Originally written by Rinda Sutrathada

It’s natural to want to travel with other people, but there’s something exhilarating about traveling by yourself. Traveling solo pushes you out of your comfort zone by forcing you to be independent on your adventures in another city. You never know what kind of mischief you’ll get yourself into, who you’ll meet in your travels or what kind of story you’ll have to tell your loved ones when you get home. Here are 7 perks of traveling alone:

1. Going by your own schedule. There is so much flexibility in scheduling when you travel alone. If you want to sleep in a little longer, you don’t have to worry about taking time away from anyone else. If you find that you really enjoyed something on your itinerary, you can devote more time to that and not have to consult another person.

2. The only person you need to worry about is yourself. The beautiful part about traveling by yourself is that  you only have to accommodate for your needs and interests. When traveling with other people, you always have to consider what’s best for the group as a whole. However, what’s best for most people may not always be what’s best for you. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can definitely detract from your experience if you and your traveler partner don’t always see eye to eye.

3Sticking to a budget. Have you ever had a friend who just splurges on every little trinket they see or consistently chooses the priciest restaurants to eat at? If so, then you know personally how tempting it can be to spend money when you’re with these kind of people. When you’re traveling by yourself, you can choose what is most affordable for you.

4. Doing what you want to do. One of the hardest things about traveling with other people is being forced to do things you’re not interested in. When you’re traveling by yourself you’re able to indulge in your own interests. If you want to stay longer in a particular museum exhibit or have a little picnic at a pond, you can stay as long as you want.

5. Getting out of your comfort zone. Generally, we tend to use other people as crutches so we don’t have to face our fears alone. There is no better time to break out of your comfort zone than when you’re traveling by yourself. Traveling grants you the privilege to escape from familiarity and routine, so you can see who you are without the comfortability of loved ones.

6. The satisfying feeling of being able to navigate a city by yourself. You’ll feel fulfilled after your travels because you know that you were able to get around on your own. Sure, you may have asked a local for directions or Google-mapped how to get to a destination, but at least you could experience navigating to a place on your own.

7. You are never really alone. If you’re feeling homesick, get out there! Just because you came alone on your traveling adventures doesn’t mean you have to stay alone. You never know who you might meet at the local bar or even outside in the lobby. Although it may not seem like it at first, you’ll realize that you have a lot more in common with other people than you thought.

Originally published April 2014

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