What’s it like to go on an adventure holiday on your own?
Disappointing? Stressful? Lonely? A bit sad?
It’s a story that refuses to die – and we really, really wish it would, because it’s just not true.
Even after millions of independent solo travellers and a decade of blog posts on the topic, this whole topic still has a cloud hanging over it. If you’re on holiday on your own, it’s assumed it’s because you couldn’t find anyone else to go with – or you’re desperately on the hunt for your other half.
We confidently say “nope” to both of these. On average, they’re so whoppingly far from the truth that we felt compelled to write a blog post about it, which you’re reading right now.
In the words of Cathy Winston, of travel site 101 Holidays:
“Travelling solo has lost much of the lonely hearts stigma it once carried. Not everyone holidaying alone is single, with more women leaving husbands and partners at home as they tick items off their bucket lists.”
– “Single Travel Is Becoming More Popular Than Ever” – The Independent
So, let’s talk about what solo travel is really about – and why a huge number of our tours are filled with folk travelling on their own for a truly amazing variety of reasons.
Here are the top three.
1. It’s About Freedom
If you’ve always dreamed of stepping onto the sands of the Sahara, but you’re surrounded by people (friends, family, a partner) whose interests lie elsewhere – why should you give up that dream if you truly don’t want to? If everyone else says No, why should you have to say No as well?
The answer, for tens of thousands of people every year, is No, I Shouldn’t Have To, So I’m Doing This Anyway.
When you’re travelling on your own, you have 100% freedom to decide where to go and what to see.
It’s easier to plan ahead (because it’s only you taking the time off work or using your holidays to do it) – and it’s far easier to be spontaneous, to act on a whim and answer the call of your adventurous heart.
In Rug & Rock’s case, it’s also the freedom to choose any of our tours and pick any of the activities, even the really adventurous ones that your less outdoorsy friends might raise an eyebrow at.
By travelling solo, you make sure everything is up to you. You’d make this happen. Nobody else. No hoops to jump through or expectations to juggle.
In the words of Shia LaBeouf, you have the freedom to JUST DO IT.
2. It’s About Making Friends
When we talk about the staff running our tours and everyone who takes an adventure with us, we use the word “family”. It’s not meaningless hype. We’re not being cute. It’s actually the truth. In every way except biologically, we run a family here – a messy one, where people wander in and out and we don’t see some of them for years, but nevertheless, a true one.
In most cases, solo travel makes it easier to make friends and join communities. That’s not saying couples and family groups don’t make new friends – far from it – but when you’re travelling with a significant other or a bunch of friends, you’re more likely to keep to yourselves, to carry your social group with you and only stray outside it by making an effort to do so.
If you’re on your own, you’re open to everything and everyone.
It’s easier to make new friends (you’ll hear this from experienced travellers all the time).
You’re more likely to break the ice with strangers.
And you’re probably paying attention to other people a lot more than if you were in a group of family or friends.
Plus? This is your crowd. All these people around you are here for the same reason you are, powered by the same passions and fascinations and hunger for adventure. It’d be tough not making friends with these people.
Solo travellers mean new friendships (and yes, sometimes new relationships) – and it’s those joyful connections that have created what we feel is a true family atmosphere at Rug & Rock. It’s the best thing about our tours, and we work hard to make sure nobody feels left out or isolated – which, counter-intuitively, seems most common within groups, not among single travellers.
Welcome to the family.
Okay, this is the biggie.
You’re on an adventure holiday because you want to discover a whole new you, capable of doing even the most exciting/terrifying things, right?
There are two big pay-offs from going on an adventure holiday:
- The enjoyment you feel at the time.
- The incredible sense of satisfaction and self-confidence you get afterwards.
If you tackle an adventure holiday on your own, your experience of number 2 is overwhelming.
You’re the one that did this, completely unassisted (except by the professional tour operators, of course). It was your idea. You booked it, you went, and you conquered – and now, there’s absolutely no stopping your self-confidence.
(Fun fact: the time you’re most likely to book a Rug & Ruck tour….is right after taking a Rug & Rock tour.)
If you make this happen your way, on your timetable, and you open yourself up to all the new friendships that solo travel will allow, we guarantee you’re going to have a fantastic time.
That’s what it’s really about.
Images: Rug & Rock