Solo travel, I’ve done my fair share. From moving to Australia and exploring alone, to discovering fascinating places like Cambodia and Cologne with just me, myself and I. I love documenting my adventures, too. But now I’ve entered a new phase in my life, where I’ll be mostly travelling with my fiancé – who’s just as keen for adventure as me.
Over the years, I’ve found there are some clear pro and cons to both and I’ve learnt a lot from both experiences. Here’s the lowdown.
Solo travel is a really fulfilling experience and I would wholeheartedly suggest it to anyone with a love for travel. One of the big pros is the independence you develop from going it alone. You spend time learning about different cultures and destinations, and along the way you end up learning a lot about yourself.
It’s helped me discover how to cope and adapt to new environments that were sometimes dissimilar to my own. As a result, it can massively build your confidence. Whether it’s making yourself approach a group of travellers in your hostel or braving a breakfast alone, solo travel can be one of the best ways to learn more about who you are as a person, while also making lifelong memories.
Despite all the amazing skills and potential knowledge you gain, there are also challenges to face too. Actually building that confidence can sometimes take a few trips – it’s different for everyone. During that adjustment period, you may find the experience overwhelming or a little lonely.
I’ve definitely endured a few solo dinners where I’ve felt the need to constantly reach for my phone for something to do (tip: burying yourself in a good book can be more fun!). Or you may need to ask a random person to take your photo in front of that famous landmark you so desperately wanted to see. Any type of travel comes with challenges and solo travel is no different.
Doing it together
Travelling with your partner or close friend also comes with surprises. It’s a great opportunity to learn so much about each other. You share experiences, you bond, you discover who’s the best at sniffing out the coolest restaurants – and whose navigation skills aren’t quite up to scratch.
There’s always someone to take your photo and to share experiences with – like that feeling when something amazing happens and you get a rush of adrenaline. I’ve also found that I tend to discover more with my partner – seeing the world from their perspective too. Plus, you can share the anxieties that come with travelling somewhere new as you’re both in the same boat.
Couple travel comes with its difficulties though. You’ll need to compromise when planning a trip and also during your time away. The destination, what you’ll do or even the duration you spend somewhere all needs to be agreed together. For those used to travelling solo, having to include someone else in these decisions may not be so fun to begin with.
This goes with travelling in any form of group, be it in a couple, with friends, family or even strangers. But that’s the fun of doing things together! A trip to that veggie restaurant you wouldn’t have even considered if it wasn’t for your partner, may end up being one of the best things you do during your trip.
Solo travel and couple travel are both incredible ways of travelling. And you don’t just have to stick to one or the other! Even if you’re travelling a lot with a partner, there’s nothing stopping you from travelling independently too. Plus, that solo trip you’re just about to embark on may end up leading to couple travel in the future.
With any type of travel, you’ll have good days and more challenging days. But that’s all part of why I love to travel; the unknown, the new experiences and the people you meet along the way. Here’s to the next trip!