Why all women should travel solo once in their lives

Hermitage Museum St Petersburg | World of Wanderlust
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It was a mere few days into my first trip overseas with my boyfriend ex boyfriend when I had already sensed this would be a long six weeks. We were headed for Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East – a trip which to me, as a long time traveller didn’t seem too difficult… but for a first timer to all of these continents (he had only ever left Australia to visit the USA), it was a huge journey ahead.

So here I was, a mere few days into the trip, already battling with the extra effort required to travel with another person – waiting for them to get out of bed in the mornings, wanting to see alternative attractions, wanting to take alternative routes, one of us had blisters, the other wanted to keep walking…. you get the idea.

We broke up shortly after we returned home — so there you have it. Point blank. I was a) not in the right relationship and b) knew I was more suited to solo travel and thought about the ‘glory days’ getting lost in cobblestone streets by myself a mere year earlier.

So I was from that moment sold on the idea of travelling solo again… but this time for an entire year.

walking brooke

Why All Women Should Travel Solo

…It’s a heavy title and subtitle to adequately answer and while I don’t have ALL the reasons, I do have some great ones that I have taken away from my travels.

After convincing myself that solo was the only way for me to go (at this stage of my life), I booked a one-way flight to London on the day of my graduation from University….. & I’m now writing this post 7 months later as I get ready to board yet another flight, this time travelling from Miami to the Caribbean for a 10 day adventure. Here’s everything important to me that explains why I so adamantly claim all women should travel solo at least once in their lives…

Solo Travel Makes you More Confident

If you’re lacking in self-confidence, it can have serious effects on your livelihood. Without confidence in yourself you are likely to question your decisions thus being indecisive, seek reconfirmation in others, and never follow your own decisions and life path. Solo travel will not only help you gain self confidence ‘back in the real world’, it will leave you to feel more confident than you ever thought capable. You will walk to the beat of your own drum because you have seen the world, conquered challenges on your own, and learned to rely on yourself and yourself only.

You Gain Independence

While you’re at the conquering the world (well, catching the right train anyway), you will invariably learn to solely depend upon yourself and yourself only. While that may not mean you can suddenly change a tire if the situation calls for it, you will now be more well-equipped to deal with such situations in a sound manner… even if it just means your patience is forever in tact. When you solely rely on yourself, there is nothing anyone can do to rattle you and nothing can be taken from you because even if you were stripped back to a bare nothing, you would have survival instincts. You’re used to being alone with your own thoughts for days and weeks at a time, you’re used to making do with what you have, and you’re used to making decisions for yourself.

You break down the idea of a ‘comfort zone’

Forget the days of comfort zones and those little people lingering around your ears telling you what you should or shouldn’t do. A solo female traveller no longer cares about looking her best 24/7, can get ready in under 60 seconds in the morning, and has learned that jetlag is a mind over matter ordeal. A solo female traveller doesn’t rely on others for their opinion, nor does she seek to be validated… she is comfortable in her own skin.

It’s a Process of Healing

Whether it’s a breakup, loss, life changing career move or you’ve just simply had enough of playing the game of life, solo travel will help you heal…. even if you didn’t realise you needed to!

Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.

– C. S. Lewis

.You Learn

There will be ups and downs and sideway moments that, at the time, will feel like a roller coaster you didn’t realise you weren’t sure you wanted to go on…. but this is all part of the learning process. 12 days out of 10, you will be having a good time (that’s not a typo). On the rare occassion where something does go wrong, you will become more and more suited to dealing with issues because you are over time becoming more patient and understanding.

Then there’s the obvious ways you will educate yourself…. language, culture, tradition, cuisine…. you name it. Everything will be different and exciting and new. You will learn to live in a world completely different to what you know.

You Evolve your Understanding of Love

I once believed that love was exclusively an emotion between two people in a relationship – be it a man and woman, man and man, woman and woman…. whatever the case. I may have even stretched my understanding of love to include animals because my goodness, do I love my dog Patrick. But there’s so much more to love than just that. From travelling the world solo I learned to love feelings of bliss, a sunny day, a clear sky, a city, a smile from a stranger, a smell I was fond of…. I learned to love in so many forms beyond people or animals. I learned to love love.

Restore your faith in human kindness

As mentioned earlier, things can and will go wrong. But when they do, more often than not your faith in human kindness will be restored. I can’t tell you how many times I have been offered help by a stranger – be it money at the check-out counter, a phone to make a call, a free ride from one place to the other… you name it, people are (mostly) inherently good by nature.

Discover yourself, love yourself

Travelling solo as a woman will not only give you confidence and independence, it will also teach you to love yourself. As women, we tend to adopt a tendency to compare ourselves with other women, perhaps even competing with them. This is not in any way healthy, nor will it help you or other women in life – it will fester inside you until you are green with envy. But it is often easier said than done t simply just stop comparing ourselves with the women we see on the cover of magazines – airbrushed and all. So why solo travel? I’m not entirely sure why it is, but solo travel has a way of helping you to let go of these tendencies to compare yourself with others. You soon learn that there are so many different people out there in the world – different body shapes, different personalities, different hair colours, skin colours…. and so on and so forth. We are all different. Embrace your individualism.

Appreciate the little things

After you’ve camped in the woods or lived off cereal for three days because you can’t access your bank funds, you will soon learn to appreciate the small things in life. Clean running water, a roof over your head, food – whatever it is, and human affection. These are the few simple things you need, anything else is just a blessing to be thankful for.

You Learn what is important in your life

You don’t just learn what is important in life, but what is important in YOUR life. You might hate solo travel – that’s okay, you have learned that you are not someone who loves to be alone and perhaps you find you are happiest when you have human affection. You might hate lethargic beach days and miss your busy corporate life and by the time you get home you have learned to appreciate the Monday-Friday ‘daily grind’. You might love the sense of freedom that comes with travelling the world and find a way that you can make this your career. Whatever be the case, you will learn what is important to YOU.

Most importantly…. you free yourself

Women who travel solo – for whatever reason, for whatever they take away from it, for whoever they meet along the way, for whatever they miss back home, will experience a change that is simply indescribable. It isn’t an adjective or a word found in the dictionary…. it is a feeling of freedom. Of discovery. Of self.


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    Kimberly Rust
    April 4, 2016 at 1:10 am

    i am very new here, i saw this article posted by an friend on facebook and after recently embarking on my first ever solo trip abroad in September last year… thought i would give it a read.
    Your words explained every ounce of feeling, experience, and emotion that i felt when i came back from my first ever solo holiday and long haul holiday to South Korea.
    I couldnt speak the language, I was the Token white girl, I was absolutely huge compared to everyone in the country (im 6ft and im very obese), i wasnt sure on the food, i had never flown alone – let alone a 22 hour flight and a stop over/change in dubai, I had stupid fears of talking to people, i didnt like being out in public, i had even worse fears of unclean and public toilets, i could never order my own food, i had no self care or self confidence….
    But when i came back from my 16 days in South Korea – i was a complete new person!
    I had confidence, i was inspired, i had gotten over fears of public spaces, i used public toilets, i can easily walk into the middle of a crowd and dance if i wanted to, i can order my own food – and if what they serve is wrong, i have no problem telling them that…… i was a whole new person.
    I have always loved exploring, and i would always explore around the UK with my mum mainly – but then dad would join when he wasnt working. I was the go to girl to “organise a day out” for friends…. and then left behind when they went out. But in south korea, i was the odd one out BUT in a good way – people would talk to me, people would come over and dance with me, people would encourage me to try their different food and drink, they would test their english on me – i was asked out by random strangers to go to parties, have meals…… my confidence showed and i began having all the self confidence and self worth i had lost.

    Its very true – you DO need to go on a solo holiday once every now and then…. it helps to show yourself who you really are. Thank you so much for writing in words what i never could.

    April 1, 2016 at 2:42 am

    I am solo travelling the world this year and absolutely loving it! Wouldn’t want to it any other way. My journey is in my blog emmameetworld if you want to check it out ๐Ÿ™‚

    Amy Cunningham
    March 30, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    Love this piece! I did 3 months solo travel in Europe last year and they were the best of my life so far. I’m currently sitting in a hostel in Sydney now (I’m from Melbourne) and slipping back into the independent, traveller mindset. Travelling solo is the way to go!

    February 5, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    I’m glad to be reading this article, I simply want to offer you a huge thumbs up for your great information.
    Tableau Guru

    November 1, 2015 at 5:04 am

    Great post! I totally agree..
    Love to read your articles, Iยดve discovered this webside at the right moment. Thank you!

    October 31, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    I started off travelling solo in my home country in Thailand and felt uncomfortable at first. But when I started travel with friends, I miss those time alone. It sure does help me discover myself!

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    October 11, 2015 at 4:29 am

    […] you offer anyone who wants to do the same?โ€ In fact, she just recently shared a piece herself on how solo travel is good for women, and all I could think while reading was that every reason she gave was good forย anybodyย to […]

    September 14, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    This is so true and so important. I’ve shared my experiences with and argument for solo travel on my site as well. It’s a wonderful opportunity to grow and learn!

    August 27, 2015 at 4:57 am

    Hi Brooke, I am wondering if I might be able to re-print your article “WHY ALL WOMEN SHOULD TRAVEL SOLO ONCE IN THEIR LIVES” on my site? I messaged you FB but it probably went to your “other” and you’ve not seen it. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I feature a few articles a month by other people. I will certainly link back to your site and give you a byline, etc. as you can see I have done for other writers. I look forward to your reply.

    August 22, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    When you travel alone, you have the luxury of making your own agenda. You have the advantage of going wherever you want without someone elseโ€™s hesitations, budget, or schedule in mind.

    July 29, 2015 at 1:44 am

    I would love do this, but how can you afford to do so? ๐Ÿ™‚

    June 23, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    As a guy, itโ€™s hard to tell my girl friends why they should travel alone.. So thanks for compiling this great resource.

    June 13, 2015 at 1:51 am

    i am so convinced .. nd u just spoke my heart out…:-) ๐Ÿ™‚

    AJ Walton
    February 12, 2015 at 2:35 am

    As a male, it’s hard to me to credibly tell my female friends why they should travel solo.. So thanks for compiling this great resource.

    Marina Utami
    February 10, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    I totally agree! I did it the first time through South East Asia, and I felt reborn again!
    It is so great that I think many women should try this once in their lifetime!
    I didn’t have any regrets.
    But I have to say, traveling alone can make an addiction. I can’t wait for my next trip! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thank you for sharing!

    January 14, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    Go solo whenever you want! Don’t just go once. I just got back from my first solo overseas holiday. I’m going again as soon as I can. No one to nag, complain, or raise eyebrows about what you want to do. You can revisit places you enjoyed as many times as you want. No need to negotiate what to do that day, just step outside and go in whatever direction you feel like. Travelling solo is amazing.

    Vivian Guzman
    November 28, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Pinned! I’m so sharing this to my gals. I love solo travel too like you do and I agree with everything you’ve said in this post. Really wonderful!

  • Karen R.
    November 13, 2014 at 3:20 am

    Thank you for this post! I was actually discussing this with a co-worker yesterday. I am really hoping to travel for a month solo next summer in Europe. I’ve traveled quite a bit but never completely alone. I think this article was a sign..

    November 13, 2014 at 2:02 am

    You are absolutly right!
    everyone should experience to travel alone at least once.
    Thank you for sharing!

    November 13, 2014 at 1:56 am

    You are absolutly right!

    Alexandra Sanda
    November 12, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Great post and some wonderful points ๐Ÿ™‚ Can I just suggest that maybe you include the names of the cities or countries you visited under the pictures you include in the blog posts. I see some gorgeous places and want to visit but I don’t know where the picture was taken ๐Ÿ™‚

    November 12, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    I always travel alone! Some or lot of friends don’t understand why. I don’t need to explain! NO ONE TO WAIT for!
    Cheers to solo Travellers!

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    August 17, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    I have not traveled solo for I am still a student. But travelling has always been a part of my bucketlist, perhaps with my future partner in life. But after reading this post, i might travel on my own first before having someone tag along with me. I may have to work hard so i can earn enough money to travel my country (Philippines) and the world someday. ๐Ÿ™‚

    August 17, 2014 at 1:50 am

    Awesome! As someone who comes from an extremely fast-paced society (Singapore), I think traveling as a solo woman really allows me to breathe and discover about myself and what I enjoy in life instead of always fretting and succumbing to society’s pressures and influences.

    August 13, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Very valid observations.

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    August 10, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Absolutely love this post! Thanks for the wonderful insight. I hope to have some solo travels soon myself. I look forward to gaining some introspective insight ๐Ÿ™‚

    Kate @
    August 10, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    What a beautiful post! I agree that even though it is a “heavy” title, it is a great experience!

    August 9, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    Hey Brooke!!

    Thank you so, so, so much for writing this post!! You have right in this very moment re-inspired my love for travelling. I haven’t even left the country in 7 years, and never by myself. You really have inspired me to go and travel solo after I finish university.

    Thank you so much!!
    Sarah-Elizabeth xoxo

    August 9, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Really cool post and in the right time. In 2 month I will quit my job and start a new adventure I desired for so long. It will be literally throwing away all the safety and security society persuades us that we have by working “steady sure” jobs. I hate that idea, I don’t want to become another member of rat race. I also lived in NYC now I moved back to Europe. I plan to start off my journey from SYDNEY in November and we will see where the route will take me from there. Maybe we even meet somewhere in the world.

    I am sending you a lots of hugs and love.


    August 9, 2014 at 10:02 am

    I can confirm, its the same for guys haha. Great advice.

    August 9, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Absolutely love this! Everything is so accurate. Such a fan of this website! Would love to chat more? Thanks

    Runway Ribbons
    August 9, 2014 at 6:52 am

    I absolutely loved this post! I’ve always thought it would be daunting/scary/lonely, but you have given me great reasons to go it alone one day. I’d surely have to be the annoying tourist that gets locals to take pictures of her time and time again, but I guess that’s such a little price to pay in light of all the other wonderful things solo travel brings! ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

    Pavan Meshram
    August 9, 2014 at 4:35 am

    This comment comes from a guy! The definition of travelling solo might be slightly different for us as compared to the chics. However, there are many things that fall common like you mentioned; ‘Solo travel will not only help you gain self confidence โ€˜back in the real worldโ€™, it will leave you to feel more confident than you ever thought capable.’ That’s generic for both the sexes. Personal experience – Travelling Solo helps one evolve as an individual.
    Great article!;-)

    Bell Santiago
    August 9, 2014 at 4:33 am

    This was truly inspiring. I totally agree with your points, my only problem is that I find it hard to just go alone – I am too scared of people looking at my strangly because I am on my own. It’s a fear I need to get around and I know that one day I certainly will travel alone and get to know myself better.

    Katie @ Second-Hand Hedgehog
    August 9, 2014 at 3:44 am

    Great post! I absolutely agree that travelling solo can redefine you, and help you become comfortable in your own skin and confident of your own abilities, as well as helping you to push and redefine your own boundaries. True, it can also be lonely, and the days that are tough can be really tough – but surely that’s a price worth paying for all the amazing times? Besides, if you travel solo, you get to make new friends! ๐Ÿ™‚

    August 9, 2014 at 2:59 am

    Great post and so true!! I’ve traveled solo, but like traveling with my boyfriend better. I think when you travel with someone it can either go incredibly wrong or incredibly right. I’ve had one time when it went incredibly wrong, but with my boyfriend I’ve never had any issues. We love being together (24/7 haha), doing everything together and sharing our experiences together. The most important thing is that we’re always on the same page with making decissions (on what to do or where to go next, etc.) and that’s definitely needed when traveling together.
    Enjoy the rest of your time on St. Barths! ๐Ÿ™‚

    August 9, 2014 at 1:40 am

    <3 I feel the same way Traveling solo is my favorite way to go!

    August 9, 2014 at 12:55 am

    Love this! I definitely want to try travelling solo.
    XO Janina

    The Free Spirited Woman
    August 8, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    Great article. My favorite trips have been those where I’ve traveled solo. Once you travel solo you feel like you can take on the world all by yourself, it’s such a confidence booster!

    August 8, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    A truly fantastic post once again, Brooke! You couldn’t be more correct! Although I have never solo travelled (though I want to as soon as possible) I do imagine it will be rewarding. I can become more patient, more self-confident (which I am not – I waste so much time crying in front of a perfect Miranda Kerr or Megan Fox picture hating myself and wishing I looked like them) and I will learn to value the small things in life, like you. (Sorry for the pointless life story)
    To be honest, I wish I was like you because although you are travelling alone, you are so positive and happy, that is really important.
    Hope I can meet you soon, anywhere around the world, it would be a great moment to meet my role model.
    Keep on travelling, with a pretty smile on your face and take care! :)xox

    Valeri Down Under
    August 8, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    spot on with the evolution of understanding love!

    August 8, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    As someone who has made two overseas trips alone this post couldn’t have rung more true…. And it also made me want to book my next trip!

    As always, another fabulous post Brooke!

    Happy travels ๐Ÿ™‚

    August 8, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Beautifully written, Brooke – I totally agree.

    Travel for the Unknown
    August 8, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    What a great piece, totally agree!!

    Woman should travel by themselves and it’s getting easier everyday, with woman only floors and female friendly travels ๐Ÿ™‚


    August 8, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    I think even though some people have reservations about solo travel (actually quite a lot of my friends do), as soon as you hit the road on your own, you realise that it is actually a fantastic journey where you can focus solely on yourself. I love travelling solo ๐Ÿ™‚

    lovely article!

    August 8, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Nikki, I highly recommend you should be careful.

    You are going to the new place having no idea what is going on.

    This is really dangerous.

    I highly think you should go with somebody.

    If you get scam, it is light.

    How about some bad boy trying to use the situation?

    It is even worse.

    Be careful.

    August 8, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    First of all, thank you for this inspiring post! I was in a situation a few months ago where I was travelling with a friend one minute and suddenly I was on my own the next. The following two months I travelled by myself in Central-America, and I had the best time of my life. It was challenging in a way that gave me exactly the confidence and independence you write about. So thank you so much for putting all these amazing feelings into words and for giving me the courage to go solo next time I’m exploring the world (which I think will happen soon)!

    Best holiday destinations
    August 8, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Such a amazing blog post. thanks for posting nice views.

    August 8, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    I completely and whole-heartedly agree! My ex-boyfriend and I planned a trip to NYC months in advance before we broke up. The week before we were supposed to go (post breakup), I took the plunge and bought a ticket by myself. It was super nerve-wrecking at first, but there’s nothing like taking a risk for yourself!

    • worldofwanderlust
      August 8, 2014 at 9:25 pm

      That is so awesome… in the world of Mean Girls…. “you go Glen Coco!!”

    Marissa @ Chic Darling
    August 8, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Travelling by myself is the best experience I’ve ever had in my life. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t have a great time with friends, but there is something about dancing to the beat of your own drums.

    May Casson
    August 8, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Beautiful post, you have made me want to go on a solo holiday and I can barely go out to breakfast by myself. Maybe that is why I need to go!

    August 8, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Great post!
    I couldn’t agree more – I’ve travelled solo across most continents and had an amazing time on each trip. Sure, they’ve been downsides (hospitalized with a dislocated knee, homeless for a night, robbed – and all of these just on my last trip!) where I’ve just wanted to go home, but those were few and far between.

    The best thing about traveling solo is that you learn that you can choose your happiness. I have a bf who I love dearly, and we’ve travelled together, but he works full-time and can’t get as much time off work as I can (uni life!). Solo travel has shown me that I can still go overseas and experience wonderful opportunities – even if I don’t have someone who can come with me. When friebds, family or loved ones can, that’s great, but giving up a dream holiday because you’re too afraid to go alone would be a shame.

    Michelle | Lights Camera Travel
    August 8, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Excellent point here Brooke! I have definitely found this to be the best way to travel.

    August 8, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Thank you for this post–it could not have come at a more perfect moment. In two weeks I am flying to Buenos Aires as a first time solo traveler and am both thrilled and terrified. I love posts like these that speak to all the positives of stepping so far outside one’s comfort zone and living life on your own terms. This just got me so excited for my trip and I can’t wait to experience all these things and more.