I always admire women who have the courage to travel alone. And whenever I visit travel blogs, I always find myself spending good couple of minutes scrolling page by page and reading their itineraries. I often wonder how it feels if I do the same.
For this year, I have finally decided to embark on a solo trip and scheduled my flight after my birthday. This is truly a remarkable experience and one of the best gift I had given myself. Why? Here are the reasons:
1. It will make you Independent
You will plan everything from flights, itineraries, even the gifts or pasalubongs by yourself. You can choose freely and does not need consultation or approval from another person. You will call the shots. I planned and executed the whole trip by myself – I booked the tickets, looked for cheap accommodations, searched for places to go and activities to do. I did everything by myself – I ate, sleep, walk, commute, etc. without companion.
2. Going beyond your comfort zone
Traveling alone presents you with a lot of opportunities, including doing things you are not accustomed to. When I traveled with my parents and friends, I booked a hotel or a nice accommodation and get a tour package for convenience. But if you are on a tight budget and traveling alone, finding cheap accommodation, transportation, food, and DIY itineraries are the practical route. If you are shy and don’t know how to haggle and speak to locals, trust me you will be forced to. If you like to try new things but usually do it with your bestfriend, you will be obliged to do it alone. During my solo trip, I had to share a bathroom with other women because I stayed in a hostel, rode a motorcycle (habal-habal) the whole day, and did a cliff jump on about 30ft high, all by myself.
3. Hones your problem-solving skills
Not everything will go as planned and that’s okay since it is part of the journey. You will encounter challenges even at the early stage of planning the trip. A problem will arise before your tour or last minute cancelation happens. When you travel alone, you will learn how to handle stress, overcome a situation and solve a problem. Your hardworking brain will do double shifts because who else will you rely on other than yourself, right?
4. Will give you skyrocket confidence
This for me is the most vital outcome of traveling alone. A lot of people I met during my trip asked me who was I with and they were amazed that I am alone. There’s a fulfilling sense when I had walked from town back to my hostel without asking anyone. I was on a high after jumping couple of times in Kawasan falls despite my fear of heights. Overcoming my fears and feeding my soul with adrenaline induced activities gave me the chance to believe in my strengths. And this will greatly affect how I deal with my personal life in a deeper level. We all can do a lot than what we credit ourselves for. We just have to believe in ourselves and of course, take the first step.
5. You can focus on the whole trip
There will be a lot more vivid memories about the place, the events, the people you meet, and the experiences because you will do everything by yourself. You have the time to absorb everything and every places you’ve visited since you have an undivided attention.
6. Self Discovery
Another significant result of solo traveling is you will get to know yourself better. As you go along with your trip, even at the planning stage – you will know what your preferences are or other things that are not interesting to you. The likelihood of encountering challenging situations are inevitable and you will soon discover your capabilities in overcoming them. You will have a deeper understanding of what makes you happy, sad, makes you realize about things. Having time with yourself, out of your comfort zone and in unfamiliar place gives you a lot of chance to reflect.
7. Strangers to friends
From locals to fellow travelers, the timing is just right to start gaining new friends. During my trip, I am very fortunate to have met young professionals and spent an incredible time with them. I’ve met a gorgeous lady from a previous company (Hi Shiela!), two lovebirds who had solid foundation of friendship (Hello May and Minio, Billie and Gani!), and a bunch of young professionals who had been through everyone’s ups and downs; growing together despite of their busy schedules (Hi Lherry, Rick, Kat, Dave, Karl, and Kel). These wonderful people had made the trip more meaningful.
Special mention to my tour guide in Siquijor – Kuya Jun as he has been so kind and reliable the whole tour. He’s a talented photographer, a skilled motorcycle driver and had acted like a big brother to me. If you are planning to visit Siquijor, hire him. His very honest and will make sure you will have a wonderful time. You can contact him at 09355614400.
This post does not compare and imply that traveling alone is far-off better than having a companion or your significant other. It aims to show that you could at least once in your lifetime to travel FOR YOU and BY YOU.
So on your bucket list or on your upcoming New Year’s resolution, why not travel to your dream destination alone? You may find the self fulfillment that you might be looking for all along.