Solo travelling is becoming more and more of a conventional means of exploring the world. It challenges the status quo of only challenging with a friend or family alongside.
If you often read my blog and follow me on socials you know how proud I am to don the “solo traveller” cap and talk about the benefits it offers.
That being said, its often a way of travel that’s misunderstood and come with some stigma. A lot of casual people who don’t travel regularly look down upon travelling alone and are normally put off by it.
Feeling you’re one of those guys whos got the wrong end of the stick? Well here’s 5 misconceptions about solo travelling that’ll hopefully be cleared up.
1. You’ll find yourself getting lonely
Biggest things people get misconstrued about solo travel. That travelling alone means travellers are lonely and isolated. Just because friends and family aren’t around them doesn’t mean they are not surrounded by company. Don’t get me wrong, group travel with friends and family allows for life-long memories.
Although travelling alone gives you the exclusive opportunity to meet new people and potentially make new friends. This is the kind of opportunity you’ll unlikely open yourself up to if you travelled with friends or family.
Ways in which you can do that is by staying in shared accommodation such as Hostels and AirBnbs. I’ve made fun memories with random people I’d just met for one night and never seen again (such is life!). As a travel blogger I can also use social media to engage with fellow travellers who live in the place I’d visit and perhaps meetup.
2. It’s only for people with no friends
Truth is everyone has different interests and daily routines, even your closest friends. Whilst I’m passionate about exercise and helping people live a healthy lifestyle – and obviously have serious wanderlust. My best friend for example loves architecture and product design but isn’t a serial traveller like myself. Another friend of mine is full-time 9-5 simpleton who comes home from work and chillaxes.
Those kind of people are not gonna be the people who’ll ride or die for you when it comes to travelling the world regularly. Can’t depend on others to hold your hand and explore the world with you the way you wanna do it. And that’s okay.
Same goes with your travel friends. Anything travel-related they’ll probably hit you up cos of mutual interest but not so much if it’s a music festival or night out they’re looking to go to for example.
3. It is unsafe
The safety of any traveller is paramount, solo or non-solo. Stories in the media of exchange students and British tourists often being found dead or going missing, female travellers getting harassed and racial prejudices towards people of color. All are fair and reasonable examples for people to use as arguments against solo travelling. A big current example is recent cases of US tourists mysteriously dying on visits to the Dominican Republic.
But again a country you’ve yet to visit in your life doesn’t automatically mean its a place of danger. Nor does having people with you guarentee you’re not going to run into trouble.
Truth is nowhere is exactly safe, even in your home city (ask London bloggers about the knife crime epidemic). That doesn’t mean incidents won’t happen if you’re travelling alone. You just have to exercise more caution when abroad. For example mainland Europe is notorious for pickpocketing so you’d need to limit the amount of stuff in back pockets.
Good amount of research, awareness of surroundings and area and taking safety precautions can minimise the risk of getting yourself into trouble.
4. You end up getting lost
Losing yourself in a city would’ve had more strength and validity 10-15 years when smart technology was more primitive.
Now the beauty of 4G (soon 5G!) allows us access to internet on the go and make use of apps like Google Maps and City Mapper. You can also download maps and use offline to conserve battery. More independent.
Or if you’re more old-school, take a hold of a map or city guide. Ask locals for directions to attractions you want to get to. That way you get an insight into how the locals interact and treat tourists visiting visiting their space.
For a lot of travellers more often than not the best things they discover is when they actually get lost wandering around. You find things you wouldn’t have otherwise seen or experienced if they had a strict itinerary.
5. You get bored of travelling alone (eventually)
There’s the idea that travelling alone is boring and dull. If not then it’ll eventually lose its appeal and become a mundane activity. To me that’s a close-minded mentality to have towards travelling in general!
Travelling teaches you so much about yourself and the world around you. The opportunity for personal growth is enough of a reason to always be excited about going away somewhere.
Bit of perspective, there are a total of 195 countries on the planet according to WorldAtlas.com. A lot of those countries we probably haven’t heard of. That’s one thing I love about travelling. The element of mystery and discovery. Furthermore if you’re an geologists or explorer then there are countries out there waiting and hiding, waiting to be found by an explorer.
You can take on solo travel and travelling in general in many ways. Day trips, weekend breaks, backpacking, cruises…the list is almost exhausting.
People travel to one country multiple times for different reasons and motivations. That makes a travel experience unique and just as special as the other if all goes well.
What other bloggers say?
Travelling independently is not dangerous if you do thorough research and have prepared yourself in case things go left. Nor does it mean travellers are lonely and are not finding opportunities to socialise and expand their network. You can always learn how to travel alone effectively. I personally recommend everyone should do at least once in their lifetime.
What common stereotypes do you know about solo travel that I haven’t mentioned? Have you done it before?Drop your thoughts in the comments below.
Give the post a like or share! Can’t wait to hit you lot up with more of my travel wisdom soon 👊🏾
Johnny | Johnny’s Traventures