Solo Travel Can Be Scary, But These 4 People Say It’s Worth

benefits of solo travel

Solo travel is nothing new, but it’s certainly booming. Recent research by Webjet found that half (48%) of Australians were planning a solo trip in the next two years. Of that, a quarter (24%) plan to spend over $5,000 on their trips and one in 20 (5%) were ready to invest $10,000 or more on their next solo adventure.

The popularity of solo travel makes sense when you look at the benefits, which include giving you a better chance to immerse yourself in your surroundings, focus on yourself and be anyone you want to be.

We asked three travellers to share their solo experiences. What led to them travelling alone? What did they learn from the experience? And would they do it again? Here’s what they said.

Nicole, General Manager of Health and Safety

“In my early 40s, after my husband left and my sons finished school, I wanted to prove to myself I could undertake a trip on my own. So, I embarked on a series of solo travel adventures that profoundly reshaped my perspective on life.

“My journey began with a road trip along Highway 1 from San Diego to Seattle. One of the highlights was attending a Taylor Swift concert in Santa Clara, California by myself, a surreal and empowering experience. I also took a solo road to Paris and Monaco for a month, exploring at my own pace. I’ve also solo travelled to Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Grand Cayman Island and Jordan.

“I absolutely loved solo travel. It was liberating to realise I am fun with an adventurous steak and could make decisions based purely on my interests. Next year, I’m travelling to Sri Lanka and Borneo on my own.”

Elliot, Entrepreneur

“In my mid-20s, I worked long hours for a company in Sydney and realised I needed a change. The daily grind had worn me down, and I yearned for the freedom of travel and entrepreneurship. So, I went to Bali with two friends to start a business. After a month, I decided to strike out on my own. I had always dreamed of living on a beach in Thailand, inspired by my favourite movie The Beach and wanted to be like Leo.

“Initially, it was scary as it forced me to become comfortable with my thoughts. The solitude gave me the time for deep self-reflection and goal-setting, something we rarely achieve when constantly surrounded by others. Eating out alone was challenging initially, but I grew to love it and still do. Being alone made me more open to meeting new people, and I quickly made friends.

“Solo travel allowed me to fully immerse myself in the surroundings, appreciating the scenery and culture more deeply than I would have with companions. I have continued to embrace solo travel and after selling my last business recently spent a week in Bali for some rest and relaxation.”

Meagan, Beauty Brand Co-Founder

“At 21, I went on my first solo trip to the US, Mexico and South America, and I’ve had a solo travel experience nearly every year since. On that first trip, I met a friend in LA who was so fun, I spent longer in the city and she then met me in Brazil and we did Carnival together.

“A few years ago, I woke up one morning and thought: ‘What a trip you would regret not taking?’. So, I booked a week in France and another in Italy. In Paris, I met a friend of a friend who showed me the best of the city. I also reconnected with a Parisian girl I’d met when in Mexico. That’s the great thing with social now – you often find yourself in the same place as people you know.

“There’s something about being in another country that helps ease inhibitions and makes you more open. Travelling solo pushes you to meet people and to get out there. It encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone, meet new people and try new things.”

Bec, Head of Content Operations

“In May of 2023, I had recently experienced a breakup and an interstate move to a place where I knew only a few people. As cliché as it is to go on a solo trip to ‘find yourself’, I do feel like that’s what I did.

“I did a 10-day solo road trip around Tasmania – my first solo travel. I had never solo-travelled before, so I didn’t want to go too far from home or outside my comfort zone. I stayed in a tiny house in Cradle Mountain, hiked through Mount Field National Park and slept on a beach under the stars completely alone at the Bay of Fires. It was daunting at first, but once I did it, I wondered why I waited so long. It forced me out of my comfort zone, and I learnt a lot about myself and what I’m capable of.

“Now, I’m planning other solo trips to Western Australia to swim with whale sharks and on a cruise in Antarctica. I would struggle to travel with someone else again anytime soon. I am definitely in my solo travel era.”

Related: The Way We Travel Is Changing, and That’s a Good Thing

Related: 10 Best Cities Around the World to Travel Solo

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