We all know doing a big, adventurous backpacking trip or escaping for a week of luxurious alone time can help you ~~find yourself~~ … but there are a few other practical reasons to ditch the company and discover the world on a solo mish.
1. You learn to be self-sufficient – you won’t have anyone looking out for you when you’re travelling alone, so you learn to look out for yourself beforehand. You have to organise travel insurance, flights, visas, shots, accommodation, transport… everything! (Side note: make copies of everything and give them to everyone back home. THEN go on your adventure.)
2. You master your fears. Just getting through a huge international airport without guidance can be intimidating enough. Props to you for getting through that without giving up and riding the baggage conveyer belt in foetal position. The self-confidence you earn on a solo trip will last you forever.
3. You master the art of packing a top-notch suitcase. When you travel alone, you don’t have anyone to constantly affirm your babe’n looks before you hit the cabana so you need to make sure you feel great in everything you pack. As in, you’ve figured out you should always leave the ‘my arse feels massive in this’ shorts at home.
ON THAT NOTE…
4. You find out what clothes really work for your body. There’s no better way to see if a trend fits than buying something you’d be too self-conscious to wear at home and rocking it around a resort like the motherflippin’ kween you are. As far as everyone else knows, you wear pastel pink dungarees and mirror sunnies all the time and everyone back home is totes jealous of your trendsetting style.
5. You appreciate the local cuisine a million times more when you’re not simply stuffing it into your gob between words. When eating by yourself, in silence, all your mouth juices go towards tasting and digesting. Full. Body. Experience.
6. You can pamper yourself guilt-free. Splash out on a few nights at a luxurious resort like Bali’s AYANA Resort and Spa (from $404 per night if you’re interested) and dedicate the whole time to relaxing. Get a massage every day. Heck, get two a day. Then go for a facial. Try a new and exciting treatment you can’t get at home, like AYANA’s hydromassage pool (jet streams, micro-bubbles and geysers literally pound your muscles until you’re so relaxed you can’t move). Because you’re worth it.
7. You figure out how to small talk like a boss. You’ve introduced yourself to that guy at the bar, those two girls by the pool, that couple behind you in line for the restaurant – even though you’d never say hey to these people IRL. And they seemed to like you! Snaps for you! You learnt that with the help of a cocktail or two, conversation naturally flows.
8. You gain wisdom beyond your years. In the absence of your usual crowd, you find yourself talking to people of all ages and cultures. They have wisdom and experiences and stories to impart and you come away feeling like you’ve truly experienced what the world has to offer. After a solo stint, you’re basically, like, Yoda.
9. NEW HOBBIES AHOY! Even if mountain climbing/hiking/snorkelling/yoga/yodelling/donkey riding is not usually your thing, no one else will know that – just fake it ‘til you make it! If you like it, you can keep it up once you get home. If you sucked at it, don’t post the photos - no one will ever know you failed.
10. You become wise in the ways of the solo-dolo photo. You discover these three key strategies:
- You become comfortable asking other tourists if they could take a quick snap of you in front of the pool/temple/waterfall.
- You embrace the selfie stick you’ve always secretly wanted to try (don’t lie!). Ergo, no one can mock you for this later.
- You sneakily prop your phone up and start recording while you swim off into the infinity pool/lean against a wall and stare wistfully into the distance/do a cartwheel on the perfectly manicured lawn/pull off that great yoga pose you learnt. You can pause and screenshot the video later for candid action shots. In a nutshell, you’re like fricken Kim K with a personal photographer.
11. You learn a new language… or at least, key phrases of one. Sometimes you just really need to know how to ask where a toilet is, ya feel? #lifeskills
12. If you’re single, there’s always the possibility of a magical holiday fling. Like Baby from Dirty Dancing. Own it.