Before jotting down reasons for you to travel solo at least once, let me start with a personal tiny anecdote that you might relate to.
I had always been a sheltered, studious girl in school and college who wasn’t allowed to go for group picnics and trips. My parents would often discourage me, with the predominant reason being their fear.
“Why don’t you just wait until you’re married or at least start earning your own money to travel solo? Waise bhi bore ho jayegi, aur khud ko sambhaal nahi payegi akeli jaake. You want to give us a heart attack or what?!”
The 16-year-old me did not have a comeback for this. I realised that the root cause of me not being able to make my own decisions confidently was because I was monetarily dependent on them. I waited to enter adulthood real quick and earn my own independence. Cut to today﹘the 26-year-old me doesn’t have to seek permission from anyone anymore.
Admit it or not, but the ability to pay your own bills is your ticket to true independence in life. There’s a sense of spatial and cultural freedom that financial independence brings.
And if you’re a working woman reading this article, let me tell you that solo travel is the catalyst that allows you to do things you’ve never done before – and feel a barrage of emotions that you had probably kept on the back burner. Over the last couple of years, there’s been a rise in the number of women travellers opting to go solo. And rightly so, because what’s better than globetrotting alone to connect with your real self?
I’ve been financially independent for more than 6 years now, and funding my trips and taking my own decisions has truly empowered me. So, if you’re a working woman who hasn’t travelled solo yet, here are reasons to invest in some time off for yourself and get-set-wander alone!
Here’s Why Every Financially Independent Woman Should Embark On A Solo Trip
1. More Space (And Time) To Connect With Yourself
While living the several roles the world tells us to live, we often forget to live for ourselves. No matter the destination, solo travelling will give you the time and space to connect with yourself and unravel the various shades of your personality. There’s more time to introspect and enjoy the inner peace that comes with being on your own.
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2. Freedom To Make Your Own Decisions
If you’ve been living in a patriarchal set up, solo travel will be the most fuss-free escapade for you. Imagine waking up at a destination of your choice and eating a meal that you like. Think how liberating it would feel to talk to anyone you wish to and wearing anything you want to. All of this, while spending your own money on your well-being, and exploring the road less travelled. The beauty of solo travel is that you don’t owe anyone an explanation about what you do. When you earn your own buck, no one really bothers questioning you for the decisions you make. The ability to be selfish just for that one time, doing what you want to do ﹘ is what real freedom looks like.
3. Meeting New People Is A Confidence Booster
The world is your oyster. And there is so much to learn from every human being that does not share our culture. Whether you visit the hills, the beaches, a different city or a country, don’t forget to make some travel buddies. Or share your stories with them while also getting to know theirs. You’ll be surprised to see how meeting new people boosts your confidence.
4. Connecting With Your Hobbies And Passions
Solo travel opens the gateway for you to follow your hobbies and passions. You cannot really abandon your friend group and pursue a food walk. Or go vineyard-hopping while your partner or parents want to cover only the touristy spots, can you? But when you’re on your own, you can plan your day around things you are passionate about. You no longer have to worry about whether the people you’re travelling with will enjoy the activities you want to do.
5. Helps You Save A Lot Of Money
The amount of money one chooses to spend on a solo trip is very subjective. Being a rugged solo traveller over the last 6 years has helped me save and be more conscious of my spending habits. It is always good practice to plan a rough itinerary for yourself and document your approximate expenditure. It will help you eliminate unnecessary overheads. When you go with a group, you end up spending on luxury hotels, posh restaurants, and a costlier mode of transport. But if you’re someone who likes to feel the essence of a place and opt for hostels/homestays, local food, and local transport, trust me ﹘ you’ll end up saving a great deal. Solo travel teaches you how to prioritise what to spend on, according to your interests.
6. Your Safety Is Your Own Responsibility
We’re often told that we will never be able to take care of ourselves if we travel solo; that it’s always safer to travel with someone. Unfortunately, this mentality does not have an expiry date. But taking that plunge and travelling alone can teach you how to take your safety into your own hands! I usually carry my own first-aid kit, along with a pepper spray, a swiss-army knife, and portable WiFi. I also carry a whistle that enables me to make noise to attract people if I sense danger. It is also a good practice to download a GPS tracking app. Or share your live location with your emergency contacts. Unfortunately, solo travel for women has its own set of challenges. But if you prep well, nothing can really stop you.
7. Channelise Your Fears Productively
While solo travel may seem like a lot of fun on your Instagram feed, it does take a lot of courage to venture out and explore all by yourself. The world isn’t easy for women to navigate. And believe it or not, I still experience a void a night before I’m boarding my flight to an unknown land. What if I am not able to do a few things because of how unsafe it can be?. What if I get in trouble?.
But it is important to overcome the cloud of ‘what ifs’. And be on your own at least once in life.
Solo travel also helps you tap into your inner potential. If you’re scared of heights, try bungee jumping with a safe group. If scuba diving was on your list but you’ve always backed out because you didn’t believe in yourself, maybe change that on your solo trip.
8. Subscribe To Noise Cancellation
The humdrum of the city or even the painful silence in your home during a pandemic can be really overwhelming. Sometimes, trodding on a journey all by yourself can really help you find a sense of calm. Working from home tends to get more taxing. So you need to know when to pull the plug and unwind, just for yourself.
9. Solo Travel Is The Way Forward
Going in a group is not the best thing to do in a COVID-stricken world. With barely any physical contact with another human being, you’re at a lower risk of being infected with the virus. And that gives you another chance to start thinking about seeking solace in going solo. You’ll be more cautious while dipping your toes into the unknown.
Going solo may take courage, but who said that you don’t have it? When the desire to venture into the unknown surpasses the roadblocks in your way, no one can stop you. Travelling solo is one of the best forms of self-care. And as a working woman, the best way to use your finances would be to fund your own trips and live your own dreams of wanderlust. So, where are you travelling next?
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