Traveling helps you to escape the everyday doldrums of life. It offers a moment to recharge, which can truly be transformative.
You've likely seen and shared almost all various forms of "Spend on experiences" or "I quit my job and booked a one-way ticket to..." stories online. The reason they're such hits is because they call to us, especially at times when we’re not just ready to take on the daily grind again. In other words, they remind us of our need for reinvigoration.
Ideally, of course, you'd want to travel with family and friends. But sometimes nothing ever pans out because schedules differ and priorities rarely match. What now?
Well, we urge to go into full lone-wolf mode and get on with your plan. Traveling alone, though anxiety-inducing if you're doing it for the first time, is also character-forming and liberating.
Rich Manalad, corporate account manager for Light Miles Travel (which specializes on corporate tour program) says that travel and tour companies have definitely noticed solo travel trends, which have become popular because of social media.
“This market niche is now large and legitimate," says Rich. "There are companies that are committed to solo travelers by creating specialized tour programs that allow them much more freedom and provide a greater opportunity to connect with locals.”
Rich makes it a point to travel alone at least once a year to reunite with herself. “I think the biggest lesson I learned is to trust myself. I also learned how to deal with different people and cultures.”
Here we share other lessons men and women have learned by going on trips on their own.
Traveling on your own pace is enjoyable
Mac, an architect says, “Being alone has always been synonymous with being lonely, and I will tell you that it’s not.” He continues, “you can travel on your own time, own pace, and you can do whatever you want without thinking of other people you’re traveling with. It’s easy, liberating, and fun. And ultimately, you’ll get to enjoy your 'me time.'”
According to Jun, 28, “Not every time kailangan natin may kasama. Masaya mag-travel mag-isa dahil wala kang inaalalang iba.”
But you’ll also learn to appreciate the company
Hours and days without anyone familiar to talk to? You’ll learn to appreciate the small talks with the locals or fellow travelers. Sure, solo travel is the ultimate me-time, but you’ll start to look for another being to talk about the experience that had you so stoked.
You become attuned to your body and mind
Being on your own in the big world will not only force the extrovert out of you, it will also stretch your patience and develop your ability to adjust to the foreign environment.
Solo travels also helped Mac to take care of his body, “Whether preparing for a hike or hitting the beach, I want to be in good shape. Not only that, immersing myself in the wild is a powerful way to recharge.”
Jeremy, 33, says that traveling alone made him sharp and composed. It has also made him practical especially in managing his finances when he’s out and about.
You become a connoisseur of culture
A recruitment supervisor during weekdays, Jeremy not only go on trips to escape a stressful day at work. Traveling has made it possible for him to make new friends and learn about traditions and cultures of the country or place he is visiting.
Norbz, a 25-year-old engineer, believes that life is designed to discover what the universe has to offer. “And traveling is one way to do that. I guess life is not meant to stay in one place. We have to keep going.”
According to Professor Connie Bianchi of Queensland University of Technology, “research shows that solo travelers are choosing freedom, uncompromised fun, and meeting new people over the desire to have a companion to share their experience.”
You get to save on cash, sort of
Well you might as well. You will not be constrained to doing activities included in your travel packages. Come to think of it, do you really want to pay to stare at avant-garde works of art for half a day? Or attend music festivals with bands you haven’t heard of? Sure, traveling with friends make for epic stories to tell to your grandchildren, but sometimes you just don’t get why you have to include something you find unappealing to your itinerary. Be adventurous and explore. Slash that tourist trap and underwhelming restaurant off your list, we say.
Having a specific budget also unleashes the kuripot in you. Weeks, and sometimes even months, leading up to that travel date will teach you to live with less—less drinking binges, less takeouts, and less shopping splurges. You’ll learn to walk away—albeit sadly—from the Nike outlet store when you have a looming trip to spend on.
Just remember to do it for the right reasons
Angely Dub, founder and president of Access Travel and Tours, believes that traveling solo is something everyone should try once or twice in their life. "It really helps you to get out of your comfort zone," says Angely. "Talking to people from all over the globe and listening to their stories is something everyone should practice when traveling.”
Her advice to make the most of your solo globetrotting? "Don't overdress. Focus on learning about the culture, not on thinking what to post on social media. Enjoy yourselves and instead of bragging about your trip on Instagram, bring home stories about your solo sojourns."