Solo travel: travelling alone to find yourself

But won't you suffer from loneliness? And then, eat alone at the restaurant. What if something happens to you? If you happened to hear yourself ask any of these questions, you must have discussed your idea of leaving alone with a person who is not very up to date with travel trends. Of course, these are concerns that probably have made you hesitant too, but the global travel community seems to have decided by an overwhelming majority that it's time to get rid of them. Already in mid-2018, the American travel company Contiki, focused on Millennial targets, predicted that by the end of the year three quarters of its customers planning a trip out of the United States would be travelling alone and so choosing a solo travel.
Even last year, 50% of the people who turned to Intrepid Travel, the world's largest small group adventure travel company, were just travellers that chose a solo travel. According to a study conducted by the Princeton Survey Research Associates International research institute in 2017, 58% of Millennials worldwide would go on an unaccompanied trip. In short, travelling alone is no longer a taboo: the rise of solo travel.

Solo Travel: why travel alone?

So how did it happen that travelling all by yourself went from being a bizarre, a bit crazy and potentially dangerous idea to an exciting project, dreamt of by many and increasingly transformed into reality? There are many reasons, and clearly the Millennials, with their unmistakable lifestyle, have made them the protagonist. But even previous generations approach with curiosity the idea of solo travel. Therefore, it is not, at least not completely, a generational phenomenon.
First, we can consider the now much debated search for authenticity. From consumption to catering, the desire to live authentic experiences has involved different and even very distant sectors, changing the form and orienting the strategies of action. Travel was no exception: living like a local is a motto that has already become mainstream in the world of travel, demonstrating how holidays are perceived as an opportunity to get to know new realities, to make new experiences and to measure oneself in unexpected contexts.

When was the last time you were really alone? Between urban life and the hectic pace of everyday routine, finding time for true inner dialogue is really difficult.

Far from the stereotype of the ideal holiday, all relaxation and sunbathing, a vision of travel as a way of challenging oneself has established itself. Starting alone is undoubtedly a personal bet, which invites (and in a sense forces) to forget your fears and open up to the new with confidence in yourself and in others, and then return transformed forever, as the "transformative travel" suggests. It is no coincidence, that adventure trips are the most popular amongst solo travellers.
Many of those who left for a solo trip have highlighted this aspect: that trip was an opportunity to finally reflect without distractions, often to address unresolved issues with themselves, avoiding the risk of making them emerge later in the form of a crisis. Just the fact of having to worry about nothing else (and no one else) that changes yourself, and not just a little, the perspective on life, even if only for a few days. A benefit that is not insignificant.
We cannot forget, then, the practical advantages of choosing solo travel: when the stability in the lives of many seems by now a distant memory, the possibility of leaving at times of the year unconventional, perhaps planning the trip a few days in advance, is a fundamental advantage. Solo travellers often recognise that they made this choice also because they did not want to wait for someone else to have the opportunity, in terms of time, money and organisation at work and in the family, to accompany them. Beyond the more pragmatic aspects, the trend of solo travel has also been associated with a more generalised ambition of independence and personal freedom. This explains to a large extent why the trend is mainly feminine.

Solo travel is mostly attracting women

More than one person has been surprised, and in fact if we dwell on the issue of safety, the figure may seem surprising: it is mainly women who travel unaccompanied and choose a solo travel. Why is that? Some hypotheses have been suggested, and it is interesting above all that almost all of these are linked to the theme of freedom: to women more than to men, to work as in family life, it happens that they feel oppressed in everyday life. By creating a real community based on empowerment and the sharing of advice and mutual support, the travellers have cleared the solo travel in the female role, coming to represent the majority of travellers and communicating an extraordinary message of fairness and freedom.

The best destinations for solo travel

At this point, did you feel like going on a trip with yourself? Here are the best destinations for a solo travel that will make you wonder why you haven't decided to leave before.

Reykjavik: an unusual urban trip

Considering the particular shape of the country, the capital of Iceland is undoubtedly its cultural and economic centre. The absolute majority of Icelanders live in this eclectic and never chaotic city, universally recognised as one of the safest places in the world to visit alone.

History and adventure in Central America

When you think of a trip to America south of the United States, Guatemala is certainly not the first destination to come to mind. The Central American country, on the other hand, is the perfect place to satisfy both travellers looking for historical and cultural attractions and only the most adventurous ones. Have you always wanted to try kayaking? Then Guatemala is the right destination for you.

Vietnam: between megalopolises and enchanted mountains

Giant and ancient cities, historical markets and traditional architecture, impervious mountains and lakes in the heart of the urban fabric: Vietnam is the ideal choice for those seeking the colourful and chaotic liveliness typical of Asian cities and for those who prefer trekking in the mountains or Tai Chi by the lake. No, there is nothing to prevent you from trying both types of experience: two worlds that could not be more different, in a single destination.

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