The Travel Tip You Should Break: Don’t Travel Alone

Traveling along can be intimidating, but you should certainly do it.

 The Travel Tip You Should Break: Don’t Travel Alone
Marlen Komar

Traveling alone can be an intimidating thing: It’s all on you to plan the route, figure out the trains, and sniff out all the local gems. You’re the one that gets to decide the path you take and how your day will shape up. Getting lost in a new country all on your lonesome can feel a tad nerve-racking, but there are some amazing experiences to be had if you hitch up your backpack and hit the path alone.

Here are six reasons why you should visit a country by yourself — after all, the world isn’t as scary as it seems!

You’re Tasked With Sniffing Out Your Own Adventure

 The Travel Tip You Should Break: Don’t Travel Alone

When traveling with a group it’s easy to lean on the suggestions of others. One friend heard of an amazing cave trek that you should do, another found a friendly hostel slightly off the beaten path, yet another heard of a coffee shop that you absolutely have to try or else you haven’t lived. When more than one mind comes together to plan a trip, you’ve got a lot less work to do which is always a godsend. But when you go all alone it’s up to you to piece together your own adventure. This means the finds become all the more special because they took a little bit of effort to hunt down.

Imagine finding the best banh mi shop in all of Vietnam, and it happens to be a local sandwich cart that moves every day. Can you imagine the congratulatory fist-pumping that would happen after tracking that gem down? So much satisfaction.

You Get To Set Your Own Timeline

Sometimes you happen upon a town or city and you just fall head-over-heels in love. Every café, every winding cobbled road, every charming apartment building reaches out to you and tugs at your heart. There isn’t even much to see or do there, but man are you smitten. In a moment like this you could decide to ditch out on the next two towns on your itinerary and just stay here for an extra week. No convincing the group needed — it’s just you happily following your gut.

You Learn To Enjoy Your Own Company

How many times have you fidgeted at a table by yourself when a friend was running a little late to a bar, or if you were the first to arrive for a group reservation? There’s always a smidge of discomfort when you sit all lonely-like at a big table, but on a solo trip like this you learn to not only trust yourself but to really enjoy your own company. It’s just you and your thoughts and your daydreams, and you can get a lot of planning and wishful thinking done when it’s just you for a solid month. So use this time wisely: try to really meet and get to know yourself.

You Learn To Become More Outgoing With Strangers

Meeting new travelers and taking that first step to make new friends can sometimes be a daunting thing. You have to put yourself out there and open yourself up to possible rejection, even if it is just you asking where the nearest bakery is to your current plaza.

But here's the beauty of it: The more you do it and the more times you throw out that first “hello,” the easier it becomes. Pretty soon it’ll become second nature to you, and you won’t even flinch when introducing yourself to a fun group of people.

You Learn You’re More Capable Than You First Thought

 The Travel Tip You Should Break: Don’t Travel Alone

You somehow manage to find a way to grab a local bus to a town five hours over, hire someone to drive you to a train station two miles away, and then hitch said train to the next bordering country. You found all this with an impressive amount of internet sleuthing and word-of-mouth inquiring. That takes some impressive skill, not to mention a  level and determined head. Two weeks ago you didn’t even think you could handle carrying more than four bags of groceries back up to your apartment, and now you’re finding your own way across Europe. You’ve clearly had this independent, determined potential all along — and now you know it.

You Learn The World Isn’t As Scary As You Think

Sure there’s so much unknown out there. The world is so huge it could make your head feel dizzy, and when tipped into something so overwhelming and new, our gut reaction is to be scared. But as you begin to make your way through it, you realize it’s not so bad. The mysteriousness is part of the charm and adventure. The world isn’t out there to hurt you, it’s there to catch you. So go ahead, jump.

Marlen Komar is a writer living in Chicago with a penchant for mom jeans and kimchi tacos, and primarily writes about fashion history. She has bylines in Bustle, CNN Style, Racked, Allure, Curbed, and Apartment Therapy, and rarely stays in one place too long as she travels for most of the year. Website: