• Jo Draper

7 reasons to travel solo

Updated: Feb 21, 2019

At age eighteen, I packed up my car and drove to a remote place in South Australia to start work in a town most people had never heard of. There was something so thrilling and empowering to me, to put myself so far out of my comfort zone and start a new chapter. The first few days were hard. I didn’t know anyone, I was living in the middle of nowhere and questioned why I would ever go there in the first place. That feeling didn’t last long.

That was the beginning of a long journey that led to lots of solo moves and solo travel. It was not long after this I found myself driving across the country again to work over in New South Wales for a snow season. And not long after this, I packed up again and headed to Queensland. Every time, not having a familiar face to greet me on the other side.

I’m now 39 and during my adult life I have lived in thirteen different places and visited countless countries solo. While this nomadic lifestyle is not for everyone I believe solo travel is something everyone should get to experience at least once in their lifetime. These are my reasons why:

You get of your comfort zone and grow as a person

At 19 I packed up my car, left my boyfriend behind and drove across the county to work a snow season in Perisher. I cried for two days while driving over and when I got there I moved into a tiny three bedroom apartment with six complete strangers. Initially it was hard not knowing anyone, having to make new friends, and having someone at home that I loved. Looking back this was such a time of growth and transformation. It forced me out of my comfort zone. I started a new job, lived in a new state, was surrounded with different people and had to make all new friends.

You build confidence

Solo travel forces out the extravert in you. People often tell me that it’s so easy for me to talk to people and make new friends. Confidence certainly wasn’t something I was born with, but a self-taught trait. Every move I have made, every trip I have embarked upon I have had to start from scratch, make new friends and create new experiences. And like anything, practice makes perfect. You do it enough and it becomes second nature.

Its empowering

There is something about walking into an airport solo. You literally have the world at your fingertips. There’s no one telling you what to do, or where to be. You can get off at the other side of the plane and be whoever you want to be. The old saying, “the world is your oyster” will never be more real.

Its total freedom

You can do what you want, where you want, when you want. You wake up when your body tells you to, you book accommodation where you want. If you feel tired, you rest. If you feel like meeting people, you go out. You’re not locked into anything. Everything you do is to suit you. It’s freedom in every sense of the word.

You get to know you!

Seriously. There was a time when I hated being alone. Now I love my own company. I can literally spend days alone and feel great about it. In fact, I crave it. It’s a time to reflect, meditate, journal, to really understand yourself. It’s a time to fall in love with you.

Its brings experiences you simply don’t find in a group

Through solo travel and the people I have met I’ve had so many random and spontaneous experiences. It lead me to staying a five storey mansion overlooking the Jaws break in Hawaii, cliff jumping at epic remote locations through local knowledge. I’ve met people that open up their homes and share their skills. You learn about other people, their life experiences and culture.

Connections and new friendships

Through my travels I have found the deepest and strongest connections. I have made friends I love deeply and consider family.

Solo travel ignites something within you. Its freedom, its empowerment and you grow as a person.

What is your experience? Would you/have you travelled solo? What are your reasons why/why not? I would love to hear!