Here’s Why Deciding to Travel Solo Was the Best Decision I Ever Made

Why should you travel solo? Because it’s the best thing you could ever do. Traveling solo can seem daunting and kind of scary. I know because I used to be afraid of doing it. I have had lots of travel experiences with my family and friends. My sister and I went on a backpacking trip together and that is what started my thirst for exploring the world.

I knew that I wanted to do it one day because my dad did a six month backpacking trip in Southeast Asia and raved about how it basically changed him as a person and made him more open and more personable, and how it was basically the best six months of his life. That always inspired me to want to do that too, but it always seemed like something scary and daunting. I just decided one day that I wanted to do this more than ever and I’m here to tell you that it’s really a lot easier and simpler than you might think.

I’m just going to tell you about the reasons why I think you should travel solo and why I enjoyed traveling solo and why I want to continue to travel solo.

Meet the Most Important People

The first reason is that you get confronted by the most important person in your life, yourself. You are forced to be with yourself 24/7 in a way that you’re not necessarily used to. We’re always used to being distracted by our daily lives, our routines, and the other people in our lives, but when we’re traveling alone we’re going through every single minute of every day with the only constant being ourselves and that really teaches you a lot. You wouldn’t be able to learn this otherwise given all of the other distractions in everyday life. I think it’s really important. I think that if you can get to know yourself and what makes you tick and discover your issues and how to push yourself past them that is going to set you up for so much greatness in life and so much more happiness. When you can push past those issues and obstacles that creates a better version of yourself.

Create Your Own Happiness

The second thing I learned is how to create my own happiness. When you’re feeling down and you’re at home its very tempting to just call your mom, call your boyfriend, your girlfriend or your best friend, and just tell them you’re having a bad day. That’s what’s so great about having friends and family, that’s what they’re there for. When you’re on the other side of the world and the time is completely opposite, it’s your day and their night, and you can’t call anyone you only have yourself to pick yourself back up and only have yourself to enjoy these incredible places. At first it was quite challenging to be able to do that, but you’re going to have that breakthrough. For me personally, I was having a really hard time and then I ended up just pushing past it and renting a bicycle and biking around Bruges, Belgium and having the most incredible day, just by myself. It was just this breakthrough where I thought I can be so happy just with myself and that is one of the most important lessons you can learn in life, just how to be happy on your own and how to create your own happiness. Once you’re able to do that you have so much more independence and freedom and confidence in yourself and then you can give so much more when you’re not always relying on other people.

Do Whatever You Want

The third advantage to traveling alone is that you can do whatever you want. You don’t have to go to the museum if you don’t want to. You can go to that cafe if you’re feeling hungry. You don’t have anyone to answer to. If you want to take a train to Paris you have the freedom to do that too. If you can’t find good travel buddies then this is incredible and such a blessing because people travel so differently. People travel at different paces and want to do different things and have different experiences. Maybe you want to just have a solitary kind of experience or maybe you want to be out there meeting people all the time. Whatever it may be you can just do whatever you want. You don’t have to sacrifice or compromise your schedule. It’s really freeing to just be able to be like “Hey I feel like going somewhere warm right now, I’m just going to head over to India,” which is exactly what I did.

Something I want to point out is that you’re never actually alone. You can choose when you want to be alone and when you want to socialize. I really enjoyed having those days where I was alone. It just kind of happened that I was never actually alone. I was just constantly talking to other people and then I ended up spending time with them and going out and doing excursions with them. Then at some point even traveling with them. It really gets you out of your comfort zone. Even if you think that you’re a friendly and extroverted person when you come downstairs into a full hostile common room and you’re just by yourself you could either sit there in complete solitude and not talk to anyone or you can push yourself and initiate the conversation and end up meeting the coolest people. Being alone pushes you to get out of that comfort zone and to just say hi. At the end of the day we’re all people and we’re all just looking for interaction and being alone definitely forces you to become more outgoing.

I used to be afraid to just say hi to someone and now even back home I sort of have this mindset where I can just say “Hi, how’s it going?” and then all of a sudden I meet this really cool person with this really cool life. Now we’re friends and it’s opened so many more doors.

The people that you meet on your trip are truly incredible people whether they are vocal or not. They can share with you what it’s truly like to live and be part of the society that you’re visiting which is so valuable as a traveler. If you’re just going to all the tourist sites, but you’re not actually meeting locals and asking about their experiences living in that area then you’re not truly experiencing. Meeting locals is one of the most important ways to see a city or a new culture. When you’re alone you’re a lot more approachable. You may still feel that pressure to talk to people. Whether they be locals or other travelers they’re just going to be super awesome down to earth people who are in a similar situation as you.

Another benefit of making friends with travelers is that they live all over the world and chances are you’ll get a new couch to stay on wherever they live!

This was my experience traveling alone. Lots of people have asked me how I did it and said they’re afraid to travel alone. I really want to drive home that once you’re doing it you really do ask yourself why was I so afraid to do this in the first place? It is so incredible and liberating and easy and fun. You’re never actually alone. I hope this has inspired you to travel solo!

Let’s Discover London!

Image of stuffed animals on the London night bus

I’m about to tell you about a lot different things to do in and around London. London is one of the most visited cities in the world and it’s easy to see why!

London is exciting and there’s something to do every single night of the week. We hope this will help showcase some of the sites and attractions the city has to offer and that it’ll come in handy for anyone out there planning a trip to London!

London England

St Martin-in-the-Fields is an Anglican church at the northeast corner of Trafalgar Square. It’s a must-see!  They hold classical concerts and they also have a cafe located in the crypt if you want to grab a bite of food in an unusual setting.

The London eye is a giant Ferris wheel on the south bank of the Thames that offers a birds eye view of the city just make sure you don’t go on a foggy day.

We visited Borough Market, one of London’s most famous markets, and there were a lot of wonderful smells. Dating back to the thirteenth century Borough Market is the oldest market in London. It’s a foodies paradise with plenty of fresh produce, baked goods and specialty foods. One fun way to get around London is aboard the iconic double decker buses. You can offer public transport or take the double decker sightseeing tours around the city.

Regent’s Park is in northwest London. It is home to an open air theater, the London Zoo,  as well as a variety of cafes and restaurants.

You can also visit the Horse Guards and the Household Cavalry Museum which are right next to each other.

HMS Belfast as a museum ship moored on the river Thames. It is operated by the Imperial War Museum and once you’re on board you can freely roam around the ship.

Another way to see London is to take a river cruise of the towns, There are a variety of cruises available including dinner cruises, afternoon tea cruises, or your regular sightseeing cruises.

Next we went into one of my favorite museums in all of London, the Tate Modern. The Tate Modern is housed in the former bankside power station and focuses on modern and contemporary art from the 1900s to the present.

I visited the Arsenal football club, which is one of the most popular teams in London. During the season you can catch a game and if it is the off season you can check at the team store or take a stadium tour.

Camden Market is made up of a series of markets and stalls. it is the place to shop for vintage clothes, get a new piercing, people watch or sample international food in an outdoor setting. On a sunny day you’ll also find people hanging out along the Camden Lock.

Another fun thing to do in London is to check out the street art. One of the best places to do this through a Shoreditch Street Art Tour.

Of course the London experience wouldn’t be complete without writing the tube around the city. Just remember pass on the left, stand on the right, and have your pass ready to scan on the way in and out. If you can remember all of these things you’ll make Londoners very happy. As a money saving tip when you’re in London definitely consider purchasing and oyster card. We used it a lot on the tube and it can help save a lot of money, you can load it, reload it and you can use it just basically anywhere you go.

Harrods is an upscale department store. If you make it all the way out there I suggest you visit their food court which is truly impressive and expensive.

Pubs are an important part of the culture so make time to drop by for a pint of beer or two. St. Pauls is one of the most easily recognized landmarks in the city. If you don’t have a problem with heights climbing to the top of the dome is a pretty cool experience.

Shakespeare’s globe is a modern construction of the original feeder associated with William Shakespeare. The feeder sits around 230 meters away from the site of the original feeder.

The natural history museum focuses on life and earth sciences and it’s a popular one with families. The Victoria and Albert Museum is focused on the decorative arts and design. It spends 5000 years of art ranging from ceramics to textiles and jewelry to furniture.

If you want to catch a theater performance London’s west end is the place to be.  If you haven’t had your fill of palaces you can always swing by Kensington Palace which is set in Kensington Garden.

The Shard is a 95 story skyscraper in London. It is currently home to the city’s highest viewing platform. You can alternatively go up to the walkie talkie building and soak in the views.

The British Museum focuses on the art history and culture of the world. The collection spans over 8 million objects.

Portobello Road is a street in Notting Hill while you can visit any day of the week it is most popular for its Saturday market.

So one spot you should definitely make time for when you come to the Region’s Park is Queen Mary’s garden. The roses there are called the Price of England.

Regent’s Canal is over 13 kilometers long and you’ll find many house boats moored here. It is also a popular spot with joggers and bikers.

For a little bit of art in your life you can check out the National Gallery which sits right behind Trafalgar Square than just up the street you’ll find the national portrait gallery which houses a collection of portraits of historical and famous British people.

The Churchill War Rooms are home to an underground complex that was the British command center throughout the second World War. The museum also explores the life of Winston Churchill. And lastly there’s Madame Tussauds Wax Museum which will give you a glimpse of U. K. celebrities.

Hopefully this will give you an idea of what London has to offer.  So much fun!

Learn about our other travel adventures while you’re here!