Five Reasons to Travel Solo During your Uni Years
WORDS BY MATILDA UNWIN
“Being alone & actually sitting with our own thoughts can lead to such growth and realizations that are rare in our everyday busy lives”
- Kourtney Kardashian
Whilst Kourt may not always be considered the bastion of philosophical wisdom, she has a point. From snapchats of Ibiza and Mykonos, to group selfies on TopDeck, group travel is something a lot of university students experience. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with travelling with a group of mates, or your best friend, but there are important lessons to be learnt by travelling alone.
For some, reading this might seem blatantly obvious, and you don’t seem fazed by the thought of being overseas alone. But for others, like myself, it took some deep consideration before taking the plunge. Human beings, are most of the time, social creatures – so to take yourself into a brand new environment, and not have the comfort of a friend, or a group is something else.
1. The opportunity might not come again
Generally your uni years are pretty flexible and give you a lot of freedom. As soon as you reach the end of your degree it’s easy to get caught up in grad job responsibilities, and get into serious relationships alongside your working life. Go travelling by yourself before you have real responsibilities and other people (spouses, children etc.) to think about. Or otherwise bail on everyone and live your #eatpraylove life out later on.
2. You will meet other young travellers from all over the world
Travelling by yourself can be lonely at times but it’s not difficult to meet other young and interesting travellers. You will meet people not just in hostels but also on planes and trains and in other unexpected places and they are people you most likely would have missed if travelling with others.
3. You can do whatever you want
One of the biggest pros of travelling solo is the ability to do what you want when you want. Travelling with others is great too but every decision requires deliberation. I can’t tell you how many times you will hear and say “I don’t mind” even if you do. No one wants to be ‘that guy’ on the trip that’s always making the plans and suggestions of places you want to do. You have to worry about looking bossy, but also worry about missing out things only you might want to do. When you’re by yourself you can do what you want to and eat when and where you want to without having to fit in with anyone else.
4. To truly become independent
Travelling solo is one of the most independent things a person can do. You are solely responsible for every aspect of your trip and you won’t have a safety net to assist you. For the extra challenge, head to a country where the knowledge of English is not widespread, and after struggling to find the nearest bathroom, or do your laundry you will feel like you can achieve anything. When you return, other steps to independence, such as moving out of home, won’t seem so daunting.
5. The feeling of accomplishment
Getting through airports, from A to B many times over, meal times and navigating cultural and language barriers by yourself are not small feats and it feels so good knowing that you are capable of them.