If plans for a group trip ever come to fruition, it is somewhat of a small miracle. Sure, group trips are great for making memories with those closest to you and experiencing new things together. Maybe I have become too used to the idea of me traveling solo everywhere and anywhere that group trips now sound way less appealing to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love when my friends and family that will travel want to plan a trip with me, but these are usually far and few between. This is why I find myself going on more solo trips than traveling in a group. And why I have grown to prefer solo travel over traveling in groups. Before you come at me with the torches and the pitchforks, let me share my reasonings with you and maybe convert you over to the dark side.
The biggest headache and probably the number one reason group travel plans usually fizzle out after their initial thought is trying to coordinate with everyone. Everybody has to get off of work on the same set of dates. If everybody is lucky enough, they will get that PTO. Then, there is booking airfare. This can be complicated if the group lives around the country, or worse, the world. Even if the heavens part and you get the perfect flights, airlines have a funny way of messing up your schedule and making it nearly impossible to line everyone’s flights to still coincide. You also got accommodations to worry about. Everyone will have different preferences. Someone might be fine with just a pillow and blanket on the floor and another might have to have a five-star luxury resort. And last but not least, there are the activities to research. You run into the problem again of one person who is an adrenaline junkie and wants to go skydiving and another who would rather visit a museum every day of the trip. Now I know that it might be easy to make compromises or even some people do one thing and others do another. But if you travel solo, you don’t even have to think about any of this. No coordinating, no making plans for others. You are only in charge of yourself. You make the calls on everything and anything you want to do. Don’t feel like doing a damn thing one day? That’s okay! Want to stay out all night and crash once the sun comes up? You do you!
When you have the bubble of the group of people you are with, I feel like it is harder to make new friends. You have your people to talk to and you are content. I’m sure one group might hang out with another group from time to time. Traveling solo pops that bubble and makes you leave your comfort zone to talk to other people and hopefully make some new friends. Personally, I love this aspect of solo travel because I know I would never usually walk up to a group of people and try to strike up a conversation, but being by myself has made me do it. You have to or else you will just talk to yourself the whole trip and sometimes you need a break from yourself.
Another reason to take a solo trip is it gives you the freedom to do whatever you want when you want. You can stay in bed all day and take allllll the naps or you could travel to a completely different city or country if you no longer want to stay where you are at. With group travel, it is harder to deter from the original plans as other people are counting on you. You don’t want to be that one person who goes rouge and then the rest of the group can’t find you because you decided at the last minute to do something different than everyone else and didn’t tell them.
I would say the reason why I love to travel solo so much is that, honestly, I like to be alone. Let me get on my soapbox here. I am a single, child-less, 20-something woman. I am what they call the exception to the rule. Almost all of my other close friends and family are married with kids. I’ve had to learn to enjoy my company because everyone else has grown up and moved on with their lives. I don’t ever expect to get married or have kids at this point and I’m sure there will be some people who say “Oh, you still have plenty of time!”. Truth is, I love my life most days. Do I ever feel lonely? Of course, but I am usually happiest by myself. It shouldn’t be this awful thing to end up alone. Traveling solo makes me feel that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. I love the feeling of planning out a trip and finding new things to try. I like meeting people different from myself and different from what I’m used to. Yes, I am alone, but I’m not lonely.
Even if I haven’t convinced you to join the world of solo travel, I do hope that at some point in your life you will take a trip by yourself. It is a scary, but eye-opening experience to know that you are in this new and exciting place and you have to figure out how to maneuver around because there is no one there to help you. It is all up to you. You come to realize just how capable you are. Group trips might make you feel alive, but solo travel is where you really thrive.