While she maintains that it is important to look out for yourself and never be caught alone with someone you don’t know when traveling alone, the freedom leaves her more open to experiences and meeting locals. On another trip, she met a local who shared an interest in medicinal herbs who ended up telling her about the native plants and their benefits. “He then got me a horse and here I was, riding a horse on this gorgeous beach, it was just unbelievable,” Castro said.
Going solo for business
Research from the Global Business Travel Association shows business travel is on the rise, after taking a dip during the height of the recession. Many business travelers have to go it alone, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyable.
Michelle Pippin is a 34-year old wife and mother of three children and she is very used to being around a lot of people all of the time. She’s a business coach in North Carolina, and her job takes her out of town an average of two or three times per month.
“At first, I really liked it as it felt really glamorous to me and that got old very quick,” says Pippin. “The biggest part was being away from my family.”
But instead of resigning herself to the fact that solo travel was a less-than-ideal side effect of a job that helped her family’s quality of life, she started focusing on the benefits of exploring the world on her own.
“I realized I could eat what I want, when I want, watch anything on television, catch up on a book or watch a movie I’ve been wanting to see,” said Pippin, who confesses a love for romantic comedies. She also treats herself to massages in airports or she visits the hotel spa, which is hard to justify when traveling with her family.