When you think about travelling, how often do you think about your travel companion? Whether that friend, family member or boyfriend will have the resources, time or money, and will agree to go wherever you want to. Or, how many times have you had to follow someone else’s travel plans?
If this sounds familiar, you should probably consider going away on your own. It may seem daunting and challenging, but what is really stopping you from going to your dream destination? Here are five reasons to encourage you to go on the incredible solo adventure:
1. It makes you let go of the comfort zone
If you feel like you have reached and impasse in your life, maybe work has become too dull and nothing seems to lift your spirits, making the decision to travel can make all the difference!
Apart from actually getting you out of your comfort zone, the experience of travelling alone will change your mindset completely, since it forces you to meet people who speak a different language, eat an entirely different kind of food and make a ton of decisions you wouldn’t normally make.
You will learn to be more spontaneous, take more risks and enjoy every single moment, even the dullest ones. After that, no comfort zone will be suitable for you anymore.
2. You acquire massive problem-solving skills and creativity
When you find yourself in a complicated situation on a far away country, there will be no choice but to find a solution. From the flight getting cancelled, losing your wallet, missing a train or choosing where to have dinner, every problem will turn easier as you learn there is nothing to fear. All the skills and abilities to get yourself out of trouble are inside you, ready to be discovered.
Your backpack broke and can’t afford to buy a new one? = Learn a new skill with the hotel’s sewing kit or give a shoelace a whole new purpose.
Want to take a photograph and no one is around? = Make a tripod out of your bag and your cellphone.
Many things will happen to you while on a trip, do not let any of them discourage you and get creative!
This can also apply if someone starts to ask suspicious questions, just let them know you are waiting for a friend or meeting your very tall and dangerous boyfriend. There are no limits to where a little creativity can take you, just explore it and apply it to all other aspects of your everyday life!
3. Face yourself
Believe me, there is no better way of getting to know who you really are, than when you are alone. Most of our lives are spent surrounded by others, getting advice on what to do, the best way to go, etcetera.
But having the experience of being alone will make you aware of the strengths and weaknesses inside you, giving you tools to exploit the things you are best at and to work on the ones that fail you. If you are shy and scared of talking to others, travelling alone will change that by opening up a whole world of possibilities; if you are too reckless maybe you’ll learn that some prudence sometimes saves your life.
Also, it will force you to acknowledge your individuality, loving and living with it. And when you discover who you are, then it is easier to accept and respect others for who they are without judging and to no longer care about other people’s expectations or approval.
All of this can boost your confidence about 1000 percent, you’ll get back home and look at it with different focus, because you discovered how to manage stressful situations, talk to different types of people and most importantly, learnt to embrace the unexpected things that get out of your control and how they can lead to the most amazing experiences.
Living and learning from different cultures, seeing how people live in all parts of the world opens your eyes, makes you patient, empathetic, flexible and grateful for all the blessings you have.
4. You get to REALLY experience the destination
On a regular trip you would be on a bus with a bunch of tourists, hopping on and off at the most important sights at the will of a tourist guide. But when you go alone, that can really bring a different sense of the place, you get to talk to local people and ask for the best restaurants to eat, or the off-the-beaten path attractions.
Walking can get you a long way – both literally and figuratively – since there are many hidden bookstores, coffee shops and picturesque that would normally go unnoticed if you moved in a different kind of transport. Even the smallest things as having a cup of coffee watching the sunset can make the best memories. And the best of all, no one will complain about your itinerary!! You can choose to spend a whole day in a museum or wake up late if you want.
Enjoy getting lost on purpose and take advantage of that long-lost sense of direction you had stored in your head. Eventually, you’ll be richer, not with money but with experiences that will last longer than a lifetime.
When the satisfaction of a well-travelled place hits, nothing, not even money or material possessions will ever seem enough. If you learn that “travelling light” is also a lifestyle, all you are ever going to need are more experiences to fill your memory book.
5. Become an expert in photography
Last but not least, travelling alone means you have to use all your skills to take that perfect Instagram photo!
Composition, lightning and the perfect gear are going to become your best friends on your journey, because every experience traveller says: document everything. Whether it is for your travel blog, video blog, Instagram profile or just to show off with your friends, a picture is worth a thousand words. You don’t want to miss the perfect shot just because there is no one to take it, and these photographs will become the best souvenirs anyone can get.
Do not be afraid and take the risk, there is nothing to lose and a whole world to gain.