Monday, 7 October 2013

Why I Like Travelling ‘Solo’

What’s so good about solo travel? Why do I travel solo? Whenever I visit a destination alone, I am asked with amazement, “alone”!? Thankfully, solo travel is gradually becoming a norm. More and more people are opening up to it and even pursuing it. But there are still many people who choose to sit home if they don’t have company to travel.

I remember I had a chat with a middle-aged couple on the train while I was returning from Udaipur. It was my first completely solo trip. When they came to know that I came all the way from Delhi to Udaipur on my own, they were in a state of shock for a while. They were a very sweet couple. They shared their food with me and continued to chat with me through the journey. But, they couldn’t take the fact that somebody could travel alone. They simply didn’t get the logic behind travelling alone. I told them that my trip was fantastic. They didn’t seem to care. They couldn’t believe that somebody could enjoy ‘alone’. They didn’t know if there was something like ‘solo travel’.

But I don’t blame them. There are many such people who think travelling is only about taking a holiday with your loved ones. I knew I could never make them understand why I loved my solo trip so much. And I didn’t care to make them understand either. It doesn’t matter and it shouldn’t matter.


I like travelling solo for many reasons. Read my earlier post 5 Myths About Travelling Solo

It’s a different experience

First of all, travelling solo is a very unusual experience. From the moment you reach your destination to checking in to your hotel – everything is different. There is an undercurrent of excitement that builds from the feeling of discovering a new city on your own!

And the discovery begins right at the railway station/airport. Even the simple things like interacting briefly with your cabby, taking your room’s keys from the hotel manager or ordering your first cup of tea - it’s the beauty of familiarizing yourself with the new place that makes the experience amazing.

I like my own company

Yes, I like being with myself! I give myself total freedom to do what I want to do. I don’t bore myself. I don’t persuade myself to do something that I don’t want to do – that’s why I like my own company. This is the biggest secret of solo travel – you don’t have to do something that your companions are doing even if it bores you to tears.

Even if you are travelling with your best of friends or very loving siblings, you will not like their company as much as your own! If your friends like to booze and party late till midnight, while you want to wake up early for sunrise, what should you do?

I am independent with my travel plans

My travel plans don’t suffer because there is nobody to accompany me. I travel whenever I want to. I don’t have to figure out if my friends are available or if my family is there. I just need to plan my dates, book my tickets, research my destination, book my accommodation, pack my bags and set off!

I really don’t want myself to be in a situation to be waiting for my friends to be available for me to travel along. If I want to visit a destination and I don’t have company, I should not plan a trip - No way!

So the idea of solo travel has given me the freedom to travel whenever I want to. If I have company, it’s a bonus (I will have somebody to click my pictures), if there is nobody to accompany me, I am still going!

No blame game

There is nobody to blame you for anything! You make your own mistakes and you deal with them on your own. You are not accountable to anyone. On the contrary, everything is smooth on a solo trip – you check in your hotel with a smile, dump your luggage, take a shower, get ready and set out for the day. Even if you don’t like a certain place, you can just chill and tell yourself, it’s okay.

You just follow your heart

Solo travel allows you to follow your heart wherever it takes you! If you don’t want to shop, you don’t! Well, if you do then nobody can stop you! If you want to spend more time at a sight and skip another, you are free to do that.

What I enjoy the most about solo travel is that I can click as many pictures as I want. I can pause, wait and look for moments to capture because there is nobody standing on my head. It is such a relief! 

You call the shots completely!   

Have you experienced a solo trip yet? Would you like to?

46 comments:

  1. I'm going to do my first solo trip this year. I'm really excited, but also really nervous. Right now, I'm going through a stage of sleepless nights, cause I'm so worried and nervous. Saying that, I can't hold my excitement. I'm sure I will love it as much as you do, though.

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    1. That's great! I am sure you are going to have a great solo trip! Do your research deeply and just be confident and cautious.

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  2. my first solo trip was to hampi a few months back...

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  3. Solo Is the Best way, I also travel Solo most of the time. A G+ for ur post and have a nice day. . . :)

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    1. That's nice :) And you know Rajasthan is the best place to travel solo. You too have a nice day!

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  4. I too enjoy traveling solo for many of the reasons you mentioned. But, mostly because it makes me feel powerful and free :)

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    1. Yeah, that's true, Annette! It boosts your confidence and teaches you many things.

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  5. I also love to travel solo because it helps you meet like minded people. Great post. :)

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    1. Thanks Vishnu :) Yeah, that's true.

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  6. oh i'm just waiting for a chance to do it :D
    even a walk to the gym and sitting alone by the beach makes me feel out of the world. i can only imagine how an entire trip would be :D
    what a joy :)
    http://nomadfashionista.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/celebrate-good-times-2/

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    1. That's right! It's an amazing experience :)

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  7. I absolutely second all your points. I too love travelling solo. In fact I am presently on a solo ride. :)

    http://rajniranjandas.blogspot.in/2013/10/shiva-linga.html

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    1. Thanks Niranjan :) Hope you have a fabulous trip!

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  8. Very interesting article, Renuka! your views are so nice and encourage to do the solo travel.
    thanks for sharing your experience with us..

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    1. You are welcome! Thanks to you, too :)

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  9. This is the best description of why people should travel solo that I have read, and there are many out there. The line: "I don’t persuade myself to do something that I don’t want to do," is priceless.

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Traveling Ted :) That's really encouraging! Solo travel has given me a better perspective of life...it has boosted my confidence and enriched my knowledge.

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  10. nice trip...I like the story...just come to my site also

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  11. Hey.. I completely agree with what you have written here. I remember when I was travelling solo in Chiang Mai and met a few people on a bus. They acted as though they felt sorry for me. They assumed that I was having a terrible time just because I was alone and they could not be further from the truth. And it is not like I cant find someone to travel with me. I just prefer going solo because, as you said, I can be myself and do whatever I like. Great post!

    I wrote a small post about this a few months back. Check it out if you can. Thanks

    http://goodoldboots.com/everyday-ramblings/travelling-alone/

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    1. Thanks Arpan :) I can relate to you. People have misconceptions about solo travel. Sure I'll check out your post too! Thanks for sharing. :)

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  12. So true and and must say it is an encouraging post for all those who love travelling :)

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    1. Thanks Anjum :) Yeah I intend to encourage people to travel - even solo!

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  13. Although not much of a Solo-Traveller, I agree completely when you say, "I like my own company, I don't bore myself". I would go to a quiet place and just sit there, reflecting. I guess this accompanied with travelling to newer places would be an interesting thing to do :)

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    1. Thanks Sushant :) I'm glad you found this post useful. Solo travel is a deeper way to travel, because when you are with somebody (unless that person is totally like you), you tend to ignore most of the interesting things.

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    1. Thanks Ayngelina :) Yeah, solo travel is great!

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  15. Renuka,
    After reading this blog, I am damn jealous of you! :)
    Nice to see such encouraging and informative posts...
    Please visit more places and put it on your blog!


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    1. Ha ha! :) I am glad you found inspiration to travel here on my blog! Thanks for visiting!

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  16. You should use this udaipur pic as ur profile pic too :)

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    1. Thanks Amit, I am in a process of changing the look of my blog, so this advice is very timely!

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  17. That's pretty cool sharing and your blog for the solo traveler is great. I always preferred to solo travel because it is a great. Through the solo travel we just depend on ourselves. I love your blog writing style. Now I am looking for east coast tours to enjoy my summer vacations far from the house.

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  18. I love traveling solo for the same reasons you mentioned. However, I don't mention it around for two reasons a. safety b. having hte burden of explaining to people who wouldn't understand. Having suffered myself, do not accept food in any Indian train even from families. You might wake up without your luggage.

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    1. Haha! Yeah, that could happen! It's better to be safe than sorry. Thanks Oblivious for stopping by! :)

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  19. Hi Renuka! I'm doing Masters in France, I have already planned for a solo trip during my two months vacation I'm coming to India. I start my Journey from Coimbatore (Tamilnadu) and I'm going to Hampi,Goa,Ajanta Caves, Udaipur,Jodhpur,Jaisalmer,Jaipur,Haridwar Rishikesh,Dehradun,Khajuraho and Back to home. I don't find any good places in between Jalgoan (ajanta caves) and Udaipur. This is going to be my first Solo trip. And help me to find some good places.

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    1. Thanks Joyson, for stopping by! You can visit Bangalore in Karnataka. It's a lovely city. Even Gujarat is a great option. All the best for your solo trip through India!

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  20. When you travel solo, do u choose a touristy spot usually on the radar of travellers or you throng to a p[lace less travelled to explore more and have a unique experience

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    1. So far I have chosen touristy destinations, but now I'm opening up to less explored ones too. I'd suggest that one should start traveling solo with popular destinations. That's easier.

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  21. want to go first solo , where to start destination ?? shimla?

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    1. Yeah, why not. Shimla is great to start with your solo journey. In fact, I'd say Sikkim is a great solo destination.

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  22. More than anything else, I love the freedom expect of traveling alone. I can do whatever I want. Can't wait more for my next 6 month solo trip across India in September. Gonna start from north-east India. Pretty excited I am. Was bit anxious but your this post cleared all my doubts.

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    1. I'm glad to hear that, Manish! Your solo trip through India sounds exciting! All the best. :)

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  23. I am traveling solo for past almost 5 years. I have to admit solo is good because there is focus and curiosity during journeys though traveling with another traveler is a responsibility but has its own good. Few times solo and few times with a traveling partner is a good choice I think so and I prefer.

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    1. Rightly said, Tushar! Solo travel has its own benefits, while traveling with a partner is a different joy.

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  24. My name is Harbir Mann, I am a 23 year old female. I took my first solo trip last summer to Europe and it was the most memorable experience of my life! I enjoyed the independence immensely and flexibility to do what I'd like. A lot of people had looked at me surprised and said I was brave to be travelling on my own. But the reality of it is that you meet so many people during your travels. I enjoyed spending time running around beautiful cities during the day, coming back to my hostel and socializing in the evening. I have made friends all over the world. There was a rare time that I felt lonely, but in that loneliness I reflected and used it as an opportunity to learn about myself. I plan next to go back to Europe and for a longer period. I highly recommend to any females reading this, go out and do a solo trip!! Don't let fears of "being unsafe" stop you.

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    1. Nice to hear about your European solo trip experiences, Harbir. :-) Yes, solo travel isn't a dangerous idea. It's very much sane and normal.

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