Between COVID, allergy season, and vaccine debates, the phrase “side effects” has come up in many of my recent conversations! So it got me to thinking… What are some positive side effects? What can give people positive side effects? That inspired me to write a fresh post about one of the things that always gives me the good side effects: Solo Travel! Here are my favorite side effects of taking that leap into solo travel.
One of the most epic side effects of solo travel is the overwhelming sense of absolute freedom. It may take a few days for it to kick in, but once you realize you can do what you want, when you want, how you want, where you want, you’ll wonder what took you so long to start going solo!
Want to have ice cream for supper at 4:00 in the afternoon? You can do it! Want to go to bed at 5:00? Do it! Want to stay up all night and watch the sunrise before falling asleep? You can! Want to splurge on that fancy Micheline-starred restaurant? No one’s there to complain about the cost! Trust me, you’ll have a newfound appreciation for individual freedom.
Unexpectedly solo? What to Do When Your Travel Buddy Drops Out
Traveling solo makes you more resilient. It just does! There’s no one else to figure things out. You have to do it all… And then you realize you CAN do it all! It may not be perfect, it may not even be right the first time, but you survive it. You realize that one mess up is not the end of the world, or even the end of you trip! And you know what’s better? No one’s around to see your mistakes either! Solo travel will inherently help you become more resilient. More laid back? Maybe not. But definitely more capable of bouncing back.
Wait! I thought solo travel meant I had to be by myself the whole time.
Not so! Solo travel will give you all the resources you need to start making new friends. Being alone helps you miss people and gives you the actual desire to talk to someone–sometimes anyone! Solo travelers are some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet, and you’ll be glad for some like-minded friends when people back home say over and over again, “I could NEVER DO THAT! What were you THINKING?!”
Trust me, you’ll want some friends who get it. Some solo travel friends might be for life, others might just be for the moment, but they’ll all be your friends for a while!
More info: The Best Reasons to Travel Solo
Comfort with Yourself
You know why many people avoid solo travel? Everyone has their own reasons, but generally, they’re afraid to be alone with themselves. This is my own observation, but I’ve found it to be true again and again. Lots of people are uncomfortable with themselves. Silence scares them. They’re afraid something will go wrong and no one will be there to help them.
And that’s understandable, right? Sure. But taking that plunge into solo travel inevitably gives those same people reasons to trust themselves, trust the strangers around them, and be able to actually enjoy being by themselves. Try it. You might find that you’re not so bad!
Keep reading: Solo Travel Comebacks for Rude Comments
Feeling Less Loneliness
The most surprising side effect of solo travel? Definitely the fact that you start to feel less lonely the more you travel solo. No really! I know it’s counter-intuitive, but it’s true: When you become more comfortable with yourself, you feel less lonely. You start to enjoy the peaceful time you get to have to yourself. You get your “people fix” while you’re out to eat, enjoying a museum, or just walking around a new city, and then you start to realize “alone time” doesn’t have to be synonymous with loneliness.
More here: Top 6 Solo Travel Experiences to Have
This is, by far, the best side effect of solo travel: Confidence. You can do it–whatever it is! You can backpack across Europe or take a week to befriend monkeys in Bali. You can travel in the country of your dreams without being mugged or getting lost forever. You can do what you want and not worry about whether or not anyone else will like it or want to be your friend when you get back home.
This is the culmination of all the other side effects, and it’s the one that you’ll carry with you everywhere, forever, always. It’s the one that will help you most in every stage of life. It’s the one that will help you through most any situation. Solo travel can become synonymous with confidence.
Want more? Read all my best solo travel tips, hacks, and confessions on my dedicated Solo Travel Page!
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