Solo travel that’s good for the soul
Whenever someone says they’re off on a solo travel trip, you can guarantee the reaction from most people is “aren’t you brave”. While many of us dream of strolling the streets of a beautiful Italian city solo or lying on a beach with no distractions, how many of us have actually channelled our inner chapter of Eat, Pray, Love?
But we know that anything that takes you out of your comfort zone can be good for the soul, and taking your annual sojourn does just that; forcing you to meet new people, make memories where you play the starring role and broaden your horizons. And that’s exactly what I set out to do when I took the step to finally book a short Italian trip this summer.
This was my first solo trip, so sadly no seasoned tips from this newbie. However, I’m fresh with perspective and learnt a lot about how this experience differs from travelling with others.
You decide what you want to do… no pleasing your partner or keeping the kids happy, solo holidays means you and only you choose what to do each day. Spend hours by the pool? Go for it! Eat when you want and where you want. It’s totally up to you. You can be totally selfish about your plans and learn to rely on your instincts.
Discover the real you… when was the last time you enjoyed some quality “me time”? It’s rare that we can spend hours without someone wittering away in our ear or using our brain space. Travelling solo means minimal distractions; it’s literally a journey of self-discovery with you in the driving seat and you’ll learn to love your own company.
It’s guilt-free… if you want a morning lie-in or a post-pool nap, there’s no one to roll their eyes at you on a solo travel trip. There’s a lot of pressure when you holiday with other people to do things you don’t fancy just to keep everyone else happy.
You’ll learn a new language… because you’ll have to speak to more people you’ll inevitably end up picking up a few key phrases (“Can I have a glass of white wine please?” springs to mind), boosting your confidence at the same time.
It’s the perfect feel-good trip… whether it’s zip-wiring in Costa Rica or visiting temples in Bali, you will end up doing things on your own that you never thought you were capable of. What’s not to love about that!
You’re not really alone… unless you’ve trekked to the middle of a jungle, you’re more likely to be surrounded with others whilst you’re exploring or relaxing. And you’ll be surprised how open the world becomes when you’re alone, whether that’s new people, stories or opportunities.
With all this, I have to say the biggest takeaway I took from solo travel was an increased sense of connection. That included the connection I felt towards myself, to being present, my surroundings and the people I met along the way too. And I would even go as far as to say the connection I had with people in my everyday life back at home, my loved ones who knew I was travelling alone sent sweet check-in messages and wanted to have a peep at the adventure on social media. I hope you have the chance to embrace solo travel in the near future or even embrace that feeling of deeper connection.
Kiran Badyal – Co-founder of sisterhood platform @britishbindi
Watch the highlights of Kiran’s trip on our Instagram.