Solo Travel Stigma

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.

DanVenture Travels

74 thoughts on “Solo Travel Stigma

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  1. I’ve always preferred traveling solo. As an introvert, I like taking the road less traveled and being spontaneous which doesn’t often suit others. I never get lonely and when I feel like spending time with others, there has never been a problem meeting someone new and getting to know them and their stories. As a therapist, I’m a good listener and most of the people I meet, have interesting stories to share.

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  2. I know lot of people from western country travels alone compared to asian countries when it comes to tourism. The stigma of being loner and “thats why traveling alone” is more to do with the country culture. In Asia people are more socially bonded with everyone, so when they travel alone to another country for tourism, people stigmatize it. However in most western countries people prefer individualistic life. So it is less stigmatized there i guess.

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  3. I agree with this so much! Some of my best trips have been solo, and it is an experience I recommend to EVERYONE, no matter how many people you have in your life who are willing to travel with you. It is a learning experience (in addition to a damned good time)!

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  4. OH gosh. I never thought about a possible stigma. I’m so used to exploring on my own now, BUT…I guess you made me stop to think that sometimes some people do say, “Don’t you ever get lonely?” Or some people will offer to go with me. That actually makes me panic. There’s a freedom and a bravery that comes from solo travel. And also a peace. Yes, there are times I wish I could share whatever experience I’m having BUT…that’s what photos and videos are good for right? And if it’s that cool, it will warrant a return trip. Great post!

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  5. As an Indian woman who travels solo at least once annually, I know this stigma so well. Nobody’s ever said anything outright frightening but I’ve got that shocked look many a times. Other sightseers have been curious – “Where’s your husband?”

    A few would ‘compliment’ – “You’re brave to travel alone!” But I’ve learnt to enjoy these reactions now. & I hope more Indian girls find the courage to travel alone seeing me.

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  6. I get this frequently. In fact, I just went to dinner this evening and the hostess said, “Take-out?” I said, “No, a table for one.” They’re always confused when I’m alone!

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  7. I traveled for the first time quite late in my life, and I had a choice – go alone or stay at home ( my ex wasn’t interested to travel). I chose to go on my own, and I loved every minute! I have since flown to Canada 4x on my own. Maybe not quite the same as traveling alone – I went to visit my daughter and her family. But given the choice – go alone or don’t go at all – I’ll choose traveling on my own everytime!

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  8. As a women who solo travelled to Australia and then Spain in her early 20s (10 years ago now) I can relate. in subtle nods I would be ask about getting a real job? And hunter at that Settlerling down and getting married would be harder for me as a well travelled and older woman

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  9. Traveling is traveling! I guess it depends on what kind of travel experience you are on…beach or city explorer. Personally, I wouldn’t care what others said to me! If I had the means and time to travel by myself, I would do it!!!!

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