Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Mon December 14 2015

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  • A Cruising Couple | December 14, 2015 11:00 PM ET

    Should You Travel Solo? Pros And Cons Every Traveling Couple Should Know

    Should You Travel Solo? Pros And Cons Every Traveling Couple Should Know

    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock, all others courtesy of A Cruising Couple

    There are few things we love more than setting out hand-in-hand on a new adventure together. But before our years of travel as “A Cruising Couple,” we also had plenty of opportunities to explore the world as solo travelers — and we are eternally grateful that we did.

    If you’ve been traveling with a friend or partner, then it might be time to take the plunge and set out on a journey of your own. Solo travel isn’t for everyone, but it is an experience we believe every explorer (even couples!) should experience at least once. Discover the pros and cons of solo travel and get ready to push yourself outside of your comfort zone for the experience of a lifetime.

    Isla de Ometepe Bike Ride


    1. An opportunity to learn about yourself

    It might sound cliche, but perhaps the most fantastic reason to travel the world solo is the chance to learn more about yourself. Going solo is an opportunity to both unearth and re-create the true you. It’s easy to drift into “autopilot mode” when we are comfortable in our surroundings or dependent on another.

    However, traveling solo often means you won’t have traditional means of comfort to lean on. As you dive solo into new environments and cultures, you’ll begin to see the world in an entirely new perspective — and you might be surprised to discover your role within it. Not to mention, now that you’re the only brain solving problems as they arise, you’re likely to notice abilities you had all along that were masked by having another person to depend on.

    A Cruising Couple River Boat Southern Amazon

    2. A chance to see the world in a new light

    As we venture out of our comfort zones, we naturally begin to view the world in a way we never have before. Now that our regular routines have been shaken, we must re-create our reality by observing the outside world with fresh eyes.

    This can be a profound experience, resulting in deeper bonds with nature, other people and ourselves. Experiencing something new — and alone — almost forces you to connect to the outside world, which will cause you to see new details and make new connections you may have never made had you traveled with another.

    Casey Sunrise Amazon

    3. A chance to be selfish

    Traveling alone means you will be the one making the decisions, masterminding the plans and solving the problems. Traveling on your personal timetable allows leeway for adventure to strike as it pleases. Explore the art gallery a little longer. Hop into that coffee shop. Strike up a conversation with a friendly local. You might be amazed at how you enjoy spending your time when it is entirely up to you how you fill it.

    New York

    4. Newfound gratitude for your traveling companion

    As amazing as solo travel can be, it also teaches you to appreciate your travel companion in ways you might normally take for granted. For example, you might discover that your partner has an uncanny ability to make the longest of lines go by in a breeze. Traveling solo will not only help you to learn more about yourself, but it will also awaken the characteristics you never knew you missed in your travel buddy.


    1. Solo travel gets lonely

    Life of a Travel Blogger.jpg

    What all those bold-looking solo travelers may not share with you is that traveling solo is often accompanied by intense pangs of loneliness. Especially if you aren’t conversational in the local language, making new relationships can be tough and leave you feeling isolated. This is especially true if your normal companion will be having their own adventure while you are gone. Just remember feelings of loneliness and even jealousy are normal.

    2. Typical tasks and outings become much more difficult


    There is wisdom in the saying, “two heads are better than one.” When you’re traveling with a companion, there are two minds, two skill-sets, and two people always looking out for one another. However, when traveling solo, you’ll need always to stay alert and aware without the support system you might be used to. Though a con, this is also a pro — you learn more about your own strengths and weaknesses. It’s also likely you might surprise yourself with just how capable you are of handling situations on your own.

    3. Limitations

    Casey on a palm tree

    When you travel solo, you might find you aren’t as keen to take part in activities that would normally be at the top of your bucket list. For example, making a reservation at that Michelin-star restaurant or dancing the night away at a glitzy bar suddenly don’t seem as fun when you are alone.

    Luckily, there are two ways to tackle this problem. The first is to push yourself to try these experiences alone. The second is to explore new interests you typically might not think of when traveling with your partner or friend. Either way, you’re bound to learn something new about yourself and the world.

    Have you ever pushed yourself outside of your comfort zone to travel the world solo? It’s not always easy, but even with the cons, it is almost always rewarding.


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A Cruising Couple A Cruising Couple's Column

A Cruising Couple Dan and Casey are the two lovebirds, world travelers and adventurers extraordinaire behind the popular travel blog A Cruising Couple - adventure travel with a dash of class. Their stories and photographs feature that special place where experiential and stylish travel meet. Find out how you can spend less money, live more adventurously and travel more luxuriously on their blog,
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