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Traveling alone can give you a lot of time to explore what you enjoy the most. Take a few precautions, but don’t let any kind of fear run you experience. You don’t have to compromise what you want for anyone else. Other solo travelers make great companions. Do some research, and get ready to embrace the adventure ahead of you.

Stay safe.

Not all places are dangerous, but you need to always be mindful. Even in the US it’s possible to get mugged or mauled by a bear. The US Department of State keeps and up-to-date list of countries that may pose some threat to safety. You should do a little research before deciding on a destination, but really just be mindful of your situation. Don’t carry a ton of cash or valuables on your person. Avoid isolated areas, especially at night. Watch out for overly friendly or aggressive people. Give someone at home a rough idea of where you will be just in case anything does go wrong. Don’t be afraid. Just be smart and mitigate your risks.

Explore what you want.

When you travel by yourself you can be totally self centered. That may sound kind of inconsiderate, but it’s really freeing. If some opportunity comes up to see a new site or stay a night somewhere you can just do it. There aren’t anyone else’s expectations on what you should be doing or where you need to be. Go with the flow. If you want to spend the day geeking out over ancient ruins then do it. If relaxing on the beach drinking margaritas is more your speed then do that. Pick a destination that matches your interest and you’ll never be bored. If you’re in a place that experiences a lot of tourism then no one else is going to pay much attention to you or even notice that you’re alone.

Meet new people

There are other people traveling alone. Staying at hostels can be a fun way to meet and interact with other solo travelers. Most people at those kinds of places are pretty open minded. I’ve had experiences with strangers that rival nights out with my best friends at home. Even groups of people I’ve met tend to think it’s neat that I’m traveling alone and want to talk or hang out.

If traveling alone interests you, then you just have to take the plunge. Figure out your budget and safe destination that suits you and go. Make a few plans but don’t get caught up in that part. The adventure will find you, and maybe you’ll find out a few things about yourself too.