Updated: Oct 14, 2021
We put together a list of benefits that solo travel brings to your Muslim life, and how it can transform your appreciation and gratitude.
As intimidating as it sounds, Muslim solo traveling is a life-changing experience that requires a little bit of bravery and a little bit of randomness. If you get butterflies in the stomach every time you think of traveling to a new country all by yourself, let me assure you: you are not alone. In fact, most of the Muslim solo travelers worry about stuff before they embark on their journey. Let it be about what and how much to pack or just arranging accommodation. I have not even mentioned the language or finding halal food yet. That is just another spice to your dish of solo travel.
Let me tell you this, I have been traveling solo for many years now (I have been traveling solo since I started it, now it is difficult for me to travel with friends- but that’s for another blog post) and I have to tell you that solo traveling is the most enriching experience. You grow as a person, you grow in your faith, and your appreciation for this life just increases to another level.
I put together a list of benefits that solo travel brings.
1. Solo traveler’s itinerary is as flexible as it gets.
If you like being spontaneous and make last-minute changes to your plan or you just like going with the flow, then you may as well call yourself a solo traveler. When you travel alone, you have the luxury of creating your own itinerary and exploring at your own pace.
For example, in my latest halal Europe trip, I end up visiting 6 destinations in just 15 days. Doing this with a travel partner may not have been as easy because I ended up purchasing last-minute bus tickets. That gave me the opportunity to spend as much time as I wanted in each city. Btw, it was a great trip.
2. Solo traveling experience opens doors for meeting new people and gaining new perspectives.
Believe it or not, I was very anxious about my first solo travel. Going to a country where I did not know anyone or spoke the language was very intimidating. However, it turned out to be the best trip I have ever had. Note that I had already traveled a lot prior to this solo trip, but the case was always either I had a Muslim travel buddy at the holiday destination or traveling with me. So, this time it was just me and my luggage. Well, I made it to Sao Paulo and was exciting to meet people until I could not find anyone who spoke English. Thanks to technology, I was able to use a travel app and meet really cool local people. These people become lifetime friends with whom I am still in touch.
Meeting new Muslim brothers and sisters through the local Muslim communities can make you feel welcomed.
This trip did not only allow me to make new friends but also gain new perspectives with each friend I made. This broadened my understanding of many topics including faith, peace, culture, family, friendship, and human interaction.
3. The benefits of solo traveling are like drops in the Ocean.
For me, the single most important benefit of my first solo travel—which was the case for the other solo travel experiences as well—as being able to reflect. I would walk around the city and explore the beauties of the culture, and then I would grab some coffee and halal food and just spend some quality time reflecting upon my goals and wishes.
I often find a mosque in the city and just spend some time there to pray, read, and reflect upon what I have been blessed with.
The sense of confidence was another benefit of traveling alone as a Muslim traveler. Just the idea that one could survive in a whole another part of the world can boost your confidence.
4. Despite the common belief, any destination can be a solo Muslim traveler destination.
You must have come across posts like “top ten romantic cities in the world”. Among those Muslim-friendly romantic cities are Paris, Istanbul, Rome, Marrakech, and the list goes on. Well, the reality is, these cities are great halal holiday destinations even for any solo traveler including female solo travelers.
How about when you are traveling to a city that may not be as safe? Female solo travelers with hijab have particular fears of traveling alone. Well, what did I say in the beginning, you need a little bit of bravery to go on a solo journey. If you do your own research well prior to your trip, you can take the necessary precautions to ensure a safe and sound trip.
5. Finally, some solo travel tips to make your trip even more memorable.
The First and most important one is interacting with locals. If you want to get a full grasp of the culture you are visiting, the best way to do that is by communicating with locals. Your motto should be: Eat like a local (of course in a halal way), talk with a local.
Sometimes it is hard to find people to communicate with if you do not speak the local language. However, do not let that discourage you. There are dozens of apps (e.g. CouchSurfing, Meetup, etc.) where you can find other English speaking locals and travelers to hang out with.