1. Go where you want, when you want
Evidently, there is so much out there and so much to see and the creativity that comes with it is out of this world. In a group, you’re bound to clash on what activities you want to do or what you want to see. Your friend is an animal lover so wants to ride a camel, you hate anything with more than 2 legs so you prefer to visit the water park and friend number 3 gets motion sickness and just wants to do some sightseeing with a tour guide. I mean, this heading is pretty self explanatory, you have zero restrictions, you don’t need to compromise anything, and you already know what you’re most drawn to; if not initially, you have plenty of time to decide on what you want.
2. Learn more about yourself
When you’re solo, you take each day as it comes and day by day, you begin to understand your likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. Whilst in China and making new friends, I realized how easily overwhelmed I get in big groups and how calmer I feel with less company. I noticed how super reserved I am around new people but still friendly and chatty. One thing I tend to do in a group is sort of ignore my own likes and dislikes just so I don’t come across as ‘selfish’ (ridiculous, I know) since I’m sharing the experience with others. So, I make sure I take into account their needs and preferences.
There are things I may do or even eat that wouldn’t be my first choice if I were alone. Generally, in life, I think we’re so stuck in a certain routine, work, education, gym etc that we don’t take enough time to fully know ourselves as much as we think we do. Travelling solo would grant you the ‘me’ time that is long deserving, as you’ll have time to think and reflect in peace. And when you encounter new people, you’re able to really pay attention to how you feel and the vibe you’re giving off and whether you think its worth adjusting for future reference.
3. No annoying habits to deal with
Travelling with a group or a partner means having to put up with and accept the tiny habits and doings that we may not particularly like, but because we love them, we’ve learned to adapt. We all have annoying holiday habits. Mine is I refuse to leave the hotel without a perfect Instagram worthy photo taken on the balcony. And you HAVE to get my good side. I don’t care how late we are. You could be someone who likes to sleep a lot, and wouldn’t mind starting their day in the afternoon but your friend loves waking up early to explore so that you don’t waste the day, whilst friend number 3 is completely out of the loop and is struggling to work the damn shower.
You could be someone who is super keen on trying the local food because what’s the point in eating food that we have at home? Whilst your friend orders a burger and chips, KNOWING you’ve just spent 5 minutes rambling on about the local food. Meanwhile, friend number 3 took too long to get ready so you both left her because brunch has a time slot and now she has to meet you at the restaurant. Being by yourself means you have time to figure out and plan how exactly you want your day to go. You can even sleep until 4pm because nobody can beat you up.
4. A sense of accomplishment
When I left for China, I thought ‘yep, just got on a plane by myself, just got through security by myself, just got through immigration by myself, look at me’ Overtime, although not everything was solo, all the big and scary ones were and in hindsight, it was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. In my end of an era blog post , I spoke about all of the daunting experiences I practically went through alone which has essentially made me believe that moving to china is one of my biggest accomplishments to date.
It had been 5 months since arriving in china when I decided that I was confident and comfortable enough to go solo again for my birthday. The transition from china (both Chinese nationals and internationals) to Thailand really broadened my knowledge as I had been exposed to different people and different ethnicities and ultimately learned through others. Such encounters allowed me to learn more about my interpersonal skills, as I was able to see whether I lacked anything which improved my communication skills overall.
Check out my solo trip to Thailand blog post here
You can also check out my Thailand VLOG:
You can also check these out on Youtube: