Here's Why You Should Take A Solo Trip At Least Once

Sitting by yourself at a restaurant, relaxing on the beach alone, traveling to a new place solo; these could seem scary. You may assume that people might think you're a lonely, friendless loser, but you'd be wrong. Granted, there's nothing like traveling to form new bonds with friends, family, or a significant other, but a solo vacay is worth doing at least once for lots of reasons (via SmarterTravel).

First of all, it's pretty unlikely that anyone is negatively judging you for traveling alone. It's probably the opposite. A travel writer told National Geographic about a solo trip Down Under: "During my last solo supper in Australia, a British woman approached me. 'I don't want to interrupt, but I just had to say something,' she said. 'I think you're incredibly brave. I've seen you around town this week and you look like you're having so much fun. I wish I had the courage to travel on my own like you.'"

As courageous as you may seem and feel, you're likely to feel lonely at times. But, don't worry, you will meet new people. "Traveling alone forces us outside of our comfort zones, which makes us more receptive to new people and experiences. On some trips, you'll have interesting conversations with people you'll never speak to again, which is fine. Some people can remain fond memories. On other trips, you'll make friends — like-minded creatures you've impatiently been waiting to meet all your life," traveler Carrie Miller wrote (via National Geographic).

Solo travel means you get to make all the rules

You get to make all the rules. Want to sleep in? No problem. Splurge at a fancy restaurant or eat cheap street food? Your choice. Spend all day at some obscure museum or landmark? Go for it. According to SmarterTravel, "When traveling with others, we are often selective about suggesting activities that we hope everyone will enjoy and find a good use of precious vacation time. If one of these activities doesn't work out, it can be a source of guilt and conflict."

Traveling solo can also build confidence. Bonus, that confidence will still be there when you return from your adventure. SmarterTravel Senior Editor Sarah Schlichter talked about her experience traveling alone. "I remember how scared I was the first time I traveled by myself—and sometimes I still am. It can be lonely and unsettling not to have anyone else around for backup. But being able to get yourself out of a jam or figure out where you are when you're lost can give you a new sense of confidence and faith in your own resourcefulness."

Traveler Monica Houghton wrote for Forbes about why you should go for it. "[...] I do find myself cringing any time I hear someone cancels a trip because a friend couldn't go. The world is just too big to have to wait around for someone to go with you every time you want to go on an adventure." So go on, get out there!