YOLO, you should travel solo

New York City street scene

The bustle of New York City is wide open to exploration by the solitary traveller. (Photo by Rafael Rameriz)

Sitting in the airport departure gate waiting for your flight to board, butterflies begin to set in. You’re about to embark on your first solo adventure.

Traveling alone is a unique experience: It gives you a sense of freedom unlike travelling with others. It might not be for everyone — there are pros and cons —but it’s an experience worth having.

Traveling with a friend or in a group means you’re limited to finding things you both want to do. On your own, there is no need to compromise. Where do you want to go? What do you want to eat? Or See? You do whatever you want.

Jessica Price discovered solo travelling in the last couple years.

“I love to travel on my own, meeting new people and not having to deal with what other people want to do,” she said. “I went to Singapore with a friend and we both bought data packages for our phones. He immediately used all his on social media and other not important things like that, instead of rationing it off, and [he was] always begged to use mine. The whole trip was fun but there were some not great things that traveling alone fixed.”

Price has since made the switch to only traveling alone.

Travelling alone can be very daunting – especially your first time – but in return, you gain important skills in independence and confidence. Going to a museum, a restaurant or the bar by yourself can be hard. And it’s even harder to shake off the feeling of being judged as you wait at your table alone. It’s something a lot people can’t handle.

But the confidence you gain travelling alone helps to shake off any worry you may have about what other people think. When you get lost &mash; because let’s face it you will — the need to be confident and ask strangers for help in a foreign language you barely know, or don’t know at all, is critical. In those moments, you can choose to put yourself in an uncomfortable situation for a minute and solve the situation or just stay lost.

Navigating your way through a foreign country that you know a lot or nothing about isn’t easy, either. But the independence you feel from solving your own problems and communicating is indispensable. You can easily channel this confidence and independence into your life when you return home from your world adventure.

The ability to navigate and do the things the way you want to do it a powerful feeling, making you feel like you can conquer the world.

Edited by Gabrielle Lakusta

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