I often go on holidays by myself to places where I know no-one. That is apparently strange, especially for a Nigerian. Whenever Nigerians ask me who I went on holiday with or who I stayed with when I was away and I say no-one, they stare at me in shock for a few seconds then quickly follow the silence with a barrage of questions. The white people I meet never seem surprised however.
One of the most common questions I get when I say I travel alone is ‘Why?’ and here I would like to follow George Bernard Shaw’s lead and say ‘Why not?’ I travel alone so often that I quite like it now. The very first time I did it, I was nervous of course but today, it’s a piece of cake. I want you to try travelling solo too so here are a few reasons why you should:
1. You get to go where you really want to go.
I know loads of people who go to the UK and not just to the UK but to London every single year. And not just because London is a great city but simply because that’s where they know people they can live off for free stay with or because they are too scared to go somewhere new by themselves. If you really want to see a new place, going to London yet again isn’t going to help. It’s not like there’s a promo where if you go to London 10 times, you’ll get a free trip with a friend to Greece. Stop dreaming about Greece or Malta or Fiji and get up and go there yourself.
2. You get to travel whenever you want.
I learned this some years ago. A friend suggested we holiday together. Cool, I thought. I told her my vacation from my office was set for June. She said she couldn’t take time off in June. I said okay when could she get time off and she said she wasn’t sure but maybe in August. She later said she wouldn’t even know if she could take time off until August and that she could even be denied vacation time then. Meanwhile, I had to tell my office a set date if I wanted to move my vacation from June. My friend wanted me to put off my leave indefinitely until whenever she could get time off at which point my office would probably tell me I was joking if I felt I could just take off whenever I wanted. The friend and I didn’t go on holiday together that year and have never done. If I am honest, being able to travel whenever I want is my biggest reason for going alone.
3. You make friends more easily when alone.
It’s true. You’re more approachable when you’re alone. If you’re looking for romance, it’s more likely to happen if you don’t have a wing-man/ woman. Ditto if you’re just looking to make friends.
4. You learn more.
Being alone makes you to go out of your comfort zone. You are forced to find out about the transportation system of your location, where to eat and maybe even forced to try speaking a foreign language. The last is a lot more fun when you’re alone as there’s no-one around to laugh at you. Of course, all of this only works if you make yourself leave your room. I never cease to be amazed by people who stay indoors in a new place then complain about how boring their trip was. Strange.
5. There are no arguments.
There’s nothing quite as bad as going on holiday with someone then fighting everyday, or even worse, fighting so much that you stop talking to each other. Sleeping in the same room would be a nightmare! And it would surprise you the number of good friends who go on holiday only to end up squabbling. It’s one thing to be friends and hang out from time to time, quite another to spend every minute with each other for a week. Best be on the safe side and holiday alone.
6. Your confidence grows.
If you go to a place where you don’t know anybody and you go alone and actively try to enjoy yourself, you’ll be amazed at how proud of yourself you’ll be when you get back home. You find out that you’ve done something many people in the world want to do but don’t have the courage to and you find that you actually liked stepping out of your comfort zone. If you made a success of that, what else could you be successful at if you tried? Asking out someone you thought was out of your league? Writing a book? Starting a business? You won’t know unless you try.
Travelling with friends or a lover can be fun but if you find yourself alone, wanting to travel and aren’t sure what to do, take Nike’s advice and just do it. Travel solo!
Want to know when a new blog post of mine comes up? All you need to do is subscribe. It’s free! Just enter your email address into the box on the right and click on the link that will be sent to your email address in order to activate your subscription. Want to get in touch with me? You can do so via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GooglePlus or by sending me an email. I’m on Pinterest andYouTube as well. Woo-hoo!