“Why are you traveling alone? Are you broken-hearted?”
“It must be lonely to go on a solo trip.”
These are just a few misconceptions about people who travel alone. Obviously, those remarks come from those who haven’t traveled on their own (or at all).
It’s a myth that traveling can cure loneliness caused by a breakup. When you go back to your normal routine after the trip, the grief from loss hits you in the head anew.
I always encourage friends to travel by themselves. Many would hesitate until they find themselves wanting to soul-search after a bad breakup.
Did you know you don’t have to be heartbroken to do a trip alone? If you can go to church, watch a movie, dine at a restaurant, and go shopping on your own…then you can travel alone.
Here are the reasons why you shouldn’t wait to break up with someone before going solo:
1. Couples need separate vacations too
I’ve met couples in stable relationships who take occasional separate holidays. Even relationship coaches say it’s a healthy way to boost partnerships. Leaving behind your partner is not betrayal or selfishness. Separate trips are good unless one uses them as a sneaky escape.
2. The number of solo travelers is growing
You will not run short of company even if you’re traveling alone. Check in to a hostel, grab a beer at a crowded bar, sign up for a cooking class, or join a group tour. By the end of the day, you would’ve found a new travel buddy. You can even sign up with solo traveler groups on social media. You might get lucky to find someone in the group headed to the same destination.
3. Solo trips are good for mental health
Stress is part of our daily life. We get worked up by jobs, family, relationships, finances, and even other people’s problems. We can only train ourselves on how to cope with stress. Travel is one way to cope.
Travel buddies can sometimes stress you out with their demands and expectations. Solo trips, on the other hand, are liberating. During the trip, you only mind your own budget, itinerary, and the new friends you go with.
4. Solo travel is self-love
Self-love isn’t just for single people. When you are in a relationship you need to practice self-love as much as you pour love onto your partner. Otherwise, you’ll feel drained. You’ll end up questioning why your partner isn’t giving you as much as you give him. To prevent this, do things that make YOU happy. Do it alone. When you travel alone, you have more time to examine your feelings, thoughts, priorities, and goals. Your focus is on you.
5. Going solo isn’t always risky
With proper planning, traveling alone is safe for women. I have had a few bad experiences wandering solo in Cambodia and Indonesia but I consider them minor and rare. Lessons are learned. A perfect trip is a myth. You only need to be vigilant and open-minded to unexpected incidents.
In general, solo traveling can be anyone’s lifestyle…single or married, young or old, lone wolf or extroverted. You don’t need a profound reason to travel alone. You just need to try.