“Traveling alone will be the scariest, most liberating, life-changing experience of your life. Try it at least once.”
A few years back, even if you paid me to travel alone, I would probably refuse! The thought of taking a flight alone and putting up in a hotel room all by myself made me more scared than excited.
How time and experiences change us and bring out hidden shades in us! All it took was a leap of faith.
Now, traveling solo has become an essential part of my new reality.
Solo travelling has led to some great and positive changes in various areas of my life. And you’ll notice that people who travel solo (like me) are some of the most interesting and exciting people to interact with.
As the saying goes, “travel far enough to meet yourself”— it is true that exploring the outside world will help you know yourself better. Solo traveling paves the way for a healthy exploration of your internal world too.
Agreed, it involves taking a lot of responsibility too, but you get to meet new people, and it pushes you out of your comfort zone. So you return home with many new experiences and as a better, more mature human being.
In short, solo traveling is one of the best things for your personal development.
10 reasons why you should travel alone at least once in your life:
1. You Become Self-Sufficient.
Solo traveling makes you independent, self-reliant and completely self-sufficient. Not only do you have to take care of yourself but you also need to problem-solve and navigate on your own. You need to look out for yourself.
2. You Meet New People.
Unless you want to be in solitude 24/7, which can drive anyone mad! Solo traveling forces you to interact with new people. When you go to a pub with your friends you have a lot of fun, but you don’t feel the need to interact with new people. When you’re traveling solo you need to interact with strangers all the time. Sometimes you have to talk to them because you need help with something and other times you do it just for getting to know them, where they come from, what they like…and many a time, you actually make a good friend you stay in touch with after the trip is over!
3. Your Communication Skills Become Better.
When you travel solo, you meet so many different types of people and interact with them. No one else is going to express your needs for you. You need to start and carry out conversations with new people all by yourself. It naturally improves your communication skills and makes you a better conversationalist. You become more comfortable approaching people and expressing yourself. And these skills come in handy in every walk of life.
4. You Get More Comfortable Living Out Of Your Comfort Zone.
Stepping out of your comfort zone is the key to personal growth. Life begins when you push through your boundaries and inner resistance. Solo travel helps you do that in a big way, catalyzing your growth like no other activity. When you’re traveling alone, you’re always outside your comfort zone. Initially, you feel uncomfortable and try to resist, but the magic happens when you push through your fear. And trust me, you’ll get used to that lifestyle of bold decisions, adventures and excitement!
5. You Achieve Freedom And Spontaneity.
Solo traveling gives you complete freedom. You are in complete control of all the decisions you need to take. There’s nobody to discuss things with before deciding something; you need to rely on your own decision-making skills. If you’ve always dreamt of what it’s like to live spontaneously, this is your chance. You can be as flexible and spontaneous as you wish to be.
6. You Learn To Put Yourself First.
This point is specifically for people who are highly empathetic. Often, your own needs and desires get suppressed trying to fulfill those of others around you. Solo traveling gives you the rare chance to follow your own passions and desires completely forgetting about others. You literally can do whatever you want, whenever you want! For example, when I travel alone, I get to journal and write regularly, something I plan to do every day but never happens when I’m around other people.
When you travel alone, you get to put yourself first. There’s no need to worry about hurting someone’s sentiments or looking for a middle ground all the time. If you’re an empathetic individual like me, you always want to make sure that no one is hurt by your decisions. This is a great thing about empathetic people, but sometimes you just need to put yourself first. It’s essential for your growth and most importantly, you’ll get to know yourself more intimately.
Don’t feel guilty or selfish about putting yourself before others. When you give yourself the chance to expand your inner world and evolve, your capacity to give to others also grows.
7. You Get To Know Yourself Better.
One of the best things that happen when you travel alone is that you get to know yourself better. You’re doing everything all by yourself and spending so much time in your own company, so knowing yourself better is a natural byproduct.
When you travel alone, you become more self-aware, you become more in sync with your feelings, habits, thought process and natural tendencies. You’re intimate with the deepest parts of yourself.
8. You Will Develop New Perspectives.
Meeting so many types of people, exposing yourself to various kinds of cultures, traditions and local experiences will broaden your perspective immensely. You will learn to look at things differently and this will help you connect with and understand people better.
9. You Emit The Lone Wolf Aura.
Isn’t there something very appealing about a solo traveler who is visibly confident and seems to be having a great time? When you travel alone, you’re like this enigmatic lone wolf and bound to draw a lot of attention! Everyone is intrigued by a solo traveler who is self-assured and having a good time all by himself/herself. So travel alone and get that “lone wolf” vibe working for yourself!
10. It’s A Pilgrimage
Traveling alone is the modern form of pilgrimage. If you are interested in spirituality, you’ll know the importance of digging into your own soul. All the great spiritual teachers achieved enlightenment by being alone. Buddha went into the woods and spent a great deal of time meditating, while Jesus is believed to have journeyed to Asia to hone his spiritual powers.
It is unfortunate that such things are no longer popular in our society, but the concept is making a resurgence. Things like backpacking trips and solo travel are becoming more popular for a reason. People are choosing to travel alone more than ever before these days. It’s your own personal journey, explore the world, explore yourself. Do it the way you want to.
I hope this post gives you the strength and encouragement you need to travel alone. Planning everything properly will take a lot of time and effort, but it’s totally worth it! You will benefit immensely from a solo trip. Even if it’s only once in your lifetime, still do it. Embark on your adventure! Give in to that inner calling. You will thank me later.
Life is all about enjoying the journey. Live each moment to the fullest.