A few weeks ago I made a rather sudden decision, as are most of my travel decisions, and backpacked through Nicaragua for a week. This trip marked my 2nd time in Nicaragua and I think my 7th solo trip. I first traveled alone back in 2014 to Edinburgh because there was a cheap flight and I couldn’t find anyone to go with, and with time, I’ve only gotten better and better at it and now prefer it to traveling with friends. While I still get nervous every time I go, once I’m on my plane I really feel nothing but excitement. Being abroad away from the commitments and pressures of your daily life forces you to spend some quality time with yourself and your thoughts, so if you’re trying to escape some heartbreak or emptiness or sadness, it’s going to end up catching up to you. But if you genuinely like yourself and the way you are when life’s not there to distract you, and want to push yourself, I’d so recommend it.
Traveling alone means you get to be fabulously selfish with what you’d like to do with your time, and puts you in the novel situation of having to make new travel buddies if you’d like lunch or dinner or activity companions--and I’ve found that to be so, so much easier than you’d think it is. In fact, I’ve often found myself having to try to shake off friends I’ve made in hostels so that I can spend some time to myself. But for the most part I’ve felt so inspired by those travel friends I’ve met along the way... the Canadian girls who I surfed with on this trip in San Juan Del Sur, the German students smoking hash at our hostel in Marrakech, the Persian rug shop owner in Turkey who gave me a grand tour of Istanbul, the Polish couchsurfer in Krakow who was so proud of her country. Solo travel is just nourishment for your senses, your mind, and your soul, and like this American solo traveler from Houston told me one night on Ometeppe Island, “If you wait on your friends, you’re going to waiting forever.”
One life to live, so much to see, and not having anyone to go with is no excuse to not go.