The thought of traveling alone terrifies some people. There are concerns about safety, fears that language barriers will prevent one from getting the most out of their trip and the simple hesitance to be alone. However, there are certain freedoms that come with traveling by yourself, and if you embrace the experience, solo trips can be huge opportunities for learning and finding oneself.
Here are some of the lessons you can learn by traveling solo:
How to Connect With People
Whether you like it or not, you’re going to meet people if you’re traveling by yourself. You’ll have no one else to rely on, so there’s a good chance you may end up stepping outside of your comfort zone. You’ll need to approach folks for directions and communicate with a variety of individuals. If you embrace the experience, you’ll have plenty of stories to tell when you get back, and you may even meet some lifelong friends. If you’re traditionally been a shy person, you’ll be able to use the communication skills you learned on your trip to “break the ice” whenever you get back.
How to Be Independent
The more you travel by yourself, the more self-sustaining you’ll become. You’ll learn how to take care of yourself (and possibly others), and you’ll build a knowledge base that will make you more self-reliant in all areas of your life. As that confidence builds, you may pursue endeavors and experiences you might now have gone for otherwise.
How to Stop Caring What Others Think
If you’re one of those people that is consistently afraid of what others might think of you one of the best ways to ditch that mindset is to travel by yourself. You’ll have to make decisions by yourself, and sometimes those decisions might lead to embarrassing situations, but it’s the only way you’ll be able to progress through your trip. The beauty part is that you’ll likely find that not nearly as many people will pass judgment on you as you think, and those that do will quickly fade to vague memory as you’ll likely never see any of them again.
What Your Calling Is
You never know when a career-related door will be opened, and those doors are surprisingly prevalent when you travel by yourself. New experiences and activities may appeal to your career aspirations. You’ll meet lots of people, and who knows–you may end up working with or for those people in the future. More commonly, traveling alone will give you all kinds of time to do some self-reflection, and you may make the decision to pursue a completely new path when you return from your trip.
There are a lot of other lessons to be discovered when traveling alone, but you’ll never learn them if you don’t take that first step out your door and hit the path of your choosing. Happy travels!