Top 5 reasons to travel solo in 2014

The Niagara Falls on the Toronto side
The Niagara Falls on the Toronto side

Many may be apprehensive about travelling alone but sometimes it’s the best way to have fun or to get the full experience

Travelling alone is likely to be something you’ve considered but put off because, secretly, you’re terrified.

What if you get lonely? What if it’s not safe? Who will you talk to? Can you really stand your own company?

When my marriage broke down, I thought, what better way to find myself than to take that trip I always wanted.

Because no one else could take three months off work, I was forced to plan a solo trip. The thought of it terrified me and yet I felt empowered at the same time.

Take that leap; it’s one of the best things I’ve done.

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Here’s why 2014 should be the year you go it alone.

Shareen with huskies in Sweden
Shareen with huskies in Sweden

5. Learn to Dine Alone

Before the trip, I couldn’t even eat in a restaurant on my own. Now, I actually relish the chance to do so.

You’ll be amazed by how much better the food tastes when there’s nothing else to distract you. I also met many interesting dinner companions along the way, as it’s only natural that people like making conversation over dinner.

Now I’m forever cured of my fear of dining alone as I see it as an exciting experience – I’ll never know who I’m going to meet.

4. Best Way to Meet People

People all over the world are drawn to solo travellers. They want to know your story and they want to tell you theirs.

Even on days when I didn’t feel like making small talk, I’d always be drawn in by someone sharing a bit of their life with me. A taxi driver pining for his late wife, who was the love of his life. An old couple on their first vacation.

These are stories you probably would not have heard because you’d have been too busy talking to your travelling companions.

Hot air balloon experience in Dubai
Hot air balloon experience in Dubai

3. Catch Up With Old Friends

Got an old friend you’re only in touch with on Facebook because they live halfway around the world? This is the best time to catch up with him/her.

I planned my trip around visiting friends so that every fortnight or so, I’d have someone familiar to talk to and catch up with. It’s not cheating; it’s a great way of easing you into travelling solo.

Plus, did I mention free accommodation?

2. Be as Selfish as You Want

No more waiting for that friend who needs to see that row of shops… again! Or, suffer through that museum you have absolutely no interest in.

Travelling solo is all about you and what you want to do. So, if eating a chocolate croissant in the sun and people watching is all you want to do for the day, no one’s going to stop you.

See and do only what you want. Surely that must sound appealing!

View from the Top of the Rock in New York City
View from the Top of the Rock in New York City

1. Learning to Love Yourself

When was the last time you spent some time on your own, without the TV or plugging in to social media?

Travelling solo lets you do just that, to listen to that inner voice, giving you time to reflect and to think about where you’re heading.

We all need a break from the noise, the distraction and the hectic lifestyles we have. You’ll be amazed how at peace you feel with yourself.

A lot of our struggle in life is due to uncertainty. Going it on your own will help you to tune in to that inner voice that seems to know what’s next for you and how to get there.

Catch Shareen Wong on the only travel show on local radio, “Getaways”, on Wednesdays from 7pm to 8pm, on Power 98FM.

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