The Joys of Backpacking Solo

The Joys of Backpacking Solo
DMEPhotography via Getty Images

One of the greatest things anyone can do is to decide to do something life changing once they reached a milestone in their life. See, going alone to do things is a sure way to see the world through unfiltered eyes and unbiased views. By doing things alone, the ability awards you freedom and the liberty to do whatever you feel like doing without someone to hold you back (because they’re not fun, like you). Going solo is a new experience in life that should be experienced by everybody once in their lifetime, and hey, nobody’s too old to go traveling alone!

Are you thinking about going on a solo adventure to an unknown city or land but you’re unsure if you’re ready to step into the unknown? Let us help you elaborate on why you should consider traveling alone; you won’t regret it!


The World is Your Oyster

When going alone, the world is yours for the taking. Sure, you can ask advice from seasoned travelholics, but most of the choices will be made by you and you alone. You’re the master of your fate to decide where you want to go and things you’ll do once you get there. You can plan out your budgeting in a way that fits your lifestyle; you can be reserved or splurge it out. No one’s looking or judging you, for that matter. Sure, you start off by eating breakfast at the hostel, eat lunch at a local vendor in the city, and dart off to a five-star super classy restaurant down by the riverside.

You can waste your time as much as you’d like. Because, why not?

Enjoying “Me” Time

When going solo, it’s all about “me” time. Backpacking across unfamiliar terrain gives you some valuable alone time. During these times, you can reflect on your life and journey as a whole, while appreciating the little things life offers. Take a moment to enjoy the smell of roasted coffee in the morning as you watch the fog roll by lush mountains. Such moments cannot be experienced in the city.

Trekking through barely inhabited villages or strolling through flower fields allows your mind to be at peace; sometimes, you’ll learn new things along the way which you might not have when you’re surrounded by friends and family. During this time, your mind will absolutely wonder, and it may reflect on problems your subconscious brings up. Going on solo trips help clear your thoughts of the persistent problems and sometimes, it gives you new insight and perhaps, the must-needed solution you crave.

Everybody needs a bit of me time every so often, so, why not take advantage of it? By the way, sealing yourself away in your room is not considered me time!

Budgeting

Going alone means that you’ll have to learn how to budget your expenses properly. It’s not as simple as it seems; budgeting requires a lot of planning to ensure the remainder of the trip is sufficiently funded. When you’re going solo, it’s never a great idea to splurge at restaurants the same way you might do back home; that defeats the purpose of experiencing a new place altogether. It doesn’t make sense to hit up a local expat hotspot all the time where you may or may not know the prices served are marked up!

Go low, especially if you plan on doing some hefty shopping. Budget out your shopping expenses to ensure it doesn’t interfere with the rest of your vacation budget. Practicing your budgeting skills now will benefit you in the long run, trust me.

Making New Friends

Going to a new country is bound to feel lonesome at times, but it doesn’t have to be; reach out and make friends with the locals! Did you know the locals love it when you pick up their native language? Sure, learning a new language can be a chore, but it’s always worth trying to learn the easy words to talk with people. And also, locals appreciate it when you’re trying to communicate with them.

In return, you might befriend someone who’s had a lot of life experiences, and they’d love to share their tale with you. Be ready to have your mind blown and souls connected through language.

But, what if you’re too shy to make friends with the locals? Well, there’s usually a hotspot where local expats go hang around. It might be in the lobby, cafe, restaurant, pub, or a scenic spot. Give yourself a chance and open up to people. And plus, what’s better than making new friends who come from a different country, speaks a different language, or has an entirely 360-degree worldview? Pretty cool.

Boosting Your Confidence

One of the best reasons to go backpacking alone gives you the much-needed confidence boost you never thought you needed. Planning a solo trip and executing it takes heaps of courage to make it work. If you’ve never traveled around on your own before, it’s expected that something will go wrong on your first solo trip. Oh, it will happen. You might be stranded at the airport, experience a strike, watch a sheep invasion, or the train you need to take downtown is broken down, but you don’t freak out; you can totally handle this. Stay calm, collected, and focus. The world’s not ending; this is just a minor inconvenience, that’s all.

If life gives you lemons, use it to make lemonade. Bon Appétit.

Additionally, going solo matures you as a traveler. You become more understanding and patient which you may not learn from while traveling with a companion or friend.

Seeing the World through Different Eyes

One of the joys about traveling is the ability to see things you’ve never seen before. The more you realize how much the world is not rainbows and butterflies, printed in travel brochures. The experiences you gain are raw and includes both good and bad. You take it, you learn from it, and you mature from it. It pays to take note that the people you meet come from different backgrounds and many people may not be pleasant due to their life experiences or rooted beliefs you might think it’s farfetched, it’s not.

By seeing the world through different eyes, it allows you, as a stranger and traveler, to see and experience the world as-is.

Wrapping It Up

Going solo can sometimes be a scary or rewarding experience, but the experiences allow you to understand the world better around you and yourself. You gain knowledge, friends, and see the world for what it really is rather than through a computer screen or through stories told by friends and family. What better way to explore and experience the world than by journeying to far off places with just a couple of backpacks?

Try it; you might ending up falling in love with places you never thought possible.

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