4 Reasons to Travel Alone
We give ourselves a number of reasons to never travel alone. It'd be boring. It's not safe. It's awkward and uncomfortable. But the reality is that solo travel is a movement, and a lot of people are joining in. Those excuses we've made don't hold as much weight, as the benefits to traveling solo begin to outweigh the possible downsides. Plus, with all the stories out there of the life-changing, eye-opening experience from traveling alone, it's understandable why so many people are feeling the allure.
As someone who's personally traveled alone a number of times, I can attest to those experiences. While it can be scary at first, that's what makes it most liberating! It's a journey, and the end of it is more satisfying than any trip taken with a companion or group. From my own experience, I can tell you with confidence that everyone should travel alone at least once in his or her lifetime. Here are a few reasons why.
YOU call the shots

Perhaps the most exhilarating part about traveling alone, at least for me, was calling all the shots. You're completely independent; you have the power to decide what you do, when, and for how long. You won't feel obligated to do things because someone else wants to do them, or miss out on things that you want to do in order to compromise with another traveler. You are in control. And that means you get to maximize your trip for YOU, and need not concede to anyone else.

Being the only person you have to answer to while traveling has another benefit, which is often a downside of traveling with other people—no disagreements in personality. If you're the kind of person who just likes to go with the flow, but you travel with someone who's a to-the-minute planner (or vice versa), you might have some conflict. All of that can be avoided by traveling alone.
It's cheaper
Much like the items on your itinerary, you're completely in control of your budget when you travel alone. Your money will go to only the activities that you really want to do. Plus, when spending for one, you'll spend a lot less and do a lot more.

Even if you're splitting travel with another person, you may get dragged into things you might not have spent money on otherwise. That can add up quickly. Also, everyone has different priorities when it comes to spending while traveling. For example, I prefer to spend on experiences rather than accommodations. I'm perfectly okay staying in a cheap hostel, since I'll barely be spending any time there anyways. Other people put more weight on their comfort—because a good night's sleep can make or break how you enjoy your tourist activities during the day—and would be willing to spend a little more on accommodations to maintain a higher quality of living.

You're more open to meeting people

When traveling with another person or a group, it seems that people feel fulfilled with the existing company that they have. When you travel alone, it's a different story. You'll definitely find yourself yearning for companionship, but you won't have to go very far to find it. If you're willing to put yourself out there, other people will be receptive to it.

One of the best parts about staying in hostels is that friendship is, literally, a bunk bed away. Or down at the bar in the hostel. Strike up a conversation with a stranger, and you might find yourself a buddy for the rest of your time in that city. Even if you're not staying in shared accommodations, you can grab an outside table at a café or sit at the bar and strike up a conversation. As a solo traveler, you're already an interesting person with a unique story that people will want to hear, if you want to tell it.
You'll feel rewarded and accomplished
Solo travel is intimidating, there's no denying that. Leading up to it, you might second guess your decision to leave or question the travel choices you've made. But once you're in it, and once it's over, the feeling of accomplishment is overwhelming. As soon as you land, you'll be ready to turn around and fly right back out to the next destination.
First, your experiences will be more significant. You'll become fully involved and present in the moments you have, without being distracted by other people or stressors. Every experience you have will become a lasting memory and have a certain measure of impact on your life that is much greater than accompanied travel.

Second, you'll feel more confident in your ability to tackle the challenges before you. Nothing about travel is easy, but each time you go, you get better at it. Learning to navigate new places on your own is wonderfully satisfying. You'll be patting yourself on the back numerous times throughout the journey. And even if something goes wrong, you'll learn to problem solve to get back on track. Doing so feels incredibly rewarding.

Finally, you'll be more fulfilled by doing everything you wanted on your trip. Every decision, every activity was made by you, for you. You got to spend time doing exactly what you want to be doing, without anyone else pulling you in a different direction. It's truly liberating.
Drawing from my own personal experience, solo travel definitely has its perks. This is not to say that accompanied travel isn't an absolute blast! Some of my best experiences have spawned from traveling with friends and family. But, admittedly, traveling alone is enthralling in its own way for the reasons above, and so much more. Take a chance on yourself; you won't regret it.

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