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5 Benefits of Being an Independent Traveler

a person with a backpack looks out at clouds.

An independent traveler tends to spend a lot of time alone in new places. There are endless benefits to the nomadic professional lifestyle, and people of all ages and in all careers can pursue it. Of course, independent travelers also face additional challenges that don’t always pop up when you’re traveling in a group.

Learning to be an independent traveler, and to live outside of your home country might be difficult at first. No matter how independent you are, it’s an experience that pushes you outside of your comfort zone. That being said, there are many remote professionals who spend their entire lives traveling the world independently. Keep in mind that independent travel is very different than being alone.

Global nomads and solo travelers frequently become part of a close-knit community that spans the globe. Wherever you go, you’ll never be alone! If your independent travel is part of a remote work lifestyle, you’ll also likely meet fellow workers in cafes, hostels, and coworking spaces.

All that to say, the solo part of independent travel usually turns out to be a small concern. The logistics can be a bit trickier if you’re traveling alone. Traveling independently often requires planning ahead a little further in advance than you might otherwise do, and being precise about details.

 

 

A woman with a backpack stands alone on a train station platform

But there are infinitely more benefits to being an independent traveler than there are challenges. Here are just a few:

 

Learning foreign languages

As a solo traveler, it’s even more important to speak a bit of the local language when you travel. On your own, you’ll be forced to work a little harder to learn. Think of it as an incredible opportunity to develop some fluency in a new language! As an added bonus, the more you learn, the more people you’ll meet, and the more you’ll enjoy the place you’re in. Most cities have language exchanges and meetup events, which are great ways to practice and make friends.

 

Personal growth

There’s just no denying the incredible amount of personal growth that occurs when you travel alone. You may set new goals, learn new skills, or learn new things about yourself. Most independent travelers find they develop a new mindset from their experiences, becoming more resilient, emotionally intelligent, and thoughtful.

 

Global community

The more you travel, the more friends you’ll make. Don’t worry if you don’t know anyone when you set out. Solo travelers are everywhere, and if you’re traveling alone too, you’ll quickly meet them.  You’ll inevitably run into other solo travelers in airports, museums, on hikes, or on the train to your next destination.

 

Flexibility

Traveling alone gives you flexibility that just isn’t possible when you travel in a group. You set your own schedule, and can change your mind and plans at any time. Last-minute weekend trip with some new friends? Not a problem, and you don’t have to coordinate with anyone else’s wishes. You’ll never be waiting around for someone else to get ready, and if you’re ever late, you’ll have only yourself to blame. This increased flexibility means you can plan carefully, but change your mind whenever you want.

 

Self  confidence

Solo travelers gain confidence in themselves by the day. Even if you aren’t prepared to drop everything and become a global nomad, traveling the world alone year-round, one independent trip is enough to reap the benefits. Consider planning a trip alone somewhere outside of your home country, and watch how you thrive when put to the test!

 

Dreaming of becoming an independent traveler? Check out our brand new Independent Traveler program here.

Photos:

1 In Front of U, by Lê Tân on Unsplash.

2 Just waiting, by Rendy Novantino on Unsplash.

Photos and blog by Maeve Allsup

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The International Internships Blog is a collaboration by The Intern Group staff, alumni and current participants to give you career advice & tips, program information, & so much more!

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