Before I was the founder of Cascadian Journeys, I was an avid traveler myself and often traveled solo. Traveling with friends and family is fun, but solo traveling forces you to step out of your comfort zone. And when you step out of your comfort zone while traveling, you'll get to experience a certain kind of magic that you would never experience if you had the comfort of your loved ones right next to you.
Here's some of my favorite things about traveling solo:
1. You'll meet more new people. If you travel with people you already know, you might get to meet some new people, but often times we end up sticking with those we know rather than branching out. Some of my favorite random travel conversations happened with strangers on a bus, at a restaurant, or on a trail while exploring in a foreign country or city by myself.
2. You get to do what *YOU* want. Traveling in groups or pairs inevitably means a little bit of sacrifice to make sure that everyone's happy. And that's ok. There's certainly a benefit to traveling with our loved ones and those sacrifices are worth it. But it's also worth it to try solo traveling and see what it's like to plan and customize your entire trip just for you.
3. You'll learn things about yourself that you never even knew. Since you'll be forced to go out of your comfort zone, you'll be introduced to foods, activities, cultures, people, and worlds that you never even fathomed. You might find yourself zip-lining through the Amazon or spying turtles in the Galapagos. Sure you can do all this with people you know too, but when you do it by yourself, you're more open to fully immersing yourself in the experience and learning a lot about yourself along the way.
4. You'll pretty much become a certified badass in the eyes of everyone you know. Your friends and family will be so impressed that you dared to travel to far off mystical lands by yourself. What they don't know is that those far off lands aren't as scary as they might think. But we can keep that as our little secret and let them believe we're the badass that they think we are. Because regardless, we are all certified badasses in our own ways.
5. Coming home will be that much sweeter. Yes, I said it. When you travel solo you'll experience some of the most amazing magical times you've ever experienced, but after a while you'll also miss the comforts of home and the people you left there.
I recently had the pleasure of guiding a solo traveler on one of our Swiss Alps of Oregon journeys. Prior to booking her trip to Oregon, she reached out to us and asked if we charge an up-charge for solo travelers. Although I'm a business owner and of course have business expenses, I'm a solo traveler myself, first and foremost. I created Cascadian Journeys to provide memories and experiences for all travelers, not to make those experiences prohibitive for travelers who decide not to travel with others (or perhaps don't have anyone to travel with, been there, done that!).
When traveling solo, going with a tour guide like Cascadian Journeys can help make the magic all come together. You won't have to figure anything out and worry about wandering around aimlessly by yourself (although we won't knock those who want to wander around aimlessly, that's fun too!).