Loneliness is one of those feelings people dread as if it’s their worst enemy. Quite logically, considering embarking on a solo trip can be a scary thought. On one hand, there’s this nagging fear you will end up spending weeks or months on your own. On the other hand, the experience sounds tempting because it offers full flexibility and freedom.

So, what’s stopping you from taking the plunge? Ironically, it’s not the potential of feeling lonely that’s holding you back, but your current self. Of course, you will inevitably be completely on your own at times, and sooner or later you’ll have to face up to your fears and shortcomings. But travelling alone is probably the greatest gift you can give yourself. You’ll undoubtedly learn a lot from the experience. You’ll find that there’s a lot more to solo travel than the few moments without companionship you’ll experience.

Greater self-awareness

You’ve just arrived in a new country and nobody knows who you are—gone is the awful feeling of being judged all the time!

You’re given a chance to start from scratch. No need to pretend you’re someone you’re not, no need to act this way or that way. Quite simply, you can just be yourself.

Throughout this unique experience, you’ll learn things about yourself that you didn’t know before. You may realize you didn’t dare be yourself because you were afraid of being judged. You will also build, develop and cultivate all aspects of your personality and identity. It’s amazing, really, and sooner or later, you’re bound to say: “Wow, I didn’t know I was like that!” Indeed, one of the rewards of travelling solo is greater self-awareness.

Stronger people skills

You might think that when you’re on your own in a foreign land, you have to be cautious and distrust other people by default—after all, your safety is at stake and they may not have your best interests in mind.

While this attitude makes sense, this is also a time of your life when you will have to rely on other people to get around and get by. If you’re lost, you’re going to have to ask a passer-by for help, right? And similarly, if you want to socialize, you will have to reach out to people, whether at the bar, at the hostel or even on dating apps. If you set out with good intentions and an open mind, you’re bound to attract like-minded good people.

For instance, I’ve never felt as often in good company as I do when travelling alone. Before I left on my trip, I assumed I was the kind of person who wasn’t easy to approach. This was a limiting belief.

Once, someone struck up a conversation with me as I was standing there, contemplating the landscape or architecture. We ended up spending the day together, wandering around, exploring places and learning from each other. So, being alone on a trip teaches you how to meet people and open up to others. There’s no other way to do it if you don’t want to feel lonely.

The ability to say goodbye and move on

I don’t know if you’re like me, but I get attached to people and places pretty quickly. During your trip, you will connect with many different people but sadly, some of these connections won’t last. As a solo traveller, you’ll learn to accept that some people are only in your life for a brief moment. Meanwhile, you’ll meet people who will become a surprisingly important part of your life.

Ultimately, you will always get something from all these connections, like some passed-on knowledge that will stick with you. A tiny piece of them will always remain with you.

Everyday spontaneity

The best trips are the kind of trips that aren’t planned down to the second. Travelling solo often epitomizes flexibility because you’re free to go with the flow on this adventure—who knows what tomorrow will bring, and who cares!

You can finally listen to that inner voice that really knows what’s good for you—your instinct.

And along the way, you’ll meet people whose plans may change your own (lack of) plans. This is how you may end up in places you never thought you’d explore. That’s the beauty of spontaneity. Even better, if your plans take an unexpected turn, it will become yet another travel story to share with your loved ones.

A carpe diem attitude

As a solo traveller, you will have plenty of time to reflect and you will learn to live in the moment. You will never be the same age again in this particular destination, so may as well make the most of it.

Time may seem to slow down as you live life to the fullest or it will just go by too fast. Knowing that both these precious moments and the connections made on the road won’t last will teach you to seize the day. You’ll see that, over the years, these moments will become the best memories ever.

I’ve often been told that the best years of my life would be my years as a university student. I think these people have never experienced travel.

Learning from mistakes

Big or small mistakes, like bouts of loneliness, are simply inevitable on your adventure. Sometimes, you will just shrug and wish you had been more careful. Other mistakes will have a bigger impact on the journey and make you curse yourself.

But ultimately, mistakes are the best lessons. If you understand how you made the mistake, you won’t make it again. Over time, you’ll come to accept making mistakes because they are part of the adventure and the experience. You’ll learn from them, and they’ll become a story to share.

Frugal living

A backpack, hostel dorms and cheap street food—solo travel teaches minimalism and frugal living. You will quickly realize you don’t need much to live decently. Four sweaters, two pairs of pants and a pair of shoes can be enough for a few months on the road. From a practical perspective, everything has to fit in your backpack anyway, so you’re going to have to make some compromises.

As for true budget travellers, hotels and proper restaurants won’t even be an option. Who cares, at the end of the day, you just need a roof over your head and a meal!

Knowing what YOU really want

A backpacking trip is also a journey into introspection. As you know, there will be times when you will be alone with your thoughts, reflecting on your past and your future. Above all, you’ll be questioning what you really want in life. What’s more, the people you meet will change your outlook on certain things, helping you unknowingly to pinpoint what truly matters to you.

No matter how long your adventure is, whether it’s a few months or a whole year, it will change you and you will come back a new version of yourself—a version that was only hidden and revealed itself along the way. Honestly, travelling alone is like therapy.

Enjoying your own company

Although you’re bound to meet people and share exciting experiences with them, you will explore new places, sample exotic food and go for walks on your own. You will get used to your own company. As time goes on, you’ll come to appreciate them. You’ll learn to cultivate your independence and self-esteem. In any case, the only person you can really trust is yourself.


Je suis Meghan, rédactrice web pour Pvtistes. Je suis Québécoise, originaire de la Côte-Nord. Je suis en PVT France depuis un peu plus de 1 an déjà. Je me suis installée dans le département du Nord, à Lille.

I’m Meghan, a writer for Pvtistes. I’m originally from the Côte-Nord region of Quebec. For my working holiday, I settled in Lille, the Nord department of France, and I’ve been here for just over one year now.

Add to my favorites

There are no reviews at the moment.

Please login to be able vote.


There are no comments at the moment but feel free to add your own 🙂