Behind us are the days when you had to get a few friends together to plan a vacation. These days solo travel is a main reason people are booking international flights.
With more people embarking on the solo travel adventure, there are now groups that are solely dedicated to single travelers and digital nomads. There’s also media outlets offering guides to traveling alone, domestically and internationally. According to these outlets, 11% of Americans were traveling alone in 2013 which is up to 37% today.
While most people would expect someone taking a solo vacation to be single, most solo vacationers are actually married or at least in a serious relationship.
Here are five unexpected benefits of traveling alone:
Meeting the locals. Traveling alone really forces you to get to know locals and other tourists. If you’re alone, you’ll be more inclined to speak to strangers and meet new people. This is a great opportunity to learn things about the culture that you won’t read on a blog or learn about someone else’s story. With special groups like Remote Year, dedicated to allowing single travelers to explore the world and get to know others in the process.
Get to know yourself. Being alone also allows you to figure out who you are, and get comfortable with yourself. Being put in a new environment, all alone will show your true colors. Traveling can be so hectic, going alone is almost therapeutic. Take a solo vacation if you feel overwhelmed, stressed or just need a break. Chances are, you’ll come back with a outlook on life and a deeper connection to yourself.
Find emotional independence. Emotional independence is so important for getting on with life when things aren’t ideal. As an adult, you have to be OK with being alone, and can’t let someone’s presence or absence make or break you. Getting to know yourself on another level includes finding out how you deal with being truly alone.
Impress potential employers. Being alone in another country is very similar to studying abroad. The things you learn while in school in another country, are the same transferable skills you’ll learn when abroad for pleasure. While traveling solo you can learn decision making techniques, cultural competence and how to adaptation skills. These are all things that are necessary for today’s workplace.
Improved communication skills. Improved communications skills may be one of the biggest takeaways when flying solo. Being able to communicate well in a foreign country also enhances your self-sufficiency. When you don’t speak the language of the land, it’s easy to become dependent on tools and people who can help you. But when you take the time to learn the language, find your way around and speak to others, you’ll have less trouble navigating new territory.
Would you ever take a vacation alone?