Why is Solo Travel So Popular Among those Seeking to Restore their Sense of Self?

 Solo travel is a big hit the world over, with the interest in seeing the world alone rising by around a third in UK and the US - according to the annual Holiday Habits Report (UK) and Solo Travel (US). A study by researchers  at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), meanwhile, has found that people don’t travel alone because they have to; they do so  because they want to. Solo travel is as restorative as it is fun, as spiritual as it is a mere adventure. The desire for independent experiences is just one reason why flying solo is more appealing than ever.

 

 Being True to Yourself


According to the study, carried out in Australia, solo travellers valued uncompromised fun and meeting new people over experiencing a new area with companions. For these mavericks, the idea of being to do exactly what they wanted to, without considering the desires of anyone else, was an appealing way to feel like they were truly ‘living’. Participants told the study  researchers that being by oneself allowed for listening to one’s internal monologue; redefining oneself, as it were, and redetermining the desired path in life. This is a powerful way to heal and strengthen oneself; to be more in tune with one’s spiritual and emotional side.

Travelling at a Whim

The penchant for solo travel is echoed as strongly by the growing desire for travelling on the road. Surveys in the US show that road trips  represent 39% of vacations taken by American travelers, and not all are taken with family. Both solo and road travel afford one crucial feature that modern travelers desire: flexibility; the ability to change one’s course and length of stay at specific sites, in accordance with one’s inner needs and desires. In the QUT study, solo travelers stated that one of the few negatives of travelling alone was the expense involved. Road trips and camping allow them to reduce the costs of flights, expensive hotels, etc.  Vehicles for camping and nature adventures are ideal for enjoying majestic natural landscapes while skipping on the pricey resort lifestyle. Indeed, many times, low cost, nature-based vacations can be more restorative than city breaks and shopping. Nature has been proven to lower stress levels, but for great thinkers like Carl Jung, it is also the perfect backdrop for self-reflection and connection with one’s spiritual side.

Solo Travel and Connection

Ironically, those who fly solo value the chance of meeting new people on their trips. Whether they opt for a package holiday with other solo travelers or they simply hope from city to city or town to town, the possibilities are endless when it comes to making meaningful connections. It is undoubtedly true that when people travel with friends or family, they tend to stick more to their circles, thus missing out on new friendships that can enrich the experience of travel and restore one’s sense of belonging to something greater than oneself.

Solo travel fits in with the modern desire for connection and meaning in all experiences - including travel. If in the past vacations were almost exclusively marketed as a way for families to bond, these days, savvy travel companies and agencies are offering more opportunities for solo travel, in line with increased demands. Travel can heal and restore the self because it can be seen as an act of self-kindness as well as a way to create healing connections.
 
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Quotation

"One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure."

 William Feather
 

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