Why everyone should travel alone at least once.

There’s no denying that travelling by yourself for the first time is intimidating.

My first solo trip was in January 2015, when I ventured to New York for five days (with a couple of days spent in Oslo either side). It had taken me 27 years to pluck up the courage to travel alone, and even then, I only booked the trip as the return flights from Oslo to New York were so absurdly cheap it would have been a crime not to.

Since that first snowy solo adventure, I’ve been away a few times on my own, including a long weekend trip to Morocco and nearly a month spent exploring Colombia.


Whenever I meet someone new and I mention that I like travelling, they’re almost always surprised to hear that I’ve been to such places by myself. I get comments such as: “Do you like travelling alone? Aren’t you scared when you travel by yourself? You must be so brave. I could never do that. I would love to travel more but I have nobody to go with and am too scared to do it alone. Don’t you get lonely when you travel on your own?”.

Well, in all honesty, while I enjoy trips away with friends and family, there’s something really exhilarating about travelling solo. It’s hard to explain to someone who hasn’t gone away on their own before, but climbing the stairs of a plane, with my passport and boarding pass at the ready, knowing that when I disembark I’ll be completely alone in a foreign country, gives me a real buzz.

If you are in two minds about whether to book a trip by yourself for the first time, read on to see if I can convince you to take the plunge and join thousands of other solo travellers around the world…


Do you like travelling alone?

Absolutely. For starters, there’s a sense of freedom that comes with travelling independently that you just don’t get when you’re travelling with someone else. The trip is completely yours, so you get to do what you want, visit the places you want and see what you want, all at your own pace.

You won’t end up missing out on something that you really want to do because someone else wants to do something else (which in my experience, can cause friction between friends travelling together).

I’ve also found that travelling somewhere on your own encourages you to meet the locals, try new things, make new friends and push yourself out of your comfort zone.


There will be times you feel homesick when travelling alone – that is to be expected. I’ll unashamedly admit that two weeks into my trip to Colombia I really found myself missing my cats. Sad but true.

But it’s important to remember why you went traveling in the first place: you wanted to see a new place, try new things and meet new people. It was meant to be different and far away. Being homesick is just a temporary bump in the road. You’ll be home eventually and everything will still be there, more or less as it was.

I honestly believe that travelling will help you appreciate home so much more.


Aren’t you scared when you travel by yourself? 

Travelling on your own can be scary, yep, especially the first time. But it’s only as scary as you allow it to be.

Before I started traveling solo I was scared of the idea of even eating by myself in a restaurant, let alone boarding a plane and heading off somewhere where I don’t speak the language.

Safety is obviously a big concern, and should always be at the front of mind. But you can ensure you’re safe by being prepared, being aware and being smart. Afterall, you’ve managed to survive this long because you’ve learnt how to keep yourself out of tricky situations. Just keep doing that when you travel.

I like to think I’m a pretty savvy person – I wouldn’t put myself in unnecessary danger or take needless risks.


Sure, you may get hopelessly lost, miss a connecting flight, lose your luggage, find out that your booking has magically unbooked itself, get pick-pocketed, hate the place you’ve travelled to, get lonely or end up at the totally wrong metro station. But all this could happen regardless of whether you travel alone or with someone else, so you shouldn’t be put off by the thought of scenarios like this.

And facing such difficulties by yourself can be incredibly rewarding. Learning to problem solve, face conflict and overcome obstacles alone will change you and your outlook, usually for the better.

Since starting my solo travel life last January, I have become more independent, more confident and have more faith in my ability to face whatever is thrown at me. And because of this, I’m no longer scared about travelling on my own.

Processed with Snapseed.

Don’t you get lonely when you travel on your own?

Again, the answer to this question is ‘yes’ and ‘no’.

I’m a pretty sociable person and feel more than comfortable around new people, at home and abroad. Wherever I’ve been in the world I’ve found it fairly easily to chat to anyone I meet, which is great. In fact, some of the people I’ve met on my travels have become really good friends. I even ventured to Istanbul with one guy I made friends with  when travelling in Colombia.

Travelling alone makes you a lot more approachable to other solo travellers too. You already share something in common: you want to see the world. But even if you never speak to your new acquaintances again, you had a friend for a day or a week, and people often end up being the highlight of the trip.


I like spending time with people and do enjoy the company of others. However, I can’t cope with being around someone 24/7. I find that after a certain amount of time with a person or group of people, it starts to wear on me. I need some alone time, some solitude to just chill out and recharge my batteries.


Being able to make new friends easily is great, but no matter how good you are at it, sometimes you will still end up feeling lonely.

You may be travelling out of season and find other travellers just aren’t around. You may only meet groups who aren’t really interested in adding a new person to their circle. You may struggle with the language and find making friends difficult if you can’t join in conversations.

Though the world is full of amazing places, you may find that some places just don’t suit travelling alone. So it’s important to find a destination that you not only have the desire to visit, but also feel comfortable with when it comes to the idea of travelling through it solo.

All the places I’ve been to alone (New York, Oslo, Sousse in Tunisa, Fez and Marakech in Morocco) have been fine. But I think travelling by myself when I went to the Czech Republic or The Gambia may have been a completely different experience.


I know that not everybody will love it as much as I do, but I would encourage anyone contemplating a trip alone to try it at least once, even if it is only to a new town or city in their home country. Just remember that it’s ok to be afraid to travel alone. Don’t let that fear stop you from booking a ticket and jetting off though.

There’s a big exciting world out there waiting to be explored.


149 thoughts on “Why everyone should travel alone at least once.

  1. I love traveling alone. There is fear, joy and peace. Forget the destination, it could be a local destination or a foreign one….the travel could be for a day or a week but do it. The first time it’s scary , the second time u smarter and the third time it’s an addiction….Kaz go do it girl ….u’ll just love it

  2. I’ve travelled solo before and enjoyed it. You get to do your own thing and not have to worry about anyone else. I’m one of those people who is very independent and enjoys their own company

  3. I love the idea of travelling alone, but for me it would be a nightmare, I just would not enjoy being by myself and not sharing with someone, I also get lost very easily so venturing out and exploring would be very limited x

    1. That’s great Hayley! I went to Amsterdam with a friend, but I’ve not been to Germany yet – whereabouts did you go when you went alone? And how long for? Would you recommend it? x

  4. I wish I’d done more travelling when I was younger. I wouldn’t want to leave my little girl to go travelling now and her allergies mean I’m too scared to take her abroad

    1. That’s completely understandable Janet – don’t give up on the idea of travelling though 🙂 when she’s older and more independent, maybe you’ll be able to make some of your travel dreams a reality x

  5. Loved all these pictures! I have only ever gone to London on my own. I went for 3 days and I absolutely loved it. I think because I do so much at home for my family it was so good to just do things for myself X

    1. See, you’ve already made the first step Louise – first a little jolly in London by yourself, next a little weekend away in Paris… Then you’ll be wanting to jet off half way around the world 🙂 it’s all about taking a little time out for yourself x

  6. This made me so excited for my upcoming trip to Korea! I’m going for 10 weeks and it’s my first ever solo trip and it did take 26 years for me to actually do it but I’m doing it! I did move abroad by myself when I was 19, but this is the first time venturing so far away from home on my own. Eek!

  7. I’ve gone on a number of different trips alone and had a wonderful time. Usually I’ll schedule one when I have a big writing project I’d like to work on. I’ll work during the day and in the evening head to the beach or out for dinner .. then it’s back to it. There’s something about being away from the everyday demands of life that leaves me feeling far more creative x

    1. I couldn’t agree with you more Alison – I use my time on the plane and sometimes evenings in the hotel rooms, penning blog posts and sorting through the mountains of pictures I take! I still have some my trip to India last April to upload! x

  8. Completely agree with this! I’ve been on holiday by myself a few times, and the extra time allowed for exploration and inner reflection is amazing!

  9. I like travelling alone for the factor that I can do exactly what I want to do. I love planning and when I’m on my own I can decide how full on I want my day to be. I did New York myself last year with a friend joining for bits of it but I’ve also done Copenhagen and Edinburgh completely on my own x

    1. You sound just like me Rhian! My first solo trip was to Oslo and New York, and I loved it! My friend recently joined me in Cyprus for a few days, which was great, but then I also had a few days on my own to do some exploring and sight-seeing, which she wasn’t particularly bothered about. Copenhagen I did with some friends from work, though we only went for the day. Maybe I’ll go back there one day by myself, to see a bit more x

  10. Love the last photo. It reminds me of one I took when I was travelling on my own- even down to the high bun!! I am really in need of a break, but my holidays aren’t falling at the same time my bf can get off work. Maybe I should just go by myself. I never used to mind travelling on my own, but recently I like someone to share the experience with.

    1. Hehe! I love taking pictures of my shadow (especially when it’s so long, as I’m only 5’1, so it makes me feel tall haha!) – that one was taken in Cabo de Vela in Colombia on a solo trip a few years ago.

      I know what you mean about travelling with your BF versus travelling on your own – before I got with my (now ex) boyfriend I went everywhere alone, then we got together and we had a few trips together. Now we’ve split I’m rekindling my love for solo travel – I was in Cyprus a fortnight ago, and on Thursday I’m jetting off to Mexico! Sometimes you just need some time for you, do you know what I mean? x

  11. I’m actually going away on my own for four days starting tomorrow! I will definitely miss my family, but it does mean some other options open up that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.

    1. So how’s your mini solo adventure going so far Emily? Of course you’re bound to miss your family, that’s understandable, but sometimes it’s nice to just get away and have some time for yourself. I really hope you enjoy your little trip x

  12. A woman I use to work said that after he husband died after cancer, she one day packed her bag and got the first available flights to anywhere. She ended up going to Greece as her first stop and then she went everywhere. When she told me this story, I asked if she got lonely. She said she never did and felt so liberated and free.
    However I’m not as brave as she is. xx

  13. I’ve always wanted to travel alone, I’m not a hugely social person and when I go away with friends I always have to go off for myself for half a day or I’d go slowly bonkers.

    1. You should try it Steph, it is very liberating and helps with so many other things too (building self confidence, making you more aware of things going on around you, more savvy when it comes to spending money etc) x

  14. Love this article – I was nodding along while reading it. Solo travel is truly the best education there is 🙂

    1. It’s definitely opened my eyes up, I see things in a totally different perspective now, I am not contentious about my personal safety, spending money and making sure I don’t put myself in compromising situations x

  15. I have never travelled alone before myself but you do sell the idea really well! Maybe something to try out! Great post 🙂

  16. I have never been scared of solo travel. In fact, I’ve always been excited by it. That’s how I’ve always travelled until I started dating. And now that I am back to being single, I’m actually sad that I have to go back to solo travel. Not because it isn’t fun but because I think happiness is meant to be shared just like travelling is meant to be shared with another person. 🙁

    1. I know exactly what you mean Justine – I’m recently single too, and sometimes there are things that are nicer to be shared with a partner (a gorgeous sunset for example, or a romantic meal), but I don’t think being single or having no one to go away with you should be a reason not to go! I hope you get your solo travel mojo back soon! x

  17. Great read. Reminded me of the time I travelled alone – it wasn’t really my first choice but my partner got caught up in some work and couldn’t make it and I decided to travel by myself. Best. Decision, Ever. It’s scary and overwhelming at first, no doubt. But it grows on you!

    1. So glad that you continued with your travel plans when your partner couldn’t make them – it’s great to hear that you enjoyed yourself travelling solo! Good for you! x

  18. I’ve travelled solo before and I really enjoyed being on my own and exploring the places in my own pace. It’s so much easier to meet people that way but I have to say that I prefer to travel with my boyfriend or friends because I really enjoy sharing the experience with them. If they don’t have time though, I don’t mind going on my own too 🙂

    1. I think that’s a great attitude to have Sina – good for you! It’s definitely easier to meet people when you’re away when you’re on your own – I think others are curious as to why you’re on your own, they want to know your story lol! Where’s been your favourite destination to travel solo? x

  19. Agreed! On my first backpacking trip through Europe I split up with my travel partner for 3 months and it was the best experience I have had traveling. Travelling alone really forces you to open up to others and your surroundings.

    Thanks for sharing!


    1. Thanks for your comment Shaun – I hope the split wasn’t difficult while you were travelling? Glad to hear that it made for a more enjoyable experience on your own though! Where were you travelling? Would you recommend it as a destination for solo travel? x

  20. Wonderful timing for me to read this right now. I’m embarking on my first solo trip in about 10 days, and several of the things I’m looking forward to you discuss here. I’m really looking forward to setting my own priorities. Seeing what I want to see. Eating when I want to eat. It’s just a whole different way of doing this, and I’m kinda psyched!

    1. Hi Meg, thanks for your comment – and what great timing! I hope you found the post useful 🙂 you sound super excited, I can’t wait to see your own travelling solo stories on your website! x

  21. I completely agree. Solo travel is a life changing experience and def something everyone should try at least once. I’ve had some fantastic adventures and met so many amazing people along the way

  22. I haven’t travelled alone much but I totally get this. In this beautifully written post you have touched upon the points perfectly. 😊

    1. Thanks Sheena, I appreciate those comments 🙂 Is there anything from stopping you travelling alone? Or do you just prefer to travel with someone? x

  23. I moved to Thailand on my own a few years ago – I spent 9 months living there before I got sick and had to come home – I know it’s not really traveling as such but I did travel around near by places, etc. It was one of the best things I have ever done, I learnt so much about myself, learnt to be comfortable with who I am, it was brilliant. Everyone should explore on their own.

  24. I really like this post. It was a great read. I also love all the pictures. They are so pretty. I wish I had the chance to travel the world more but I don’t think it is in the cards for me right now. Maybe when my daughter is a little older. But I did fly on an airplane by myself and that does have a way of boosting one’s confidence.

  25. I love travelling, the first time I travelled alone was a couple of weeks ago. It was only a weekend but I still loved the feeling of freedom and all other beautiful things you mentioned in your post.

  26. I did it before when I was about 20 – 25 years old . Traveling solo is a great thing to do . Need a big confident and brave , especially when we explore the place that have a strike culture and tradition .
    I miss to do that again but can’t , as soon as we married traveling with family is a better choice .

  27. This (solotravel) is the best experience one can have. One thing also I had noticed: If you are in a group and nobody like to wait for photography sessions, then you misses a lot. But if you are traveling alone, you can stand for a long time to get a perfect shot!!
    Also it raises your confidence!!!

  28. I’m from India, i traveled to new york n florida on my own..and i was 18 then…it was little scary at first,but since then i never looked back..i travel so much on my own..i went to places for vacation by myself..and it’s a good feeling to be by yourself..

  29. I have never travelled solo before but I would love to! I actually really enjoy being alone, athough with four kids this never happens, but I think I would get a little nervous at times!

    1. It is nerve-wracking the first few times you do it, but after you’ve done it a bit, you really get used to it. I imagine with your kids around all the time it might be quite nice to have a little solo adult break once in a while x

  30. I have never traveled solo and after reading your post, got tempted to do one solo trip. I am always nervous to travel solo but one day I have to strong enough to explore the world myself.

  31. I love to travel alone as well. It can be lonely sometimes but it is also pretty liberating as well. I love how you have the freedom to plan your own itinerary and be free from constraints!

  32. Traveling alone has been on my to-do list for so long. This post is adding to the inspiration, let’s see when do I get to travel all by myself. 🙂

  33. I love solo traveling, I have been doing it for the past 2.5 years and still enjoying it to today and though soon I won’t be able to do them as much, I will still continue to venture out alone. Its exhilarating and scary at the same time

  34. I would love to travel alone, and I get that we should be brave. But, somehow seeing about these attacks in Europe I don’t feel really safe. I may travel with my father to Paris, for the first time! Oh, and I am about to live in another city with my friends so I guess that counts a bit.

    1. I understand that terror attacks may make some people anxious to travel, but they can happen anywhere, even in your home town 🙁 I don’t think you should let it stop you from living your dreams, if travelling is the dream you want to live x

  35. I’ve never tried to travel alone. but I’m also planning to do it alone. I like how you have the freedom to plan your own planned and be free from limitations!

  36. completely agree with this! We have to at least make one one trip alone! I have never done that, but its on my bucket list!

  37. I’ve absolutely loved reading your post. I was supposed to be going on a trip on my own this year but it didn’t work out that way and someone else came with me. I’m planning on going back next year but on my own if I can get the funds together xxx

  38. You are completely spot on. I think you have hit my worries head on. I think travelling with one other woman first would be better than doing it alone though. I so want to.

  39. What a fantastic read. Your so brace travelling alone I’m not sure if I could do it but I suppose I don’t know until I try 🙂

    1. That’s exactly it Lynne – you never know until you try! It’s like all things in life, sometimes you think you’re incapable of eating that crocodile steak/doing that bungee jump/backpacking around the world solo, but you’ll never know unless you try x

  40. I have never travelled alone. It’s never really happened because I holidayed with my family then my (now) husband and there wasn’t a gap where I was single and had money to take time off work at the same time. Tx

  41. I totally agree travel is amazing and something I loved to do in my earlier years. I am glad you are having these opportunities.

  42. I really like your take on the travelling solo topic. I’ve never travelled completely solo… I have taken a flight by myself once and that was as “solo” as I got… only to meet friends at the other side! I think it’s completely brave and exciting sounding, but I think I’ll keep reading about it for a while before I make any quick decisions to try it myself.

  43. I travel alone most of the time and have grown to love it. Time to do what I want, lazy days when I want it and food whenever I want! I usually travel with my teen kids so solo travel is a luxurious treat!!

  44. I never traveled alone. Yet. I hope one day I can manage one even if it’s only a weekend trip. I know ppl who have Bering doing it without any problem whatsoever and also know ppl who really want to do but for some reason can’t jump that ship. I will forward this link to them. Hearing from a first person who traveled alone hopefully will give them die reassurance!

  45. Traveled alone for a month, got through whole Norway. And… now I know that I don’t want to travel alone. If I need time alone, I can go somewhere for a while but don’t like the idea of being alone for a long time.

      1. Kinda… It feels weird to go to night club alone and I don’t drink alcohol, so “becoming friends” with new people takes time. And, I cannot do without friends.

  46. Couldn’t agree more with you Becca. I feel the same. From many of my experiences, I have felt how solo traveling has taught me how to be patient, fearless, and how to be approachable to others. People used to ask me similar questions. Recently been traveling with a partner, but I can totally connect with this article as I have traveled solo as well.

  47. I totally agree with you on this. Before I started travelling solo, the thought of going out, eating alone in restaurants used to scare me. But once I did it, there’s no looking back. It is exhilarating.

  48. couldnt agree with your post anymore…yo may not like it but atleats try once..i luv travelling solo and the freedom u get while travelling solo is priceless.

  49. This is such an inspiring article especially for all the girls who want to travel but aren’t confident if they can make it. Travelling solo although gets lonely sometimes, there’s no better way to learn about yourself and about the world. Everyone needs to experience this at least once in a lifetime.

  50. I love your answers to those questions! I feel the same way. There are pros and cons to everything. Traveling alone vs with people both has benefits. It all depends on the situation. My friend time traveling alone was in Iceland for a couple days. There were good things like meeting new people who are very welcoming to people who are alone. And there were lonely times when I wish I had someone to talk to in a lonely hostel. Either way, I’d like to do both types of traveling again.

  51. This is really interesting. I’m happily married mom of 4 kids. I am rarely alone so I wonder how I’d like spending a holiday alone?? Not sure. But I think you outline the three big questions people have about travelling alone and explain the realities of them. I’m sure it will inspire a couple of people to try this at some point.

  52. Traveling alone has some ups and downs, you can really get to know yourself, and see the willingness of the people in the country to help out, and maybe you might meet some new friends. But the worst part is the feeling of loneliness when you travel and during those sunsets or sunrises you just wish you can share it with someone.

  53. I can’t agree more! Everyone should try it at least once. Traveling alone taught me so so much. This is great.


  54. Personally it’s something I never thought about, I do not know maybe it’s my fault, but maybe I’m not ready for a step like that … I do not feel like traveling alone, but … your story inspired me to thinking about it.

  55. Whenever I get chance I use to travel alone and trust me I feel better & relax. I am totally agree with you while starting solo trip I feel totally independent. I love this post

  56. It can be pretty amazing to go on a trip although traveling alone does have it’s plusses and minuses. What I really think it does is encourage one to connect to other people locally.

  57. I love traveling alone! Especially to places like Hawaii! These are really great tips for anyone who hasn’t ever travelled by themselves.

  58. My brother in law went by himself to England and had a great time, but I don’t think it is really wise for a woman to do much traveling alone. I am definitely not a go alone type of person.

  59. Great post!! I’ve been thinking about travelling alone for a while and this made me want to book it straight away!

  60. I agree. Travelling is a wonderful activity, helpin you to open your mind. It is not every one but to say you don’t like it and need it you need to try it. I’d also say not once but several times as there are various travel options: urban, natural (ative and not) and beach.

  61. Oh no no no no no! I’ve never traveled alone, let alone have traveled anywhere as an adult more than a few hours drive from where I live. I’m not brave enough. I wish I were because I’ve read books where the hero in the story goes on a trip by their self and have such a great adventurous time.

  62. I’ve traveled alone a couple of times. However, it was only partial since someone I knew was on the other end when I arrived.

  63. As a person who loves to travel alone, I completely agree with this, we sometimes need alone time too

  64. I don’t mind traveling alone. It allows me to meet new people and to explore places that not everyone might want to see.

  65. You have such lovely points. I think it’s always important to be ok on our own and travelling by ourselves is a great way to do just that. Thanks for sharing!

  66. I’ve done this before, and it can be so rewarding. I’ve been meaning to do it more often – I really liked how liberating it felt to not have to worry about the kids.

  67. I enjoy travelling in a group, just because you get to share those experiences with other people, and make memories together. But I see where you’re coming from when it comes to travelling alone, too!

  68. I understand all your reasons for travelling alone but I do not feel comfortable enough to travel on my own plus I enjoy to spend a holiday with my husband

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