Written by Michael

5min read


There are two types of people in this world; those who have solo travelled and those who have not.

I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing both sides of this. I’ve travelled to destinations with people I knew; three weeks travelling through Thailand and three weeks travelling down the east coast of the USA.

I’ve also travelled solo a fair bit; I went around Europe for a month, spent 5 weeks in SE Asia wandering around Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos and recently returned from a weekend in Vienna where I was on my Larry.

I had a badass time on all these trips. However, I feel my solo travel experiences have been invaluable in many different ways compared to my experiences of traveling with friends.
Allow me to explain….

You’re MORE Sociable.

I’ve found the solo travellers I’ve met can easily spend a day walking round a city with their own company and absolutely love it. However, solo travellers are extremely sociable and by no means introverts. On the contrary, being a lone traveller you have to be quite extroverted if you want to make new friends. As you are on your own you have to go out of your way in order to meet people and make new friends. You actually become a bit crazy – you throw caution to the wind and trust people straight away only knowing their name and what country they’re from.


You become a decision maker.

When you’re on your own there is no one else to make the decisions for you, and when you’re traveling there are a lot of decisions to make! Where to go next? How to get there? Where to stay? How much can I spend? You quickly learn the reasons a decision was a bad one and that delaying a decision can be costly! As a result you tend to make quick decisions that are based on (usually) sound judgement.

Responsibility & Problem Solving.

Travelling alone forces you to take responsibility – if something goes wrong you have no one else to blame but yourself. This can be little things like losing your hostel key, choosing the wrong hostel or missing a bus. However, it can also be the big things that really test you such as missing your flight. Once somethings gone south you then have to sort it out – meaning you become a problem solver. At the time you’re going to hate these situations but they’re going to help you so much in the future and teach you some important life lessons.

You don’t judge a soul.

While travelling alone you talk to all types of people you wouldn’t necessarily talk to if you were travelling with friends. You learn that everyone has a story to tell and the people you might not usually hang around with at home can be your best friends whilst travelling. Some of the least unlikely people can blow your mind.

You learn to like being out of your comfort zone.

I’m a strong believer that you grow as a person the most when you’re out of your comfort zone. Being comfortable is a sure way to stagnate. Solo travel puts you out of your comfort zone in so many ways; you have to introduce yourself to people and instigate social situations, you wander through cities where the signs are in another language, there’s different money, different customs. Throwing yourself headfirst into this is going to teach you so many lessons and help you in your future life when you’re thrown into unfamiliar territory.

You become a story storyteller

The shit you get up to when travelling always makes a good story that people want to listen to. You become a source of interest and intrigue. Trust me, talking about the time you trekked through dense jungle for two days to get to the 3rd largest cave in the world trumps a story of getting chlamydia in Zante every time.


Mad life skills.

To top this all off I’ve found that solo travellers are independent, driven, determined and like to do things their own way even if it’s completely different from the norm. I feel this is so important in today’s world where there is the same standardised life plan for everyone set out by society. The solo travellers I’ve met and stayed in contact with are extremely driven and successful in their lives. Many are perusing their personal goals which include personal fitness, career development or personal development with such grit and determination. All this while still keeping up the wanderlust.

I honestly think travelling alone shapes the type of person you are for the better and prepares you well for what life will throw at you in the future. You encounter so many different situations that will both challenge and thrill you. Don’t listen to the people who say you’ll get bored, won’t meet anyone or get robbed. It’s most likely they haven’t been solo travelling before. If you haven’t solo travelled before I highly encourage you to, you never know what you will get up to and you might be surprised by what you find out about yourself.

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70 thoughts on “Why Solo Travel Grows You as a Person.

  1. I love this article – it’s so true that your comfort zone can cause you to be “stagnate,” it’s so nice to feel that solo traveller’s “push” to try something new and different and stop overthinking things. Great thoughts!

  2. Like you, I have travelled alone and with another person. I far prefer the alone version. I am an introvert by nature, but travelling alone forces me out of myself, and that is no bad thing. I end up talking to loads of interesting people and this makes the travelling experience so rich. Plus, I have discovered I am quite the daredevil when I am on my own – willing to give all sorts of things I go that I wouldn’t if I was with someone else. I don’t know why that is, but I definitely challenge myself far more when I am on my own, and feel all the better for these life enhancing experiences.

  3. Interesting. I’ve never travelled alone befor but i’m flying out alone in two weeks. I can’t wait! Nice read. What i do hope is to just experience what’s outside my comfort zone. ?

  4. I am solo traveling for the first time in less than two weeks now! Nothing major like going to a different country but I am going pretty far in my own. I am so excited and nervous for this new adventure! I hope it is just the beginning of my solo traveling adventures.

  5. It’s amazing how diffusion of responsibility is so real, even with just two people. Decision making etc, it is true once you are alone, it is all on you and at first however daunting that may seem, once you begin, it is so empowering-it’s addictive. Also, not judging others while you are alone extends to not judging yourself. When you don’t have a companion, you lose the element of being “observed” and can fully exist in the experience. You make truly valid points, although I think being a woman traveling alone there are some different things to take into consideration.

  6. Thanks for these thoughts – am having a small ‘wobble’ of the ‘what am I doing with my life and why am I doing it variety’, this article has helped me feel bit more stable again!

  7. Hey! Really liked your post and can definitely relate to parts! Although I haven’t yet travelled myself in a country where English isn’t the first language and the customs are totally different, I am hoping to do so at some point and hoping to develop a lot of the points you covered in your post through doing so! 🙂

  8. Its interesting that as far as I can see all the comments are from solo travellers, including me, and I have never seen anyone who never travels solo write to proclaim the benefits of travelling with others and decrying solo travel. Do you think we perhaps feel ourselves sightly superior to those who dont face the open road alone?))

  9. LOVE this post! I’ve done a handful of solo trips and am planning two more in the next few months. There’s no better way to get to know yourself, other people, and remote corners of the world!

  10. Great post! I’ve only done one solo trip (from London to Seattle) and really enjoyed two things about it: deciding what I wanted to do and when I wanted to do it (without taking anyone else into consideration) and not having to share my food. I promise though, I’m not nearly as selfish as I just sounded 🙂

  11. Group Trips are Fun! But, Solo travel is so liberating. Not having to worry about other people’s agenda, schedules, routines, etc., is THE BEST! My female friends take so much time in the bathroom fixing their hair, we could have hit 1 or 2 sites by the time they get done. lol

  12. I would agree with most of your points here – in fact all bar 1 – the first one! I’m really not that sociable! I love wandering around and seeing things during the day, but then at night, it’s “shut out the world”! During the day if people speak to me I’m quite happy to engage, but at night, just leave me alone! Love your post though – the other points are spot on.

  13. People say it’s better to travel solo. I’ve met people along my way traveling, and traveled with them for a while, but then we’d eventually go our separate ways. I gotta say it was nice being with someone though.

  14. I love solo travel for long trips because my life syncs up to wherever I am and I attract different situations in each new place. Each long solo trip I’ve taken was like shedding a layer of skin to self-discovery. I like traveling with friends for weekend trips, because generally that’s more about partying and exploring and mysterious adventures.

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