7 Reasons Why Solo Travel is the Tits

7 Reasons Why Solo Travel is the Tits

Sometimes you write to convince others of something.

Sometimes you write to convince yourself of something.

I’m four months into (another) solo round the world trip and I’ve been wondering why I’ve done this to myself AGAIN. I LOVE travel. It’s my jam. But sometimes I get lonely.

Therefore in an effort to convince myself that I’m doing the right thing, and that solo travel is in fact the tits, I wrote the following list of reasons.

1. You can do whatever you want.

You don’t have to museum when you want to jungle. You don’t have to market if you want to hammock. Travel is wonderful when you get to share it with someone else. But it can be equally wonderful when the only person you share it with is yourself. Especially if you don’t have to spend 30 minutes weighing up the pro’s and con’s of taking a tuk-tuk to your twenty-third temple of the day. People travel on different budgets and it can be a nightmare trying to compromise when you’re in a group of more than one. Sure, you can ‘rock, paper, scissors’ to decide whether go to the Lady Boy Cabaret or not. But sometimes it’s all just a bit too hard and you end up playing play ‘Go Fish’ in the hostel until two in the morning instead.

2.  You can be whoever you want to be. 

You can be slutty or boring or a deaf mute when it’s just you. Maybe at home your name is Janet and you’re an accountant with OCD. But when you get on that plane to Nicaragua you get to be a fire twirler called Honey with a thing for hard cheese. You can be bigger than you are at home or you can shrink to fit inside the hand of the hot Chilean gentleman giving you looks from across the bar. Chances are though, you’ll become the person you’ve always wanted to be—when you aren’t worried about the opinions of the people you’ve known since you were four.

3. You can eat when you want to.

Whenever I’m ‘in the wild’, pretending that the world is literally my (lightly-seasoned) oyster, I find myself eating when I’m actually hungry. As opposed to eating by the clock or at the whims of someone else’s stomach.  I know this probably makes me sound like a blunt chopstick but to me solo travel is about freedom. There’s nothing more freeing than eating breakfast at 11am and lunch at 7pm and having a coffee in between from that cute little hipster cafe that serves their lattes on tiny planks of wood. When you travel by yourself it’s easier to follow your own rhythms and blow with the wind.

4. You’re more likely to meet weird and wonderful people from all around the world.

When you travel in a couple or with friends you’re less likely to want to mingle. Solo travellers are forced to meet other people. And the awesome thing is that when people aren’t worrying about being on time for their next meeting or trying to match their shoes to the colour of their lipstick they’re more open to stare into your eyeballs and have a one-on-one conversation about the taste of oranges and wanting to be a good person.

5. You can change your middle name to Spontaneous (or Sugar, I’m not here to judge.)

You want to go left to Laos instead of right to Cambodia? Dope. You want to lie in the sun working on your impression of a limp zucchini? DO IT. You want to shave your head and live in cave in Georgia? I salute you. (We all do.)

It’s fun to get up in the morning and decide what you’re going to do for the day over pancakes. To not have everything already mapped out because your travelling companion needs to be in Peru in four days time. How marvellous to look at your Wednesday like the fabulous mystery that it is.

Solo travel gently nudges you to make friends with the present moment. Like you’re a fluffy lamb and the “right now” is a puppy and you’re frolicking together in a field of daisies.

6. If travel gets you out of the ol’ comfort zone then solo travel is the equivalent of injecting yourself with ‘roids. 

Who doesn’t want a well-defined personality? Who doesn’t want to be the person who is able to deal with all the shit life throws at them and goes back for seconds? Your bravery muscle gets a good workout when you travel solo. You have to rely on your wits alone, what your gut tells you and the instincts that you’ve buried under layers of programming.

7. You have to make friends with the most important person in your life: you.

The relationship you have with yourself is the longest, most vital one you’ll have in this lifetime. (If you don’t count your rose gold iPhone, which I sometimes do.) If you don’t like yourself and don’t enjoy your own company this ride (called The Meatsuit Experience) is going to suck. When you travel solo you’re forced to be your own Thelma AND Louise, your own Beavis AND Butt-head, the spaghetti AND the meatballs.

What do you think? Have I convinced you that solo travel is the tits? Because I think I’ve almost convinced myself. Solo travel for EVERYONE! Forever.

Tracy Ashworth

P.S. If you’re a fan of travel and you’re looking for a fun travel read check out my novel ‘60 Ways to Die in South America‘.