Travelling on your own opens up a whole new world and can be a big confidence booster. Here’s how it can benefit you.
1 Feel empowered
‘A solo adventure is one of the most empowering things you can do’, says Zoë Watson, founder of Bliss Sanctuary for Women in Bali (blisssancturyforwomen.com).
‘It gives you an opportunity to make decisions for yourself, experience new cultures and new ways of living that are yours and only yours to savour. It’s this sense of freedom to focus on yourself that ultimately empowers and inspires you to make changes when you return home.’
2 Enjoy your own company
One of the hardest things about traveling on your own can be loneliness. ‘Although you meet many other people, there are also times – usually mealtimes – when you can feel a bit exposed, even if you’re perfectly happy enjoying your own company,’ says Zoë.
‘Always arm yourself with a good book or an electronic device. Mealtimes are a good time to catch up on events back home, download photos, send emails or even connect with friends on Skype. In many countries restaurants have free Wi-Fi.’ Try the super portable Amazon Kindle E-reader (£120, currys.co.uk) and get stuck into a good novel over dinner.
3 Brim with confidence
Travelling by yourself can really boost your confidence and overall wellbeing. ‘It allows you to get to know yourself better and build self-esteem by learning to rely on your own instincts,’ adds Zoë. ‘You can enjoy your own company and reflect on the experience with much more clarity than when you are thinking about other people.’
If you like the idea of jetting off to a far-flung land but feel nervous about taking the first step, why not start small with an overnight solo spa break or a day trip closer to home? Dubbed the perfect way to escape the chaos and take your mind and body to that holiday zone – without the journey, price tag or jet lag – a ‘daycation’ could be the ideal way to start your solo adventure. Dayuse.co.uk can take you to a few hours of hotel luxury close to home in a couple of clicks.
4 Broaden your horizons
‘Travelling solo puts you in control of what you do and where you go,’ says psychologist and life coach Jivan Dempsey (jivandempsey.com). ‘Travelling with others requires compromise and you may not get to do the things you want.
‘This is your time to be indulgent! However, travelling alone is a big step. If you don’t want to go it totally alone at first, why not consider a charity trip? This allows you to travel alone while meeting up with others when you’re there.’
5 Learn a new lingo
Even when holidaying with others, it’s still a good idea to learn a few key words and phrases in the native language of the country you’re visiting, but it’s particularly important when travelling alone.
‘For your own safety and comfort you need to be able to communicate with the locals,’ says Zoë. Try the Babbel language app (from the app store) – the free version comes with more than 40 classes, 13 languages and speech recognition exercises.
6 Become more of a social butterfly
Venturing off alone encourages you to be more sociable and open yourself up to new people. ‘You get a rush of adrenalin as you forge new relationships with other travellers, which can give a great sense of personal satisfaction,’ says Jivan.
‘However, if you find the whole idea a little daunting, set yourself small targets at home first, such as meeting three new people in one week and striking up a conversation, even if it ultimately doesn’t go anywhere. Slowly build this up and set bigger targets as your confidence grows. Relaxation and visualisation techniques such as NLP are also effective in helping you overcome your fears and deal with new, alien situations.’