China, Hong Kong, Japan, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, most of my business trips and pretty much all my upcoming trips. The large majority of my trips, I travel solo, by myself – and I love it.

Traveling solo allows me to do whatever I want whenever I want it and to fully immerse in the country I am visiting.

Travel solo: do whatever I want whenever I want

This seems to be an obvious one, but this one has a bit more depth for me.
Because I travel alone, I am more likely to ask a local for tips, ask the waiter to pick the food for you, walk into a random street … in other words, to truly experience destinations the way I like it: with an open mind, open for new experiences. I have found this is way more unlikely together with other travelers.

Travel solo: fully immerse

As a solo traveler, it is quite easy to blend in. To rent an Airbnb and discover the town with your host. To just sit in a corner of a coffee bar and observe the locals do their thing. Something that is way more difficult as a group.

Above all: solo travel is actually not solo travel

Interestingly enough and above all, to travel solo is actually not traveling solo. Humans are social by nature. As a solo traveler, it is super easy to join others. For dinner, for a hike, for a night out. In the eyes of others, a lone traveler is seldom seen as a burden – it is way more difficult to join another group as a group or to connect as a couple. And so, the moments I want to be alone, I can be alone, the moments I want company, I got company. This way, I ended up in a Japanese karaoke bar with an Australian lady I just met, hiked parts of the Laugavegur trail with others just to be safe, had dinner with an Australian couple in Yunomine and had a haka speed class in New Zealand.

Dinner with the amazing Chieko Ogawa in Tokyo
Travel solo: dinner with the amazing Chieko Ogawa in Tokyo

In that way it might actually be more social -and less alone- than couples traveling. Often, they spend the large majority of their time together, not open to connect with others.

But …

Quite often, people frown upon my travel habits, especially traveling alone.

  • … isn’t it unsafe? *knock on wood* Up until now I did not really encounter unsafe situations while traveling. I wrote a separate blogpost on safety, but I guess the key things are preparation and common sense. Although I am very open to new experiences, I am not actively looking for unsafe experiences. I often rely on local tips to gauge safety.
  • … don’t you miss your wife and kids? Absolutely. I miss them all the time. However, during my business trips I like to focus on the business to be done. Additionally, over the years I have learned that the best way for me to disconnect from my hectic life is to travel solo at least 2-3 weeks per year.
  • … don’t you want to share the experience with someone? Well, no. I have WhatsApp contact with my friends and family and call them from time to time. The other things I’d like to share I share with you on this blog 🙂
  • … I couldn’t do that, I couldn’t be by myself. Traveling solo also means being ok to be bored from time to time. Not having someone to talk to, not to be connected via social media. If you accept that, it’s usually fine 🙂

So that’s why I travel solo 🙂

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