Going on a solo trip to a foreign destination is one thing, but hitting the road alone, either in the states or abroad, is an entirely different experience. Road trips allow you to really get to see the lay of the land on which you’re driving, and while most people think of road trips as an experience for friends or couples, here’s why taking a road trip alone, even if you do it just once, can be surprisingly rewarding.


RELATED: 4 Things No One Tells You About Traveling Solo


Your Route Is Up To You


Once on a drive through Maine with a group, I was endlessly frustrated by the fact that no one wanted to stop to get lobster or fresh blueberries from the roadside vendors. It was my first time in the state and I’ll never forget how annoyed I was that I couldn’t savor the very food Maine was known for, and I vowed to return for a road trip on my terms. One of the major benefits of doing a road trip alone is that you won’t have to convince someone to spend more time in that interesting little town or force someone to pull over so you can try that tiny roadside restaurant. You can stop as little or as much as you like.


You’ll Improve Your Problem-Solving Skills


Many people go on road trips without having major issues, but that doesn’t mean they won’t happen. From getting a flat tire in the middle of the desert to an unexpected road closure with no signs of a detour, when hitting the road, you have to expect the unexpected. Map out your route and identify towns with mechanics and gas stations along your drive, but if something does go wrong, you’ll only strengthen your ability to solve problems on the fly.


You’ll Finally Get Your “Me Time”


Getting time to yourself is easier said than done. Even when we think we’re unplugging, modern distractions have a way of interrupting our peace. With just you, your car and the open road, a solo road trip gives you time to be alone with your thoughts if you wish, or you can sing at the top of your lungs to SZA  or catch up on your favorite podcasts. How you spend the time in the car is up to you, and it’s one of the best parts of the journey.


You’ll Learn To Travel Deeper


You can only see so much of a region from the windows of an airplane or a guided tour bus. By hitting the road yourself to explore an area, you’re immersing yourself in new surroundings, even if you’re only passing through. A road trip allows you to take the time to truly embrace an area for as long as you see fit, and can lead to a more impactful experience.