People who prefer to travel alone than with others often possess these 8 unique qualities

Ava Sinclair by Ava Sinclair | June 19, 2024, 6:55 am

I love traveling solo.

Don’t get me wrong, I love being with friends and family.

But in my years of traveling, I realized that nothing really beats exploring the world on my own.

I simply get to experience the world around me more deeply when I can take my time and immerse myself in the experience.

It’s such an enriching experience that honestly I wonder why more people don’t travel solo.

But after observing people for a bit, I realized that we solo travelers have some traits that set us apart.

Solo travelers are born with some of these traits, while the rest are traits learned on the road.

If you’re someone who prefers to travel alone, high five!

You must have these 8 unique qualities, too.

1) They have a good relationship with themselves

When I first took a trip to Vietnam, I spent some time just sitting on the sidewalk sipping iced coffee and some banh mi.

Guess who I talked to?

Myself.

I spent hours getting more in touch with who I am and reflecting on my existence.

I say things like: “Wow, look at these people who are so different from you…and yet, you’re so alike.”

Or: “Who are you now and why do you think you’re here?”

The thing is that when you have other people with you, you really can’t afford to do this—to have this much ‘me’ time.

You’d be too busy trying to juggle their needs with yours.

All the time I spent reflecting helped me understand myself in a way that I never would have, had I not taken the time to travel solo.

2) They’re very curious

I met a lot of solo travelers in my lifetime. And one thing I notice about them is that they’re all full of curiosity

They’re always eager to learn about new things— culture, history, legends, and even random trivia most people would happily pass over.

I’m like this, too.

But when I’m traveling with others, I have to be always careful not to slow them down or bore them with my curiosity. 

I might want to learn more about a statue I stumbled upon, for example, while they’d be itching to move on to the next tourist spot.

And I don’t like this feeling at all!

I want to take my time. Any kind of pressure (even unspoken!) to keep moving only ruins the experience for me.

Chances are that you also have this trait if you like to travel solo.

3) They love to immerse themselves in life

Traveling is an experience. But it’s hard to immerse yourself fully in it when we’re with other people.

They’re almost always communicating with you, for one. If not with words, then with body language.

And when they’re not communicating, their very existence is enough to remind you that you’re indeed just a tourist… and that kind of takes away from the experience.

But when you’re alone, you might just be able to blend in with the locals—to connect with them and learn to do as they do.

This might seem a bit vague. After all, you are a tourist, whether you’re alone or not. 

But look back on your time traveling and you’ll find that your best memories are often when you were all by yourself, living a life that’s totally different from the usual.

It was certainly that way for me, at least.

4) They’re self-reliant

People who are self-reliant are more likely to start traveling solo. 

But at the same time, those who travel solo also learn how to be even more capable of doing things all on their own.

They don’t need anyone to tell them what to do or where to go. They will perhaps get lost every now and then, but that’s just part of the journey.

If anything, this is precisely one of the things they love the most about travel. 

The whole adventure that is getting a bit lost and confused, and then figuring out a way to get back on track.

They make their own meals when they need to, and they can cheer themselves up when they’re down.

All of that builds character.

A person who’s been traveling for a year solo is definitely more self-reliant than someone who’s always around others.

5) They can hyper focus

People who prefer to travel alone love to experience life through all their senses—but there’s just so much to experience!

So they hyper focus on one experience at a time, pushing everything else into the background.

And this is something that’s most doable when one’s alone.

If they’re in Peru eating ceviche and charqui, for example, they want to focus on the taste of their food and nothing else. 

They don’t want to think about things to talk about, or wonder if their companions are having a good time as well.

And if they’re walking the streets of Paris, they’d rather just marvel at the architecture instead of trying to listen to their friends talk about random things—or worse, grumbling about something that they’re trying to enjoy.

6) They’re open-minded

Lone travelers are often a lot more open-minded than those who always travel with company.

They’re not afraid to do new things, like going barefoot in India, eating crickets in Cambodia, or drinking with strangers in Sri Lanka.

They don’t judge when they see funerals being loud and bombastic instead of quiet and sullen, or write off another culture’s music as “harsh” or “out of tune.”

Instead, they will try to understand why the people in the places they’re traveling in do things a certain way— to understand their perspective, and then immerse themselves in the local soundscape.

They’re open to learning about other cultures and trying things at least once.

The problem with traveling with others is that sometimes they simply have to tolerate the fact that their companions might be more closed-minded than they’d like.

7) They know when to follow their gut

Solo travelers can be quite carefree sometimes—they’d be perfectly happy hanging out with strangers in a random pub—but they’re always looking out for sketchy people and avoiding them.

They’re all on their own after all, so they have no choice but to be super alert.

And this forces them to learn how to be discerning, smart, and resourceful.

Traveling alone hones their intuition, and the more they travel the more alert they become.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with traveling with others.

But it doesn’t exactly teach people initiative and resourcefulness quite as well as traveling solo does.

You can always let others make the decisions for you when you’re traveling with others and you really can’t be bothered to make any decisions.

8) They’re kinda fierce

Solo travel helps us develop grit, which is essential for a fulfilling and successful life.

I consider myself as a strong-willed, ambitious, and fearless person today. And I have my travels to thank for that.

Traveling all by myself has taught me that anything is possible—that there are many different ways to live, that there are different ways of doing things.

It’s taught me that I can pursue whatever I want, and if things don’t work out, I can always do other things again.

Things happen on the road that you can’t predict, and sometimes you have no choice but to adapt.

And all my traveling has certainly taught me how to adapt to new and unexpected situations.

I wasn’t like this before. I used to be very shy, passive, and very easily scared. But I transformed when I started traveling alone.

Final thoughts

Traveling solo is not exactly the safest or easiest thing in the world, especially if you’re a woman.

There’s a lot of danger abroad and on the road—even in safe destinations!—so you need to be always alert and know the ways you can keep yourself safe.

People who travel solo are those who have the will to shoulder that risk, all to enjoy their travels more deeply and intimately than they could ever do with the safety of company.

If you’re a solo traveler, I hope you’ll have more life-enriching journeys ahead.

And if you aren’t, then I hope this article has convinced you to give it a go.