we share the experience, and if we don't, we don't - which is why when we visited the Ötscher, I was skiing while she went hiking during most the day. We had two cars, and were independent of each other. 

I don't rate travelling alone higher than travelling with someone, however, the independence that you experience through travelling alone gives me the freedom to chose with whom you want to travel in the future to truly enjoy it. I am not forced into travelling with anyone I don't 100% get along with because I know very well that I can do it all on my own.

This is another, and probably the most important reason why I love solo travel.

Disclaimer: This article was written prior to the pandemic. I do not endorse any travelling until our immune systems are filled with sexy vaccine. 

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