I’ve been travelling alone for over a decade now. I’m the type of person who likes things that are different, unique, and unconventionally cool. So why shouldn’t solo travel be one of those things? Is it really weird to travel alone? I mean, there are so many reasons why people shouldn’t travel alone from safety concerns to loneliness issues, but does any of that really matter? Should you let others’ opinions about your solo trip hold you back from experiencing something as amazing as travelling alone?
So what’s the deal?
As a travel writer and blogger, I’ve met other solo travellers from all walks of life.
I once noticed a man with a tattered backpack sitting alone in the corner of my hostel; he was looking into his empty coffee cup like it was going to tell him something. I went over and introduced myself, asking if he’d like some company. He replied that, yes, actually it would be nice if someone sat with him for awhile but then he never looked up or said another word. After twenty minutes or so (long enough for me to realize that this wasn’t going anywhere), I excused myself and went back to my room whereupon I discovered that there were dozens—no hundreds—of rooms upstairs! We could have been roommates!
This kind of thing happens all the time when you’re travelling alone; people are so open and friendly in such an intimate way that sometimes there’s no choice but just go with it despite awkwardness at first meeting (or second). Another friend told me about how she was walking down one street when an older lady stopped her on account of having noticed something strange about her shoes (which weren’t dirty). They ended up talking together for almost an hour about everything from children’s books versus adult novels versus graphic novels versus comics versus manga versus anime versus science fiction versus fantasy versus horror stories/movies/TV shows/games…and then parted ways after promising each other they would continue their conversations soon!
Why do people think solo travel is weird?
The answer to this question is simple. People think solo travel is weird because we live in a society that is so hung up on being social. The media, our friends and family—all of them feed into the idea that happiness comes from having other people around us all the time.
The truth is that most of us have no idea what it’s like to be alone with ourselves until we actually get out there and do it! There are so many benefits to traveling alone; you’ll learn more about yourself, discover new things about your surroundings and meet incredible people along the way who share your love for adventure.
Is it weird to travel alone though?
The answer is no. Solo travel is not weird, it is normal.
Traveling solo might be unconventional and exciting, but it’s also a popular choice for lots of people around the world. According to some experts, over half of all travelers prefer to do so at least sometimes!
“Solo travel isn’t weird,” says personal finance expert Stefanie O’Connell in her article about why she loves traveling alone. “It’s actually one of the best ways to see a new city.”
So if you’re considering taking your first trip alone or if you just need some reassurance that what you’re doing isn’t strange or crazy, read on! We have plenty more reasons why solo travel can be awesome—and tips on how to make sure your next trip alone goes smoothly (without any awkwardness).
Stereotypes Against Solos
You might be thinking, “So what? It’s my life, and I want to travel alone. Who cares what they think?”
Well. I do. And so should you, because these stereotypes are going to affect how people treat you while you’re traveling solo and when they hear that you’re a solo traveller. You don’t want people to suspect your intentions or assume bad things about who you are based on their assumptions about other solo travelers and their own experiences/assumptions about people who travel alone.
Unconventional, Yes. Weird? Not really.
Whether you’re on a solo adventure or have chosen to travel with friends, it can be difficult to find the right balance between being social and getting what you want out of your trip.
But is that wrong? Is traveling alone weird? It’s not weird at all! And it’s totally fine if you choose not to travel alone. Traveling with friends and family can be fun and rewarding too (and trust us: there are plenty of great reasons why friends should travel together).
Ultimately, the point is this: solo travel isn’t for everyone—but neither is travelling with others all the time. There are pros and cons no matter what way you’re choosing to do things, so don’t let anyone convince you otherwise!
Solo travel is conventional and cool, yet you might feel strange and even a little turned off by others.
You are not alone. Solo travel is becoming more common, and it’s not weird or abnormal. In fact, there are many benefits to travelling alone. It gives you the opportunity to focus on yourself and appreciate your own company without distractions from others. You can also save money by staying in hostels rather than hotels, which means more money for travel!
Solo travellers aren’t depressed or lonely people who want to get away from everyone else; many solo travellers actually enjoy the experience of spending time with themselves and taking time out of their daily routine just like anyone else might do when they go on vacation at home (that doesn’t mean that depression or loneliness are bad things).
Many cultures around the world have been doing this long before millennials popularized it in North America: think backpacking through Europe during college years (or even earlier).
Solo travel is not weird and everyone should try it at least once in their life. If you’re planning on travelling solo, don’t let anyone deter you from that experience! Read about my solo travel to Iceland, Vietnam, France, and Rome here.