Women traveling alone isn't just a new trend, it's more like a new lifestyle. According to Forbes, women account for 85% of all consumer purchases, from transportation to health care, spending over $125 billion per year. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that it's also been found that women make 80% of all travel plans in the world—that's whether or not it's a group retreat, a couple's vacation, who pays, or where they travel.
Increasingly, women have been opting to travel alone. So much so that women-only travel companies increased by 230% in just 6 years.
Here are some reasons why we're leaving everyone and everything behind.
1. You can fully immerse yourself in the experience.
You can't truly just let go and do as the Romans do if you have to take into consideration the fears, thoughts, and needs of everyone else on the trip. Most women say that they choose to go it by themselves so that they can let go of the familiar — that includes partners, family, and friends. Don't get stuck visiting all the touristy spots because your best friend is afraid of exploring.
2. You learn to appreciate strangers.
Although there are plenty of reasons to be cautious when traveling around an unfamiliar place—and knowing how to take safety precautions is crucial—the experience forces you out of your comfort zone, which can be a positive thing. Whether trying to converse with people in a foreign language, or simply finding a monumental location on a map, more often than not, you will have to rely on more than your smartphone to have an enjoyable time. And who knew? Strangers can actually be helpful and show you that no matter where you are people are just people.
3. You don't have to compromise.
Even if you choose to go on a tour, just think of all the freedom you'd have. You get to do the one you want, and not what everyone can agree on. And you can have your own special, solitary connection with spiritual, historical places on a level that you wouldn't when you have to take 50 million pictures of all of your friends on top of pyramids. There's also the option of just staying by the outside pool in your hotel for a full day. Who's gonna check you, boo?
4. You're forced to challenge yourself.
The truth is that oftentimes we do things because it's just how we usually do them. So, when traveling with a group of friends, you might consider skydiving until someone reminds you that you're afraid of heights. Stepping out of your comfort zone is more than just asking natives for help, it's about learning and encouraging new parts of yourself that you never even knew were possible. Climb that mountain! Snorkel that sea! Try that delicatessen food!
5. It's the ultimate act of adulting.
In general, it feels pretty grown-up and badass to travel alone. Scary at first, sure. Overwhelming a bit, perhaps. But the peace of mind and reassurance that you and only you are in control of your life and your safety isn't so frightening when you know you're having an amazing time in the process. It's a gem of adulthood, even with mistakes and tumbles throughout the process. Remember traveling is a skill to be honed, too. The longer you do it, the better you are.