Looking for inspiration to travel solo?
“So when are we leaving? What days have you applied for leave at your workplace?” I asked my friend Ankit, with whom I was planning a motorbiking expedition in the Himalayas.
A long silence at his end was a clear understanding of the fact that the deal is cancelled.
“No man, the thing is I might not be coming along, something really urgent has come up,” he confessed, in his usual tone.
This happened yesterday, and since last 24 hours, I’m constantly consoling him to reconsider (rather than finding inspiration to travel solo), like a stubborn, innocent kid, trying to make him realise what fun we are going to have on the trip. None of my friends wants to replace him either. Everyone is busy with their work and routine.
“The man who goes alone can start today, but he who travels with another must wait until that other is ready” Henry David Thoreau
And then I realised it’s the same pattern that has been repeating over the years.
Though some people have definitely joined me, the majority of them have cancelled their plan because something urgent always comes up, forcing me to travel solo.
These experiences, if put together to find a pattern, have taught me – if I’ll wait for others, I’ll never go anywhere. And this is how I found my solo travel inspiration.
So, this time as well, as is often the case with me, I am going to travel solo.
Update: One month after writing this blog, I’ve completed the trip I was asking Ankit to join me for, and it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. You can read all about it here – Solo Motorcycle Trip To Spiti Valley.
Initially, it can be a little scary to travel solo. It is possible that you will find it hard to overcome loneliness while travelling solo. But for me, not visiting places I wanted to, was scarier and a more lonely feeling – hence solo travelling became a way of life.
So let’s get back to the point, and check the reasons why I travel solo. These reasons will give you the inspiration to travel solo:
Why I Travel Solo
I Don’t Want Others To Hold Me Back
To honestly admit it, I was never a born solo traveller. In fact, I was always very much afraid of it.
What if I get mugged?
How would I enjoy all solo travel?
These little insecurities always played their part. But it was only after a few solo journeys that I learned that solo travelling is not as risky or boring as it may initially seem.
I travel solo because other people cancel their plans. I travel solo because I can’t let others hold me back.
From the very beginning, I knew that if I put off a trip because of other people, I can never travel and explore the world.
So when someone called-off their plan, I didn’t!
I Wanted To Travel Solo
I remember the first time I travelled solo, I had no intention of doing it. I was scared, but somewhere deep inside me, there was a voice reassuring and pushing me.
“What if I don’t like it?”
“You can come back,” returned the voice.
And it sounded like a pretty strong assurance. I was not going to jail. If ever, I felt bored or realised that solo travelling isn’t meant for me, I can pack my bags and return!
“We cannot expect to grow if we are too afraid and not willing to face challenges. When we exit our everyday, mundane lifestyle, to do something different, we experience personal growth”
I know for fear of the unknown is a real thing in solo travelling. When we know that we have to face all the known problems out there on our own, our mind starts backfiring.
But you’ll never learn how well you can handle it unless you give solo travelling a try.
So next time you plan a trip and your travel partner tells you they cannot join, take it as a challenge and travel solo.
And if you happen to be a woman, remember that there are many solo female travellers out there.
Solo Traveling Gave Me The Ultimate Freedom
Solo travelling gave me the ultimate freedom I always wanted from my journeys. The fact that there is never anyone to nag on me or override their reasons, made solo travelling a habit.
When you are on your own, you are not obliged to do as other people want.
Do you want to leave? Leave. Do you want to eat McDonald’s? Eat a McDonalds. Do you fancy a particular experience? Have it.
You wake up and it’s just you, and in that freedom and infinite space of possibilities, you explore yourself. You hit the limits of what you like and don’t like, and you understand yourself better.
Solo Travelling is A Self-Development Tool
For me, solo travelling is self-development.
I am more confident and outspoken now that I travel solo. And this transformation from being introvert to being extrovert happened over time.
And this change is only natural. I mean when you are repeatedly ending up in a new country, with no one receiving you at the airport, you will have to take help from strangers and sometimes make them friends too. You have to find a solution to all your problems.
The entire aspect of exploring the world on your own makes you bolder, smarter and self-reliant.
So don’t wait for people or let them hold you back from your travel dreams. There’s only now, and if you won’t leave now, you may never leave.
I mean if I hadn’t stopped waiting, I would still be convincing Ankit or someone else!
Also Read: My Biggest Solo Travelling Lessons
If you happen to be an Indian just like me and are looking for more inspiration to travel solo, I have made a list of top solo travel destinations for Indians. The list includes both Indian and international destinations.