In contrast of being founder and organizer of the Globe Trotting Divas Travel Club, one of Philadelphia’s premier Travel Clubs focusing on authentic, culture driven, off the beaten path travel experiences for women, after taking my first trip to Jamaica alone in September 2016, I attest that every woman traveler should experience solo travel at least once.
It was my 40th birthday and, like most I wanted to pretend I was happy turning the Big 4 0 and who other than Jamaica, my favorite Caribbean Island to join in on the celebration! So, on September 6, 2016 I excitedly, yet nervously arrived to Philadelphia International Airport to board my Southwest Airline flight en route to Montego Bay, Jamaica. It was Negril and Riu Negril All-Inclusive Resort who I chose to entertain me for the occasion. Before arriving I had conducted in depth research and created a well thought out itinerary of how I would spend my time and navigate throughout the island. I felt perfectly safe but I should also note that this trip to Jamaica would make my 7th visit but first time traveling to the island alone. After my return home I felt renewed, restored and ready for my next solo vacation.
Here are my 5 Reasons Why Women Should Travel Solo at Least Once
Over Come Fear
Traveling alone affords the opportunity to overcome fear. If your biggest fear of traveling alone is safety in depth research of your host destination is the obvious. But upon arrival apply common sense during your journey. After all, there are some places right in your current place of residence that you know not to be at after a certain hour. Will the same not apply while traveling? Familiarize yourself with the laws of the country you’ll be visiting as well.
Another fear you’ll overcome is the fear of speaking with strangers. My oh my I quickly became used to speaking with and holding great conversations with great people that once appeared as total strangers!
Build Your Own Schedule
Now, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE group travel! But traveling alone allows you to be on your own schedule. Sightsee at your leisure, sleeping in or rise with the sunset, hang out with locals without your friends asking more questions than the FBI. Whatever it may be the choice is yours and no confirmation is needed.
The most important moment you’ll have while traveling solo is the opportunity to regroup, rethink and recreate yourself. While traveling solo in Negril I took a day to inhale new thoughts, clear my mind and reflect on things that required my attention. I was at a peace of mind and took the day to write out my thoughts, plans and reflections on life.
You’ll Meet New People
Go ahead and book without your friends! You’ll meet new people along your journey. During my trip I met lots of wonderful people from all over the world. I danced, took a tour and ate lunch with complete strangers. And later those strangers became friends whom I still connect with. For someone like myself who can be extremely shy being social with strangers certainly caused me to come out of my shell and the one thing I discovered was that it’s OK!
You’ll Build Self Confidence
Traveling solo will help build your self-confidence. It pushes you to dismiss the limits you set for yourself. You’ll find that zip lining brings out the adventure side you’ve kept bottled up and that eating snails isn’t so bad after all and traveling through the city alone without your friends or significant other is actually a great idea because you can sightsee at your leisure. Even more, you’ll discover that you can’t wait to do it all again!
Have you traveled solo? What was your experience? What would you like to add?