Now's the time to travel solo

 

If you're anything like me, you simply cannot sit still for a week, leaving you constantly looking for the next opportunity to escape the country and book your next trip. But going on holiday with your partner, friends or family often means you have to make sacrifices on where to go, when to go and what to do.  And sometimes your travel plans just don't align with theirs, or there might just be no one there to go take that trip with you. Luckily for us, being a solo traveler has lost the "lonely hearted" status it once carried, and is becoming increasingly popular. With a growing number of people willing to explore the world alone and seek individual adventures, holiday companies now tailor incentives to attract single travellers, including deals for solo travel holidays. The market is adjusting, and we're slowly waving goodbye to the single supplement, a premium charged to people occupying a room on their own.

 
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Traveling solo definitely has its pros and cons. While the idea of exploring the world on your own may be intimidating to some, it is an exciting adventure considered a life changing experience by most. You’ll never hear a solo traveller tell you anything else than how wonderful and liberating it is to travel alone. While there's no companion to take your Insta pictures for you or help you figure out the route, there's also no one to argue with about where to eat, stay, or what to visit. Going solo provides you with the freedom to do exactly what you want. Gone is the worrying that your orgy of shopping is going to ruin your partner’s day. You have no one else's schedule to worry about but your own, which gives you the freedom to extend your stay if you're tempted to do so.

Of course, there are downsides to traveling on your own as well, safety concerns and health worries being the foremost. There is, after all, no companion to watch your back, which leaves you being more exposed to criminals. But a little common sense goes a long way. Do your research and prepare well, it is crucial for you know about local cultures, especially when it comes down to how to dress, my female friends. Avoid appearing like a tourist, the last thing you want as a solo traveler is to draw any unwanted attention to yourself in a foreign country.

 
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Traveling alone doesn't mean you have to feel lonely. It might take you some time to adapt to your surrounding, but you will eventually get comfortable being on your own. Just be confident and open to meet people, as you will meet lots of them. Be aware though, when traveling on your own, it is essential to let other people know of your travel plans. Even if you're just going on a day excursion to the city, keep in touch with your peeps at home or leave a note in your hotel room. Also, make sure to prepare and get a travel insurance prior to your trip; you should never leave home without, especially when traveling on your own. Travel insurance covers everything from flight cancellations and delays, to doctor visits and emergency medical treatments. You might think that you won't need it but trust me, you'd wish for it the second you do.

Don't put off your travel dreams because you don't want to travel all by yourself. Instead, spend some quality time alone. It'll make you realise how strong you really are. Travel is, after all, about getting out of your comfort zone, and growing beyond your boundaries. Follow your wanderlust, it leads you to the best places — just make sure it's a safe destination, or you know what to expect before taking off.

Photography: BKT