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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   2 min read

Nicole took the plunge and set out to travel solo to the other side of the world. With backpack in tow, this girl knows how to get around Europe and the world and isn’t hindered by doing it on her own. After all, you can make friends on the way! Here’s her take on why everyone should do a solo trip, at least once.

If you haven’t travelled solo before then I dare you to try it – sure, it can seem scary heading out to the big bad world all on your lonesome, but it will rock your world, I promise.

I grew up in a small country town in Australia with a massive crush on Melbourne, the nearest large city to where we lived. For as long as I can remember I dreamt about one day being able to live there and be a part of the excitement, culture and freedom – so it was no surprise that at 18, as soon as I finished school and landed a placement at a Melbourne university, I was off!

It’s funny looking back, because travel was never something I pined after, but I guess taking into account my longing for a new environment as a teenager, then it was only a matter of time before this snowballed into even bigger and better goals – namely, travelling around the world by myself and moving abroad.

And this is just what I did back in January 2006 – With a round the world ticket in my hand and a very heavy backpack on my shoulders I set off half way around the world to the UK, where I tried my hand for a few months teaching watersports, drinking like a fish and making as many foreign friends as possible.

I had an absolute blast, and I attribute this to the fact that I was flying solo…yes, that’s right – alone. Travelling numero uno allowed me to be more open to meeting new people, and it forced me to deal with managing flights, accommodation, food and living – things which I’d never really had to deal with before, and especially not things I’d dealt with on my own.

Since then I haven’t looked back – I now live in London, travel frequently and feel like an extremely confident and competent young woman because I took the leap and did something scary on my own all those years ago.

A lot of people say solo travel isn’t for them, but I always challenge this fear – In my mind no bad can come of putting yourself out of your comfort zone – only confidence building, independence and strength.

So if it’s a new direction you’re after, or maybe you’re just feeling like something is missing from your life, then solo travel is for you – you’ll do things you never thought possible and meet people from all over the world. And when you get home you’ll have a new lease of life and be ready to tackle whatever life throws at you – just be prepared to get extremely addicted to travel and be forever planning your next trip! But let me assure you, solo travel is a bug worth catching!

Have you ever travelled solo? What are your pros and cons for doing it?

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4 responses to “Why everyone should travel solo at least once in their life

  1. What I came to realise is that at the end of the day, it really is your own journey. In the beginning you might feel like you’re out to impress others or make up for lost time.

    The more notches you have on your belt and the more experience you have, you come to understand the only person you’re doing this for is yourself and the people that matter to you. Whether you got a SCUBA license, visited all 7 wonders of the World, bedded the hottest models, visited 101 countries instead of only 100. Its all for you, to satisfy what you value and what makes you happy. At that point its not even about traveling, just living your dream.

  2. Thanks Daniel for your comment!
    I also lived abroad and travelled for a year when I was a university student, like you and Nicole, it was an amazing experience I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.
    If anyone has any doubts or fears, JUST. DO. IT.

  3. I travelled solo for a year when I was about 19 and it was one of the best years of my life! I arranged everything myself, partially funded my travels working online and ended up remote working for a very large Internet company in Australia. So not only did I get my SCUBA diving licence, learn to surf and countless other activities as and when I chose them it also helped me to develop professionally. Highly recommended!

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