On my 22nd birthday, I bought an air ticket for myself to Taiwan. An impromptu decision after seeing Jetstar having a promo of SGD107 for return flight. Little did I know, that was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for myself.
Why a solo trip at least once in your lifetime?
There’re so many benefits of a solo trip. In summary, a solo trip allows you to step out of your comfort zone, to know the world better and most importantly, understanding yourself. You get to explore and experience personally, and those moments formed a part of you now. If you are still considering about one yet indecisive and nervous, read on below to find out why a solo trip is a must for everyone.
1. Confidence outside of comfort zone
Travelling solo allows you to push yourself to getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. You’ll get used to the unfamiliar places, languages, people and immerse yourself with the local culture and heritage wherever you are. I remembered clearly when my dad dropped me off at the airport, a gush of nervousness and excitement overwhelming me. Told myself “Ok, that’s it. I’m really alone now. Is it even for real?” On that day itself, I was too paranoid, trying to avoid contact at all cost. Subsequently for the following days, I was able to strike conversations with locals, exchanging topics and stories.
2. Making decisions, just for yourself
How often in our lives that we make decisions, not for ourselves but for the sake of the others. And gradually, we became more unsure and less capable of making our own decisions. While being outside in the unknown, it pushes you to trust yourself, your own instinct and judgements. If you make the wrong choice, you do not need to worry about the others and feel guilty for ruining someone’s trip. There’s the flexibility of changing your plans whenever and however you like it. Following your own pace without compromising others is only possible on a solo trip.
3. You focus more on your surroundings
Unable to rely on your travelling partners, you’ve to be independent and taking good care of yourself. When I was in Taiwan alone, I always ensured my belongings were safe by me, checking the road traffic carefully (I realised YL grabs my arms all the time whenever we are together, ensuring I don’t bump into people or cars) and observing any suspicious activities around me. This is why I’ve such vivid memories of my solo experience, as I paid attention to every single little details.
4. Meeting more locals & cultural immersion
If you’re with your travelling partners, it’s more tempting to talk mainly to them, to just doing thing together with them solely. But with you alone, people find it more approachable to talk to you or vice versa. I had the privilege of cycling and exploring around Taitung (台东) with 2 German tourists and a local tour guide after mustering the courage to ask them. Besides, I also got to know more about Green Island (绿岛) and its local daily life when a local rode me around the “Fire Island”.
5. Meaningful & unforgettable experiences
There’re various scenarios that can happen during a trip, and as a solo traveller, the experiences will be more profound to you. Getting chased by wild dogs, cycled over an eagle are definitely unexpected situations during my solo trip but yet, it will leave a long effect on me as long as I can remember. Now that I think about it, it is nice to have such experiences too for I won’t have it in my daily life.
6. You discover yourself more
A solo trip allows you to insert a little solitude to your busy and overfilled usual routine and gives you your essential “me-time”. I was too overwhelmed negatively at that time, and this trip came just right to offer me the break that I needed so badly, to clear my thoughts and reflect on my decisions made. Travelling alone you might find yourself back.
You feel great. And you are proud of yourself for having fulfilled your very first solo trip. You can finally boast and share your own personal experiences with your loved ones and friends. You’ll likely want to experience it over and over again for it is just so invigorating. Others may realise solo travel is not for them, but you’ll never know if you don’t make the first step. The first step is just simply booking a flight ticket, it’s that easy and off you go. No regrets.