I started traveling solo during my first international trip - by accident.
I was on spring break in Europe while studying abroad and my travel mates and I weren't gelling. There were no big fights or meltdowns, it just ... wasn't working out.
I felt forced to travel by myself in order to salvage the rest of my trip! Kind of like a bird being kicked out of the nest. So I flew. I made my way through Spain, France and Holland on my own and was forever a fan of solo travel. Since then I've traveled to Ireland, Chile, Peru, Argentina, Cuba, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Costa Rica - just me!
Pretty quickly I became a believer in solo travel - especially for women.
Here are my four favorite things about solo travel and why I recommend it for every woman:
1. 📆 Planning my itinerary without any compromises - based on my own interests, preferences, budget and energy level. If I want to take it slow and build in lots of rest time, I can do that. If I want to dance every day and night, I can do that too. There's no compromise and no guilt. It's all up to me!
2. 💪 Being challenged to figure out things and solve problems on my own. When you travel with a partner or in a group, when things go sideways, you've got each other to problem-solve. When you're solo, you have to trust and believe in yourself and your ability to address any challenges that come up.
3. 🎈 Feeling independent and free. As soon as I get on the plane, I start feeling excited about my adventure. The simplest things - from figuring out where to buy groceries or how to take public transport to discovering the best place to dance - all feel delightful and interesting. I feel awake and alive and fully engaged in life.
4. 🧡 Connecting with other kindred spirits who are on their own solo adventures. The funny thing about traveling solo is that you're rarely alone! I've met some of my best friends from crossing paths on our own solo journeys. We share the same sense of independence, adventure, passion and curiosity, and that makes for some spectacular friendships!
Of course there are pros and cons to solo travel, and I also love traveling with my partner, with family and with girlfriends! BUT I know I could never feel really alive without solo travel.
It's been a part of my life for over 20 years and it still feels so exciting and self-affirming!
How about you? What are YOUR favorite things about traveling solo?