Why You Should Travel Around the World Solo

Solo military spouse traveler

I recently took a solo trip to Malta. I have traveled alone a few times, but not very much recently. Although I love traveling with my husband, friends. And my mom is definitely one of my favorite traveling partners. But something wonderful happens when you travel solo. Something liberating, something terrifying, and something extremely fulfilling too. Solo travel has its advantages. It was the first trip, I never had to justify eating cake for breakfast.

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Why You Should Travel Solo

1. Driving

Normally my husband does all the driving when we travel. Partly because he likes to be in control and partly because he doesn’t think I’m a great driver. He can’t forget that I looked the wrong way in an English roundabout, almost killing the whole family. Good grief, that was years ago and we didn’t die. Even though I am an excellent driver, my instinct is to grab the passenger side door handle without saying a word.

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I admit I’ve had my bad experiences behind the wheel, check out I Blew up the Car when we lived in Germany.


But I was solo

So I was forced to drive myself and I feel so empowered. I learned to drive on the right side of the road, with the steering wheel on the right side of the car and the clutch in my left hand. And I did it while navigating by cell phone. My hubby would have fought fiercely against me being in the driver’s seat if he went to Malta with me.

Out of necessity, You learn to multitask.

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2. I Was the Logistician

Normally I am a big picture person. I pick destinations, activities, restaurants, etc… He is the one that gets us from A to B to C. I defer to him for that because that’s what he does for the US Army and he is an excellent logistician.

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No one to Rely on

I didn’t have anyone to rely on. It was my job to rent the car, plot the courses, and do all the budgeting. I’d give myself a B-. Hertz robbed me, but I’ve learned what to look for next time.

Going solo You learn to depend on your instinct and decision-making skills.

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3. I Enjoyed Getting Lost

My hubby does not like detours and is visibly and audibly frustrated when we get lost. Remember he is a trained logistician, so he needs details. When I am on holiday, I don’t care for complicated agendas, I am more flexible. I like detours. And on this trip, I took lots of them. One afternoon, I asked my waiter what he suggested I do and I scraped my plans altogether.

Solo travel forces You learn to go with the flow.

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4. I Was okay With What I Did

And I don’t mind. I saw exactly what I wanted to see. I didn’t have to justify what I wanted to do or not do. Some of the things I did, i.e. reading by the sea, won’t make anybody’s top ten list, but it was a highlight of my trip.

I Had it All Planned Out

And another funny thing happened. I love ruins, churches– all the old stuff. I usually can’t get enough of it. And my husband loves them too, but after the top 3, he’s done. Well, so was I. I didn’t just tick off must-see on this trip, I spent way more time trying to live like the locals, something I’ll try to duplicate when I travel with my husband in the future.

Solo travelers become more than a tourist, more than a traveler.

5. Picture Mode Was Set to Off

You might think it weird BUT not taking pictures was the number one reason I enjoyed this solo trip. Especially, because I am a blogger, an amateur photographer, etc… Sometimes we feel that if we don’t have a picture of something, it didn’t happen or we didn’t see it. I need to have a picture to share later on FB or Instagram. I took a few selfies, but that wasn’t my focus.

You could argue that I was distracted by all the other things on my plate. But I wasn’t. I took pictures, but most of my adventures are stored in my mind’s eye.

You travel for yourself.

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Comments

  1. Renata

    I totally agree. I’m a solo traveller – most of the time – too. However, if I have the opportunity to go with a friend or with my daughter, I enjoy that, too. It’s simply totally different. There are advantages and disadvantages in both ways of travelling. Therefore, I like to do mix it up a bit – whereby, quite honestly, if I had to choose, it still would be solo travel πŸ˜‰

  2. Ruth

    I agree with you. My husband and I have different interests. When we travel together, the trip need to focus on our common interests and that is ok. However, it feels great to do what you want to do do once in a while.

  3. Holly

    I’ve always wanted to travel solo. I’m kind of nervous about it, but it also sounds very intriguing given many of the reasons you mentioned! xx

  4. Rain

    i’m definitely planning some solo trips. i need them to clear my mind plus it’s fun to be able to do whatever you want without having to see if someone else agrees.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      You can pretty much travel anywhere alone, some places are better suited for couples because accommodations are more expensive for single travelers.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Yeah, its difficult. I had parents and girlfriends who stepped up and allowed me to travel solo every now and then. My mom even moved in when I got a scholarship to Oxford to help my father. I feel blessed.

  5. Tanya | Intimate Explorations

    Like you, I enjoy traveling with family and friends, but there’s something special about traveling by yourself. I did it a lot when I was younger, and I have so many fond memories. And you’re right, it builds a confidence that no one can mess with. Congratulations on your adventures!

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Thanks Tanya, exactly. I hope to do all the above more often. I love girlfriend trips… especially when you go with the right people.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      I agree. It’s something you have to overcome. The initial shock of being by yourself, but if you have a great imagination, you can really learn a lot about your passions, strengths and weaknesses.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      I love travel anyway I can get it. This trip was a combination because the Malta part was solo, but I got to travel with my son in Venice and daughter in Sicily… the best of all worlds.

  6. Chrissyadventures

    I remember my first solo trip. I drove over 12 hours to get to Virginia Beach Virginia to be with my sister while she had her first child. It was so empowering. I felt a sense of Freedom that I had never felt before.

  7. Jen Temcio

    I love hearing how empowered you felt and how much you learned about trusting yourself and just enjoying whatever you encountered. I should do a solo trip to get the same experiences and grow as an individual.

  8. Jenn and Ed Coleman

    I felt this exact same feeling this weekend when I was diving. I have been taking a lot of dive classes lately but last weekend I was just out leisure diving. I was able to navigate out to the dive site, execute the dive plan, and then return to the shore with underwater navigation. All of this sounds simple but it was exhilarating to have everything being executed under my power and responsibility.

  9. Dahn

    I have traveled solo a few times and there are some things I appreciate about it but I never enjoy it as much as I do when I am traveling with someone that I can share the experience with. Kudos to you for seeing the brighter side

    1. duffelbagspouse

      I feel ya. Theres always a few moments when you wish you had company or could share with someone. But I get over it quickly.

  10. Terri Beavers

    I get lost a lot lol. I prefer to go alone to places that I know I’m going to take a lot of photos at as well. The kids get impatient and it’s just not something they enjoy. Mabe one day I can make it there.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Lol, my kids were fun to travel with as kids, they are a lot more fun as adults. And they like cake for breakfast too.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Sondra, go for it. Start with a weekend trip and plan some activities. Its strange because my hubby is military so I’ve had to do a lot of things by myself. I go to the movies, eat alone, etc… But while I was gone, he didn’t eat out alone for the 5 weeks. He said it was weird. I carry a book with me and its fun.

  11. MICHELLE GWYNN JONES

    Oh, yeah, traveling alone is great. Unless there are meetings you are on no one’s time schedule but your own. If I want to leave by 8am to see the sites there is no one to rush out the door or if I decide when the alarm goes off that 11 might be a better time, I just close my eyes.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Exactly. Alone I realized I had seen enough ruins, churches and temples. And did some other things. I never get to that point when I travel with my hubby, so I learned something.

  12. Joan Cajic

    I travelled solo this year for just a few weeks and I must say, I really did enjoy the whole entertaining myself and figuring out stuff as I go. It really is a good experience for one to have.

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