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 have done a lot of solo travels. The benefits, learnings and wisdom it has given me on doing an adventure on my own has been so immense. Stay safe and may you have more awesome adventures to come.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! I think you’re right that there is sometimes a stigma to travel on your own. Although I often found when people acted surprised that I traveled on my own it was more because of their own fear to do the same thing. Maybe solo travellers are just braver! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Like mindedness isn’t easy Some of my best travel experiences have been solo. But travel planning has to be very strong, and in few destinations safety definitely might be easier through numbers.

    The stigma you mention strongly exists and needs to be kept out of consideration at times. Bad company on a trip can be the biggest spoiler for both the experience and relations with your travel companions.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Yep and I also feel a lot more freedom when ever I travelled on my own. It sometimes was a little scary, but I felt good and could do what I want, except of following a group of people, while I wanted to watch the landscape for half an hour. And I am not really a traveller. But even going to another village and explore the nature around it, can be a travel in a way. You gotta start somewhere, right? 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I have not faced stigma, but I have had to define ‘solo travel’ for some people who assumed that if I went without my family (mine are mostly family trips), I was on a solo trip with a group of friends or a group of unknown people who would eventually become friends; surely I didn’t go ALONE 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I can brush off these questions and comments quite easily. I have more comments and questions regarding Danny, my usual travel mate and blog mate. People tend to think we’re a couple. No. So people are surprised when we don’t travel together.

    Travelling solo can be fun. Except for dinner.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I have always loved travelling solo. And, it wasn’t due to a change needed to overcome my sadness or any such upsetting reason. I like travelling alone, won’t mind if I get some good company, but still my first preference always would be solo travel. Thanks for sharing this post. It is indeed an eye opener for those out there with the so-called stigma. Keep it up. Stay safe and healthy. K.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. There is a real stigma attached to solo travel. I get the “oh…. you went alone….?” comment accompanied by a sad face all the time.

    When I started going alone it was because I had no one to travel with but now I love it. Some of my best experiences have happened because I was alone. After all, when you travel with others, you talk to those people rather than make friends with the waitress, the tour guide or some other local. I learn a lot about a community, get great tips and am free to spend my time doing what makes me happy.

    I use my blog and Facebook page (when we could still travel) to quietly show people how wonderful it is. Now people tell me how epic my road trips are and many ask for advice. I’m doing my part to combat the stigma! Lol.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I’ve been wanting to travel along for a long time now. Every time I talk about it, people look at me crazy like I am isolating myself. I think it would be good for me to experience it as I want to get out of my comfort zone. Glad to see others have done it and enjoyed it.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Same with eating out alone. I guess you are not supposed to do that on purpose. The hostess code for “where is everybody” is “will there be just one tonight” or “will there be others joining you?”

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I have only traveled solo a few times. My specialty is family and reunion travel, so that doesn’t give me many opportunities to travel by myself. When I do, it’s usually for a conference or for research for an upcoming trip. I do have to admit, I kind of enjoy it when I get a few days to myself.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I love solo travel. My fav way to travel actually. Thinking back to many reactions I have I wouldn’t describe them as being a stigma so much. Surprise, yes. Curiosity, yes. Concern for safety, yes. Though a stigma, not really. In most cases people are supportive. I think it’s a great way to travel.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Well… I am learning to be brave… I did not know there was a stigma… I may sometimes say 😱 “you went alone?” But that’s because I would admire the strength and fearlessness

    But I haven’t really left my country …foreign country foreign way… I am learning though … it would be all new

    I would only like to have company because if I get excited about something – who am I gonna turn to and be like … ooohhh look!!! and then no one would be there lol… I be all excited and talking to myself lol (what’s with the crazy American?) lol

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ve been wishing to travel solo for a couple of years now, but I somehow get convinced to not go on my own (mainly because I’m a woman and I’ve got a fearmongering family haha). I have already decided on the first country I will visit on my own: Japan- I have been there before with a friend, but I felt so safe there that I feel 100% comfortable with the idea of visiting on my own.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I totally understand! I’ve the support of a loving husband who was so encouraging of me in my desire to move overseas for a while. Yet, over and over again people would ask me directly (or to my close family and friends) if my marriage was okay. Seriously….

    Like

  16. This is so true. It can sometimes even question people if they are lonely purely by the questions that are asked when travelling alone. It’s like planting a seed that didn’t need to be planted. Travelling in your own is an incredibly brave thing to do in some ways and should be seen as a thing to inspire to do and not something that’s seen as a bit sad.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I love and enjoy traveling solo! I like doing my own thing on my own time and not have to worry about others (ie, where to eat, what to see, how fast to go). This isn’t a selfish reason at all! I traveled last year with a good friend for the first time internationally and I’d say while it was fun for 2 days I’d rather or prefer going solo next time.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Of course you are not writing from a judgemental point of view but a reality . It shouldn’t have stigma, but I agree with many comments on maybe people think safety, but my reply to that was , well I already live alone anyways so the only difference is the location. Also I do think everyone should try solo traveling at least once ! Because it does open more possibilities and experiences specially if you want to meet locals etc , when you travel with someone your little bubble makes you less approachable , I can tell the difference to when I traveled solo and now that I am married. And I do miss traveling Solo .

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I was thinking of writing on this topic too! So I travel alone, a lot. And I get this question often why? People ask me why do I travel alone? Why do I not travel with a man? Don‘t I feel unsafe or insecure? I have faced the stigma way too many times by now, and I can relate to your post completely.

    Liked by 4 people

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