Traveling with family or friends is fun but sometimes it’s good to go to places alone too. Even a day trip can do wonders!
Here you can read five positive perspectives of solo travel:
The trip will be simpler to plan and execute as you don’t need to negotiate with anyone. You are the one deciding about everything.
There is more flexibiliy too. For example, if you find a beautiful beach, you can stay there for longer and skip something else if you feel like it. You have more space to your own thinking and being.
Another plus is that you don't receive criticism on the choices you made about the destination, accommodation or some other thing related to the travel.
If you live with other people, traveling alone can boost your confidence when you see that you are capable of doing things all by yourself. You find your way to locations and survive varying situations.
Hopefully you'll enjoy the freedom, and maybe you’ll find some of your old and new interests too.
As you can’t use your daily autopilot in a new environment or have someone else as your navigator, your senses are more awake.
Without constant chatting and compromises, you can pause and feel the place you are visiting. Listen to its soundscape, smell its scents, see some details and so on.
Each of us senses the environment differently and pays attention to different things. For example, I often stop to investigate plants and animals, finding out about their origin, taking photos of them, whereas some other people don’t care so much about them.
4. MEETING NEW PEOPLE
It’s easier to approach a person when she/he a is alone. People ask you for directions or to take a photo of them, or just otherwise start talking with you.
You may also find yourself make more contact with others. These encounters can be uplifting and leave good memories.
5. EXPERIENCES & INSPIRATION
At the risk of sounding cliché, you will return richer from your journey. Not financially but experience-wise.
A solo trip can give you inspiration you may not realize until later in your life when it manifests as a decision, connection, project idea or something else.
As the famous words go,
"Fill your life with experiences, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show."
My own experiences
Most of my solo trips have been one or two day trips already because I haven't wanted to be away from the children for a long time, and the shorter trips require less planning, time and money – and yet they are empowering and enriching. You can start even by visiting a new area in your own town.
I have an evolving list of destinations for half day, full day, one night and longer trips, so there will be a suitable destination ready for the next time.
Solo travel to Solothurn
My last day trip was last week to a town called Solothurn (what would be a more fitting place name for a solo trip!).
Solothurn is near Bern, in the north-west Switzerland, by the river Aare. From Zurich, it took an hour by train to get there. On the train, I usually sip my coffee (prepared at home), look at the changing scenery, listen to audio books/music, draw and write.
One peculiar thing about Solothurn is the special meaning of the number 11. There are 11 museums, 11 fountains, 11 chapels, 11 towers, a clock showing only 11 hours and more.
After visiting the old town and climbing to the tower of St. Ursus Cathedral to see the 360-view, I started to walk towards the woodlands of Verena Gorge.
On my way, a couple on their bikes stopped to ask me for directions to Verena. I told them (with my not-so-fluent German...) that I was going there too and showed them which way to go.
At Verena Gorge, there was an enchanting chapel and hermitage (as well as the hermit himself) surrounded by the cliffs and trees.
When I was walking the forest paths next to the babbling stream, I was happy to meet that same couple again, we chatted for a while admiring the beauty around us and then continued our journeys.
I arrived home with a refreshed mind and nice new experiences.
My next solo travel will be already this week. It’s a gift I gave to myself last Christmas: I will be going to the mountains to do some horseback riding and random exploring – I'll tell you about it when I get back!
Do you like solo trips and if yes, what kind of trips you have done?
Would you live as a hermit for some while?
Do you prefer urban or nature destinations?
More photos I took in Solothurn
All photos: Abroadland / Helena J.