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Debunking the Loneliness of Solo Travel

Travel Series: Is solo travel really as lonely as people say it is?

Solo travel, often wrapped in myths of isolation and loneliness, stands as a misunderstood adventure. This week, we unmask the myth and answer the question of 'Is solo travel really as lonely as people say it is?' Contrary to popular belief, embarking on a journey alone can be a transformative and social experience, proving that travel is a deeply personal journey with no one-size-fits-all approach. On some occasions it can be completely the opposite, which is why I was so interested to explore this topic.

I recently took to Instagram to ask followers what their opinion on this was and there were so many similar answers/themes. I've tried my best to group them into the below:

Going it Alone

Travelling by yourself isn't always the lonely, isolating experience people associate with solo travelling. Many find that heading to a new destination alone allows for a profound sense of self-discovery and personal growth. Without the influence of your social group, individuals often uncover hidden strengths and embrace the freedom to shape their journey as they see fit.

Thriving on your Own

For some, being by yourself with no familiar faces is a source of empowerment. Solo travellers thrive in the ability to set their own pace, make spontaneous decisions, and truly immerse themselves in the culture without the distractions of companions. It becomes a journey of self-reliance and independence.

Not Alone in Being Alone:

Surprisingly, when you go alone, you're actually very rarely 'alone'. Hostels, local meet-up events, and communal spaces provide great opportunities to connect with fellow adventurers who are most likely in the same boat as you - trying to get to know people. Shared experiences in unfamiliar surroundings often lead to forming connections and friendships that last beyond the journey itself.

Loneliness is Not Exclusive to Solo Travel:

Loneliness isn't a condition unique to solo journeys. Those traveling with groups may find themselves isolated within the dynamics of their companions, many searching for a more authentic connection with the destination. It's a reminder that loneliness is subjective and can be experienced in various travel scenarios. It was really interesting when I put out a poll - 'Do you really know someone until you've travelled with them?' and there wasn't a single vote for yes. Over 100 people said no, you need to travel with them. It's such an interesting concept and probably the reason many go alone, so they can find like-minded people to share their experiences with rather than friends who may or may not share your passion for travel and potentially end up ruining your experience.

Personal Preference Matters:

Travel is a personal preference, and there's no one-size-fits-all approach. While some revel in the idea of solo adventures, others find joy in sharing experiences with friends or family. The key is understanding your own preferences and embracing the journey that aligns with your desires. If going alone seems scary, then there are plenty of options one being the classic group tours. Just because you find yourself joining one of these, doesn't mean you haven't gone alone! If you prefer to holiday with familiarity then that's ok. No-one says to complete life you must have travelled alone.

Not every trip will be filled with this incredible self-discover and wonderful personal journey, some may feel like you're the only person on your own at that moment in time, but there will also be trips where being by yourself is the best feeling ever. But by unmasking the myth that solo travel is actually a personal journey, I've certainly discovered a diverse range of individuals experiences and perspectives with some thriving in their own company, while others find joy in shared moments with fellow explorers.

Enjoyed the series so far? Have more travel myths you want answering, then you can find the entire series here.

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