If you’ve been thinking about traveling solo for awhile now, but never quite got the guts to get up and at it – here’s your push.
While travelling solo can be an intimidating idea, there are a myriad of reasons to travel solo.
Apart from the promise of adventure, and the exhilaration of being truly independent – travelling solo is a way to learn more about yourself, your strengths, and things you never knew you could do.
One of our more introspective stories, here are 8 reasons why you need to travel solo at least once in your lifetime – and why you should make that solo trip down to our favourite island of the Gods, Bali.
1. F.R.E.E.D.O.M – do only what you want!
Traveling solo means absolute freedom! We’ve heard horror travel stories about people quarreling over daily activities, while on vacation (this writer’s friends actually fought over going to see a temple, and visiting the zoo).
When things like that happen, it has the effect of ruining the holiday mood. On the other hand, when you travel solo, there’s no need to consider what other people want – this trip is all about you.
What you want to see, do, and experience. It can be invigorating as you decide where you want to go, and what you want to do! And if you feel like spending a whole day basking in the sun at one of Bali’s amazing hidden beaches, we say you do you.2. It’s an education like no other – Bali style
Travelling solo in Bali is an education you cannot get anywhere else.
Yes, you’ll learn things like independence, or how to enjoy being alone, and even learn how to simply be in the present. But these things can also be learnt travelling solo in other parts of the world.
Why Bali then?
If you’ve ever been to Bali, you will have noticed that every corner of Bali is filled with art. From the humble handmade hanging decorations made of flowers leaves, to the carvings of the local woodcarver, and even shops and shops of handmade art – the Balinese ooze with creativity, and art is life.
(An actual quote by me, to my friend on our last trip there.)
If you’re the creative sort, or at least appreciate this, we would advise you to really consider travelling down alone. Spend your days wandering into the different art galleries, workshops, or even shops selling unique handmade trinkets.
Hankering to learn something new? There are many places for you to learn traditional art techniques, how to make your own silver jewellery, cooking class or even artistic retreats to go on.
If not, simply hunker down at one of the many boutique cafes and watch the world go by. Live vicariously through others (or your imagination – thinking about the lives these people lead) as you indulge in some people-watching.
3. Challenge yourself – and get a fresh perspective
If you’re stuck in a rut in life, and feel like you need a change – whether it’s a relationship, family or even career problem, one thing you can and should do, is challenge yourself.
It will put you in a different headspace, and give you fresh perspectives to bring home. For example, challenge yourself by doing something entirely new.
In this case, try venturing off the familiar and well worn tourist trails. Go explore the secret natural wonders of Bali like the secret and sacred Sukawati Canyon; or the Secret Gardens of Sambangan. (Of course, feel free to choose any of the other hidden natural wonders on our list!)
This unexpected exploration of the unfamiliar routes will serve as a fun and thoughtful distraction to pull you away from any of your problems. While doing so, you will inevitably come out of this adventure learning something new about yourself. Or maybe a strength you never knew you had.
Not only will the journey help inspire you to start doing things a little differently, the sights you behold, and the serenity you find along the way will help provide fresh perspectives. And who knows, your fresh perspective just might be what you need to solve any problems you might be facing.
4. Bucket list – achieve something you’ve always wanted to achieve
You’ve heard of extreme bucket list activities like sky-diving, or deep sea diving – well, dive right into your very own Bali bucket list with a list of potential adrenaline-pumping things to do.
It will not only boost your self-esteem – “Hey I actually did this!!!”, you’ll also be super proud to come home and tell your friends and family all about your latest achievements in Bali!
For starters, go canyoning down deep ravines and waterfalls or cave diving with the sharks at shark cave.
Or if you are daring enough, try flying like Ironman!
The adventures and achievements to be had in Bali are almost endless!
5. In search of peace, positive energy, and stress relief? – It’s an Eat, Pray, Love kinda thing.
Yes, yes, you’ve probably definitely heard of Julia Robert’s famous movie, Eat, Pray, Love. And honestly, having your very own Eat, Pray, Love experience is something you should consider.
Why, you ask? If you’re in that place where you need some peace – possibly to heal from a bad breakup, or even just to get away from everyday stresses, Bali is full of the most peaceful temples or Ashrams.
We say, visit a spiritual retreat – Anand Ashram Ubud, and soak up the positive spiritual energy. You will enjoy the tranquility; the calming, lulling strains of birdsong; flowing waters; and even the sonorous chime of bells.
Apart from that, you could also consider taking up yoga as a form of further stress relief.
6. Meet new people – broaden your horizons
Whatever you might be looking for, making new friends in foreign places is always an exciting thing to do.
If you’re single, you never know if that suave gentleman/pretty lady you meet at the bar, might just turn out to be the next great love of your life. *daydreams*
If not, it never hurts to make new friends, and it’s also super fun exchanging travel stories!
Sometimes the best thing that can happen while travelling, are the people you meet. We’ve heard of stories where friends made new friends while overseas, and stayed up all night having that one life-changing conversation that left them inspired for life.
PS: One place you may go to make new friends? Deux Ex Machina Canggu. It’s bustling with people from all walks of life! We were there in September and were in awe at how cosy and comfortable the crowd was, sitting on mats infront of the live band in the open-air courtyard.
You’d love it too – simply have a Bintang in hand, turn to the person beside you, make your introductions, and chat away!
7. Self-discovery – a time of quiet reflection
Have you ever been in the position where you feel like life is crashing down on you – the weight of your ambitions, or other people’s expectations placed on you?
Break free and go on a journey of self-discovery when you travel solo. It places you in a position of utter independence, and you will have the time and quiet to reflect about your life, the person you want to be, or things you want to do.
One interesting way to do this, would be to go on a silent retreat in Bali. If celebrities like Oprah and Steve Jobs have done this before, you can too. Silent retreats are an amazing (sometimes amazingly difficult) way to get away from it all, and simply reconnect with yourself.
The difficulty is in disconnecting from the world (and our digital devices), and truly retreating within – focusing on yourself, and meditating in peace and silence. If you’re keen to try going for a silent retreat (just like Emma Watson did!), check Bali Silent Retreat for more information.
8. Powerful and life-changing – only if you have the guts
One life-changing experience you may try, is a hike up the beautiful Mount Agung.
Hiking up is already a challenge in itself (only do it if you’re ready to push your body to the limit). Once on top, you’ll marvel at the view, the stunning landscape, and the ethereal sunrise.
Sometimes all it takes to have a life-changing experience, is simply to have that one moment where you push yourself to achieve something you never thought you’d ever be able to do.
And when that results in a view showing you exactly what a wonderful world we live in… That’s the magic.
Why do you think people travel all the way just to see the northern lights? Or the other wonders of the world? Simple. Because these are once-in-a-lifetime, life-changing experiences that will leave you empowered for life.
A solo trip to Bali can be wonderfully life-changing. You only need to make the next step, book your flight, and enjoy the new experience and amazing challenges up ahead. #YOLO (You Only Live Once)