There's nothing more exhilarating then heading off on holiday, be it a week in the sun or on an extended overland jaunt. Travelling with family and friends is the norm for most but for many without that option — your friends can't get time off, your partner's just run off with the milkman — travelling solo can be just as rewarding, and possibly even a little more fun.
If you're a first time solo traveller, take baby steps and seek out other like-minded souls by doing a little research into places for singles holidays. You'll find a wealth of online information for destinations and activities catering exclusively for singles, whether a holiday dalliance or simply a little vacation companionship is what you seek.
Believe or not that are many amongst who travel alone out of choice. Ask those in the know and there's plenty of advantages to hitting the road unaccompanied.
There's something incredibly liberating in waking up on holiday and having the power to decide exactly what it is you're going to do on any given day. Not having to compromise one iota in any plans you make. Democracy be damned! If you want to sleep 'til noon, then have bacon and eggs for breakfast for the third day in a row, so be it. Who's to argue? For the — insert a geeky pastime of choice here, let's go with mini golf for argument's sake — mini golf enthusiast, there's no reason not to visit all seven courses at your holiday hot-spot of choice. Do it all again tomorrow if the urge hits you.
For those on an extended trip looking for companionship, there's a number of ways to meet up with compatible travelling partners. Starter for ten, book yourself in to a hostel. For those on the wrong side of 30, never fear, hostels have come a long way from the cockroach-infested, 20 randy Scandis to a dormitory affair of yesteryear. Today you're just as likely to score a single room with a comfy mattress, private amenities and free wifi. The bonus is in the communal areas where it's easy to strike up a conversation with anyone you meet. Many hostels also organise events — barbecues, pub crawls, trivia nights — where you're thrown together with other travellers and almost forced to be social.
Or book a tour. Being cooped up in a bus with a bunch of strangers then heading off to climb a volcano or visit a ruin or snorkel a wreck is a great way to meet other like-minded souls.
Often these meetings can lead to more travel and more adventures with your newfound companions. Sometimes even lifetime friendship. And you know the beauty of such an arrangement is that — unlike when you're travelling with friends or family — you can say your goodbyes on a whim and head off again in your own direction. No harm, no foul.
Travelling solo is a great way to test your mettle. Don't necessarily be taken in by all the, "you don't really know yourself until you travel alone", Eat, Pray Love talk. If that is the case chances are you had a pretty superficial relationship with yourself to begin with. What travelling alone can do is to take you out of your comfort zone — which in itself can lead to encounters and experiences you'd never have come across travelling with family and friends.