People sometimes look at me funny when I tell them I often like to travel abroad all by myself. It’s like a mixture of confusion and awe on their faces. ‘Don’t you feel lonely or scared walking around a city on your own?’ Or ‘Do you also have dinner on your own?’ Well, here are a few reasons why traveling alone is an amazing experience you’ll never forget!
On a side note, when I speak about traveling, I’m mainly talking about my own experiences of city trips and going walkabout in relatively ‘safe countries’ 😀 So far I’ve been in Germany, Belgium, the UK, the USA, France, Spain, Greece, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic. (And technically Switzerland, but that was like a few feet after crossing the bridge on the border with Germany.) So no adventurous backpacking through the jungle and sleeping in creepy hotels without proper bathrooms!
Anyway, here are my reasons for buggering off to cities like Cologne, London and Prague for a few days:
– The people you meet!
This is one of my favorite aspects of traveling alone. You get to meet people and have inspiring, funny or interesting conversations, which you probably wouldn’t have when you’re on a city trip with friends or family. I’ve met some amazing people in Prague this year. You usually don’t stay friends with them after you’re back home, but you never forget them either. They make your day worthwhile. I still get a smile on my face thinking back on the phone call from an old English lady in my hotel. We met on the airplane and spend the whole evening talking about a range of different subjects. We said goodbye at Prague central station and I had to walk through a dark park with shady people to get to my hotel. So she was worried if I was alright and called me at the hotel the day after. Really a delightful woman.
– No shopping!
Shopping can be fun, but after an hour I’m done. Most of my friends prefer to shop for an entire afternoon. When I’m alone I don’t have to worry about family or friends getting annoyed with me for whining about being hungry and fed up with shopping.
When you’re on your own you can do whatever you want, when you want it and as long as you want it. You can really pay attention to the food you’re eating, because you’re not distracted by conversation. You can really enjoy a walk around the city or park and admire all the beautiful surroundings without distraction.
– Guilty pleasures
Another benefit of traveling alone: YOU get to pick the accommodation. No compromising or arguing about whether you should sleep in a cheap hotel because your travel buddy would rather spend his money on souvenirs or whatever. If you want to spend the night at the Hilton and you can afford it, go do it! Every once in a while it is nice to indulge in luxury. Posh hotels are my guilty pleasure on city trips. I just love the bathrooms and the little soaps and shampoos, I love the room service menu on the desk and I love the massive pillows on the bed!
Those are my reasons for traveling alone. What are yours?