Every day, of every month, we are surrounded by people we know; family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, daily interacting with the people around us. Very rare are the days that you see absolutely no one you know and spend it completely by yourself.

The best case for travelling alone is exactly that: to be alone and take time for you. The notion might seem odd to some people, it did to me until the first time I actually traveled solo. While travelling, I always admired the people I’d see having lunch out alone or sitting in a park by themselves. I was both fascinated and intimidated by them, wondering who took pictures of them and do they eat alone every day. You take selfies, and yes having lunch alone is a blessing in disguise!

The first time I traveled solo, I could not understand why I hadn’t done it earlier. It was one of the most empowering trips I had ever been on, and as cliche as it may sound, a real journey of self-discovery. For those of you still on the edge about why you should travel alone, here are some of the perks of traveling solo:

It’s all about you

Being away from your comfort zone, you’ll find yourself a bit challenged if you’re not used to spending time on your own. But you’ll also find that you are in charge of every little thing; your schedule, where to eat, when to wake up, which museums to avoid, which places to visit. The whole trip will revolve around doing things that will make you, and only you, happy. You won’t have to spend hours in line at an Art Exhibition you have no interest in seeing, benefits of being alone means you skip all the things you don’t want to do!

More open to social interactions

When we travel with other people, we usually tend to stick to our group for the whole trip. When you travel alone though, you find yourself interacting with more people and you’re forced to crawl out of your shy bubble and meet new faces. You meet people when sightseeing, at restaurants, walking around, on public transportation. When you’re by yourself, you tend to mingle so much more with strangers than if you were traveling with company.

Discover Yourself

When you go to a different country or city all alone, you find out what you like, what you dislike, the places you love going to and the places you hate. Solo trips, unlike group trips are based on a more relaxed and loose schedule, they allow more time to reflect and get to know yourself better. It’s the perfect opportunity to do all the things you like to do but your friends never want to, you rediscover yourself all over again. I found out on my first solo trip that I love walking around and using minimal transportation, something I was never able to do when I was travelling with company.

It’s empowering

Since that first solo trip, I’ve come to realize how empowering planning and going on a whole trip by myself can be. It’s given me a sense of independence and courage. I no longer feel intimated with only my thoughts for company. Nothing screams Independent more than sitting at a table for one enjoying your favorite meal and having a great time. So go ahead and take that trip you’ve always wanted to take. But do it alone. You’ll learn more about yourself than you ever have. And you definitely won’t regret it.