Depending on who you ask & where they come from, you will get a difference of opinion on whether or not there is a stigma attached to traveling on your own. While we live in a time when we are largely free to live our lives as we please, we are not free from thoughts & beliefs of others about the things we do. Yes, we shouldn’t worry about the opinions of others & we should do what makes us happy. However, believe it or not, there is still a stigma attached to solo travel.
How can you tell there is a stigma?
When you tell a friend about a place you visited & they respond with “Oh… you went by yourself.” in a surprised voice. Maybe that person didn’t know or maybe they were genuinely concerned for your safety, but that fact shouldn’t be any more surprising than going on a trip with other people. Since we can’t seem to help ourselves from over posting our travel pictures on social media, you might find a comment on Facebook or Instagram to the tune of “Who are you there with?”. These comments imply that a person should be on a trip with someone else & that just simply isn’t true.
There’s this idea that people who travel alone are only doing so because they have no one to go with, that they are antisocial or that they are in need of some serious personal breakthrough. Perhaps these are reasons that some people might choose to venture off alone, but most solo travelers opt to do so for other reasons. These reasons are numerous & range from preferring to do things at your own pace to meeting new people or maybe even to experience the emotional high that comes with challenging yourself in new ways.
I’m not saying solo travel is better than any other kind, but we need to lose this idea that it happens as a last resort or is reserved for sad single people. Maybe the next time someone tells you they travelled alone, hold back on telling them how scary or lonely that is & take a moment of appreciate they’ve stepped out of their comfort zone & done something they wanted to do.
Keep traveling, keep safe.