Currently, traveling is taking on a new meaning as the world adapts to a new normal and the notion of a traditional vacation is shifting. Many people are used to going on family trips with large groups but as people turn inward to find spiritual meaning within the chaos, solo travel is becoming more common.
In general, traveling is beneficial, even if it is just used to get away from your normal routine and the alleviate the stress of daily life. Traveling alone, however, can bring even greater benefits, as we’ll discuss here.
Solo vs. Group Travel: Why Going It Alone Is Sometimes Better
Taking a trip with family or friends can help build bonds and lasting memories. Many people are used to traveling with others, so the idea of traveling solo can seem daunting.
Shared experiences shape our lives, making it hard to see the value in going it alone. However, there are plenty of benefits of solo travel. Being alone on a vacation allows for a travel experience where you can take insights and sounds uninterrupted while also relying on yourself to navigate and interact with locals.
Additionally, solo travel is becoming the go-to for people in search of spiritual enrichment. Combined with spiritual retreats, solo travel is a powerful tool for exploring our mental and physical selves and decompressing from the stress of the outside world. The act of going on vacation is brave in and of itself and, if nothing else, doing so builds self-confidence that is transferable to our everyday lives.
One of the best things about solo travel compared to group excursions is the power of choice. For example, if you work for a demanding boss or live with a controlling family member, going on a solo trip can be an empowering experience. If you want to spend a day learning about your surroundings or interacting with the locals, there’s nothing stopping you. All itinerary items are left up to you and you’ll never be stuck participating in activities that were voted on by the group—everything is up to you on a solo trip.
Solo Travel Is the Ultimate Form of ‘Me Time’
As jobs demand more of our time and we are bombarded with technology at every turn, unplugging can seem like a novel concept. As a society, we are often overly concerned with the external and rarely get a chance to turn inward and learn about ourselves.
Nearly everything we do—from work to leisure activities— involves others. As a result, we have little time to address personal issues. Traveling alone serves as a great opportunity to get to know yourself on a different level.
Traveling alone can help you address things that may be holding you back in life. For example, if you have trouble making decisions, a solo trip can help reinforce your decision-making skills. You will be responsible for planning and executing a successful trip with no outside influence.
Problem-solving is also a skill that is reinforced on a solo excursion. If issues arise during your trip, such as a change in accommodations or modifications to your itinerary, you can decide how to proceed in a way that serves you rather than having to accommodate the input of a group.
Other benefits of solo travel include the ability to participate in intensive retreats without being discouraged by others; spiritual solitude that allows you to define your life’s purpose; the ability to focus on addressing specific personal issues; and opportunities to try new experiences, spiritual techniques, and cuisines without judgment.
Preparing for Your Solo Spiritual Journey
In his book The Zen Of Solo Travel, Michael Jason Sherman details how traveling alone for the purpose of spiritual enrichment can help improve your life. Solo travel can be very therapeutic and can give you answers that are hard to find in a group setting. Whether you stay local with spa or yoga retreats or travel internationally, you will have the ability to dig deep and search for deeper meaning yourself.
When it comes to determining if solo travel is right for you, the decision is deeply personal. Consider your current views on traveling alone and take time to ease yourself into it if you find the thought uncomfortable.
Try to step out of your comfort zone by dining alone or engaging in activities that are typically done in groups by yourself. Doing this will allow you to get comfortable with your wants and needs and will better prepare you to travel solo.
Another way to ease into solo travel is to plan a short trip to a place you are relatively familiar with. This gives you just enough time to see how you respond to solo travel without overwhelming yourself with a longer trip.