Young woman looking across holding a binoculars. Happy african woman standing with a binocular on a bright sunny day. Young african woman enjoyinng her vacation.

I’ve traveled in groups before—both small and large—sometimes with close friends, sometimes with people who I hadn’t previously met. All of my travel experiences have been incredibly gratifying, but over time, I’ve fallen in love with the idea of traveling alone. When deciding whether or not you’d like to travel solo or in a group, remember that one choice isn’t necessarily better than the other. They’re completely different experiences that will teach you completely different lessons. No matter where you go in the world, if you go with someone who you spend time with regularly, you’re still fixed in your comfort zone. Of course, traveling with your friends, family and/or significant other is something we all love and enjoy, but of those experiences, how much time do you really have for yourself? Here are 5 reasons you should travel solo:

Skip the drama and dysfunction. If you’ve ever traveled with a group of people, you know just how dysfunctional and drama-filled it can be. Choosing travel dates that fit into everyone’s schedule, determining a budget and deciding on housing or hotel accommodations are among the daunting duties of a group trip. If you travel alone, you rid yourself of all of those problems. You pick the dates that best suit your schedule, you determine your own budget without considering if it is too expensive for someone else and you (easily) find a place that comfortably sleeps one. Planning for a trip is already a difficult, tedious process, so why not make it easier for yourself?

You’re the expert of your itinerary. You can do absolutely everything that you want to do, and absolutely nothing that you don’t want to do. When traveling with a group, it’s rare that everyone is on one accord. Half of the group may want to do one thing while the other half of the group may have something totally different in mind. In most instances, at least one person is left settling and unhappy. If you travel alone, you’ll never have to compromise your plans.

Meet new people. You may’ve decided to travel alone, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stay alone (unless you want to). If you chose to travel alone to separate yourself from the people of your daily life, why not meet someone new and refreshing? If you’re traveling to a foreign destination, it’s always fun (and helpful) to meet a native of the area. When you travel with someone whom you know very well, you rarely try to meet new people because you simply don’t see a need to. When you travel alone, however, you open yourself to new friendships, connections and possibilities.

Discover yourself. While you’re discovering a new locale alone, you can discover yourself too. Depending on the destination, a solo trip can be a dynamic, pivotal, transformative experience. With no one else around, you’ll have so much time to think about yourself and explore who you really are. It’s the perfect opportunity to self-evaluate. When traveling with others, you get so caught up in the rapture of entertainment that you forget to take a moment to reflect, but traveling alone is always an eye-opening experience.

Empower yourself. If you’ve traveled anywhere in the world by yourself, what can’t you do? The idea of solitude or isolation is intimidating for many. If you’d feel uncomfortable sitting in a restaurant or a movie theater alone, the idea of traveling alone will sound frightening. Once you conquer that, however, you’ll feel as though you can do anything. Traveling alone is extremely empowering, and a great way to break into the habit of self-reliance.

Written By: Arianna J. Goolsby, Staff Writer, Modern Domestic

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