Six reasons why solo travel is my Soul Therapy

When I announced my plans to travel solo to Goa,  I encountered a lot of raised eyebrows from my friends. Some of the questions were “Travelling solo in Goa? Why?”  “Why are you not taking Sai (my husband)?” I realized that people still have reservations about travelling solo, and that it is supposed to be the last resort when you have nobody to accompany you. It nagged me that we are still not comfortable with the idea of being alone when travelling and that it is not out of concern for safety. It sometimes borders on snide judgement about not taking our partners if we are married.

I love travelling with Sai and my friends. But, I also indulge in occasional solo travelling as its my Soul therapy. It heals me as an individual and adds a dash of panache to my life.

Here are my six reasons why I choose to travel alone.

1.  I get my dose of ‘self confidence’

I travel solo to infuse self-confidence into me when I am low. Every time I travel solo, I feel powerful and independent. The feeling that I can go to a new place and get my way around new roads and transport system, communicate with people who don’t understand my language and keep myself safe and happy is equivalent to shots of self-confidence vitamins. I return to the workplace more in charge of my situation after my ‘solo’cations.

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On my solo trip to Vienna, I decided impromptu to take a river cruise to Bratislava instead of the train. It turned out to be really fun. Travelling in Bratislava surely toughened me up!

2. My individuality is nurtured

We are influenced by many people each day, be it at home or workplace. They have a strong bearing on how we perceive the truth. Somewhere in between monotone of our daily life, we lose a sense of our individuality. We forget our own opinions and beliefs, and embrace some of the strong opinions coming from our friends or co-workers. Solo travel offers me a healthy distance from external biases and I return home a stronger individual.

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My recent trip to Goa was all about taking a healthy distance from work and people

3. I can travel according to my pace and interests

It comes with acknowledging the fact that every one wants to travel in a certain way. Sometimes we are ready to meet at common grounds for companionship. And, I am absolutely okay doing that. But, at times I want to travel the way I want, without the guilt of boring others or getting bored myself. When I visited Vienna on my own, I spent days studying palaces, museums and operas. Sai being the outdoors guy doesn’t like such visits. I am glad I did not drag him into doing it.

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After tons of hours spent checking out palaces and museums, here I am at the Cafe Central to try some of their lovely desserts

4. I am more open to making new friends

When we travel with others, we hardly look out to meet new people. We might engage with strangers purely for information or courtesy. But, we are more likely to meet new people and seek out interesting conversations when alone. Be it the waiter at a restaurant I am eating, who also part-times as a martial arts performer or a fellow female-solo traveler who ends up inviting me to her home in California – I have a pocketful of interesting stories and people I have met on my solo trips.

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Apart from people, I sometimes befriend animals too. My favorite pic from my solo times in Iceland!

5. I have a healthier relationship with myself and everyone else

There are times when we are at a different place compared to our spouse or friends, and it’s important to embrace these differences and make time for ourselves. Travelling solo has freed me from expectations from others and better manage my relationships. I understand the importance of personal space for my husband and friends. I feel responsible for my own happiness and have lesser expectations from others. This has also helped in healthy relationship with my husband, since I don’t get a sense of being confined or neglected.

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At peace with myself – in Goa

6. I get my “me” time

A’ solo’cation gives me substantial “me’ time. I can choose to introspect or observe the people around me or silently look at the sun setting over the horizon. I can pamper myself with loads of great food all to myself or go on a shopping spree or just cozy up in bed with a book. It is all my way.

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Travelling solo is my Soul Therapy. I am sure it will work wonders for you as well, just give it a try!

P.S. I would love to know why you choose to travel solo and your trysts with solo travel. Post your comments below.

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Six reasons why solo travel is my Soul Therapy

  1. I am on a bachelors party to goa and it was a 4 day trip, first 2 days all of us(6) had same preference but third day became more like boring as you want something which others dont and vice versa.
    Today (the last day) i wake up early and left home while others were sleeping, having maggi and watermelon juice on the beach made me more relaxed than having chicken tikka and beer…
    swagatika i can very well relate to your blog …. keep it up… its a great therapy…

  2. Great post Swagatika! Thanks! I too find solo travel a powerful antidote to the sometimes narcotizing routine of daily life. Novelty and change of perspective awaken us to be in the moment – and for those of us who are married and love being part of a couple, it is also wonderful to renew our individuality and get a chance to miss our spouse and have him/her miss us! : )

  3. Just watched the move 180° South the other day. My favourite quote says, “The best journeys answer questions that in the beginning you didn’t even think to ask.” This sums up what my solo travels bring out in me. Very good post!

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