A slightly modified version of this post was published on Elite Daily
1. You will truly understand the word “freedom.”
When you travel alone, you essentially get to live without consequences. (This excludes serious crimes, of course!). You can share as much or as little of yourself as you wish. Your history does not chase you on the road. You can be vulgar and opinionated or more low-key, if you choose. The point is, you don’t have to be Facebook friends with the people you encounter if you don’t want to; you don’t have to exchange contact information. You get the chance to start all over, even just for a little while, and be whomever or whatever you want, without anyone or anything linking you back to your “normal” life. You are no longer tied down.
2. It makes you more interesting
I’m not saying that women who don’t travel alone are not interesting. But I will say that I have never met a female solo traveler who is boring. Think about it: The most fascinating people you know are great storytellers, right? They are the life of the party, the ones who always have a crazy anecdote or adventure to captivate and mesmerize a group. When you travel alone, and I mean travel and not tour, you will meet some of the smartest, kookiest, creepiest, most obnoxious, warm, supportive, inspiring people you will ever encounter in your life. (Yes, you do meet these people on tours and when traveling in groups, but not to the same extent as when traveling solo). Simply relaying the experience of meeting those people will make you a fascinating storyteller. Bonus: I have never met a female solo traveler who has a hard time getting a date. Peg leg or glass eye, solo female travelers catch dick.
3. People respect you more.
“Strong, brave, fearless, passionate, independent, adventurous...” Who doesn’t want these words used to describe them? Any woman who packs a bag and goes to another country, whether it be England or Venezuela, Laos or Uganda, is deserving of all the above adjectives. The last thing anyone can call you is “weak.” Traveling alone means that you grab the reigns to your independence and to your sense of fun. Traveling alone demands respect.
4. It makes you respect yourself more.
When you travel alone you go outside your comfort zone. Language barriers and basic cultural differences are enough to make you more than a bit off-balance, not to mention if you’re in a politically heated climate or in a country with extreme gender inequalities. When you travel alone, you only have to worry about yourself. You can sleep in if you want, or spend hours in a cafe or walking around a city. You can leave a country early if you aren’t having a good time. You can do all of this without ever having to worry about a travel companion’s comfort level. You just have to take care of yourself. When you travel alone, your health, your safety, and your happiness are all you need to consider to make your choices. Traveling alone is a great way to cultivate strength, appreciate your power, and realize that you are all you need.
5. It gives you a chance to be selfish
A lot of women struggle to be selfish. We are, after all, the more nurture-inclined gender. Women often associate alone time with guilt. That putting ourselves first, instead of a family member, a lover, or a friend in need, is selfish and rude, and instead we should aim to be selfless and make everyone around us happy. If you travel alone, and for the time you are away from home, you focus only on what is going to make you happiest while still keeping you safe and healthy, I guarantee you will return home to your friends and family and you will be a better nurturer to them because you have taken the time to nurture yourself. After experiencing a new part of the world, your spirit will be full and vibrant. You will feel energized and excited. Above all, after traveling alone, you will feel enormously grateful for where you have been and for where you currently are. You will cultivate the deepest sense of compassion for humanity, and that will make you a better friend, sister, daughter and lover.