It’s no secret that solo travel has its benefits, being able to do what you want, when you want, not having to wait for someone to travel with, but going out on your own and facing your fears on your own makes it sweeter.
Solo travel can help you to become more independent, to find out more about yourself, push you out of your comfort zone and help you figure your life out (sometimes).
But in all honesty solo travel can be exhausting and sometimes it really really sucks.
Sometimes it’s not the ‘having the time of your life, finding yourself experience’ that we read about so often.
In this post, I want to share with you the few reasons why solo travel can sometimes really suck…
(I am not trying to talk you out of solo travel because most of the time it is incredible, but rather just give you facts on what you could experience during your solo trip.)
It sucks when things go wrong and you’re left to handle them on your own
Don’t get me wrong, I consider myself to be pretty strong and independent, and I can handle the hurdles that come my way. Much in part thanks to travel. But sometimes it’d be nice to turn to someone else and say, “what should we do now?”, or to reminisce about all the things you have seen and all the amazing things you did.
It sucks when you don’t feel like making all the decisions on your own
Sure, it’s nice to have the freedom that solo travel can bring but sometimes it’s nice to bounce ideas off someone else and have them help with the decision making, or even make suggestions of what to see and do next. If you choose your travel partner wisely, they might even enhance your trip by having you do things that you normally wouldn’t and push you out of your comfort zone. Travel is all about stepping out of your comfort zone, but sometimes when you travel solo it’s easier to stay within it.
It sucks when you don’t feel like being social
I’ve come to realize that having no one to travel with should never be a reason to stay home because the truth is that solo travel is rarely solo. There are so many opportunities to meet people when you travel and make friends on the road, from the good old-fashioned face-to-face way or through websites and apps like Travel Meetup or Facebook meetups.
I’m more introvert than extrovert, and I’m not the only traveller who is. Travelling can be a shock to your senses and sometimes I need to be on my own and recoup. There are times when I don’t feel like being social and meeting new people, but then I don’t always want to be on my own either. When you travel solo you often make your friends in your hostel, but it can take effort making those friends over and over again, and it’s an effort that sometimes I just don’t have.
Backpacking or travelling long term makes it much easier to meet people, because of the luxury of time. I don’t need to worry that spending time hanging out with people and getting to know them will mean that I miss out on something else I really wanted to do. Plus, usually, I’ve gotten into the groove of meeting people everywhere I go and it’s much easier to start up a conversation!
It sucks when you want to be social but it’s not happening
Sometimes the hostel you’re staying at sucks. Maybe it’s offseason and there’s no one around, or no one seems approachable. One of the most difficult things I find about solo travel is when I want to meet people to do things with or go out with during the evening and it’s just not happening for some reason. That’s when solo travel can really feel lonely. As much as I and many other solo travellers tell you that solo travel doesn’t have to be solo, sometimes it just is.
It sucks when you’re homesick
People ask me if I miss Canada at all. What I do miss is the people. I miss my friends I’ve known for years and my family. And when some big event is happening in their lives and I can’t go because I can’t afford to get to the other side of the world and back? Then yes, I get a form of homesick. And if I’m travelling solo at the time then it can make it worse. Even if I’m in some beautiful tropical place, I’ll have a slight bit of sadness and a speck of guilt that I’m missing yet another milestone in the life of someone I care about.
But all in all, remember you are on a trip of a lifetime and you have to remind yourself that it’s ok to feel homesick, but also don’t let it ruin your trip. Spend a day be sad and maybe treat yourself to a western meal but then bounce back, thrive and enjoy what every country you’re in.