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Alone. Photo by Galyna Andrushko

To travel alone is to find the answers you’ve been seeking and discover the questions to all your unfounded thoughts.

FIND YOURSELF IN SOLITUDE. Everybody hears this time and time again.

From the punishment of youth when sent on “timeout” to the isolation every individual needs in order to hibernate with one’s emotions. Even through days of work, locking the mind and body behind concealed doors in order to cram a semester’s final paper or spurn a creative project.

Isolation, solitude, being alone-these words derive a connotation of growth and progress. They emphasize a deeper understanding not only of one’s surroundings, but also of the most significant and empowering quality-finding oneself within the present moment.

Who are you, I dare ask? Where are you? What are you doing, exactly? Why?

To find out I’ve a suggestion: quit work, take a leave of absence from work or school, and buy that one-way ticket to nowhere.

To travel alone is to find the answers you’ve been seeking and discover the questions to all your unfounded thoughts. It is your world. It is your adventure.

1. Responsibility
To take one’s life within one’s hands and have the freedom and maturity to mold it to one’s desires is to embrace this basic knowledge.

The one thing carrying the most weight, the quality of personality that enabled you-the solo traveler-to get here in the first place, is responsibility.

To take one’s life within one’s hands and have the freedom and maturity to mold it into shapes, forms and experiences of one’s desires is to embrace this basic knowledge. On the actual day we take responsibility for ourselves, our lives begin to change.

We witness how we are responsible for everything we do-each thought, word, action and emotion. This acceptance of our own responsibility for the life we lead provides us with the power to change. We become the artists of our lives.

In the words of Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, “Why should I deem myself to be a chisel when I could be the artist?”

2. Self-reliance

After the hurdle of self-responsibility there evolves a new respect and a new dimension toward living. Self-reliance is the response.

See it as the art of flotation after leaping into the air and clearing the hurdle of responsibility. It’s the sense of lightness and contentment. It’s a joy of accomplishment surpassing those worldly possessions left behind. “I am Lion! This is my Life! Hear me roar!”

3. Independence

Welcome to independence as you come down after the initial high and hit the ground running. You are now shaved of everything but your Self.

You are living your independence. No longer do you require anything other than yourself for happiness. No longer do you search for those outside fulfillments.

From the start, you were already alone. You were most likely in mother’s womb alone. And now you’re traveling, embracing this solitude, allowing you and only you to make all your decisions; what to eat, where to sleep, which train to catch and at what bus stop to depart.

You are the captain in your very own captain’s chair. Want to sleep in the middle of the day, read on a bench the rest of the afternoon, take long midnight strolls out under the stars? Fine. Do it, because no one is stopping you except your hesitation.

4. Likes & Dislikes
Traveling alone affords the individual solitude in order to step out of society’s role-playing games.

Now through these various layers of your evolution of mental, physical, emotional and spiritual growth-the solo-wanderer comes to terms with likes and dislikes.

Traveling alone affords the individual solitude in order to step out of society’s role-playing games. It absolves all expectations of you. You don’t have to listen to anyone. You don’t have to meet anyone’s needs. You have no schedules, appointments, meetings or deadlines with projects, papers, exams, etc.

It’s just you. And through the sifter of the mind you begin to remember who you are, remember which elements and ingredients in life you enjoyed the most and those you enjoyed the least. Then, without hesitation (you must drop this), you leap upon the likes and forever discard the dislikes.

5. Emotions

Emotions are a combination of mind and body sending you messages. They tell you where you are on a physical and emotional level. They inform you where you need to be-again, physically and mentally-in order to be healthy and whole.

With a continued awareness of what turns you on and off, emotions arise. They are not your friend’s emotions, your roommate’s, or your lover’s no matter how you might wish otherwise. Those persons aren’t here. You’re alone.

Emotions are the parts to your totality-the inner psyche-and in seclusion may one best decipher their keys sounded from the past.

The solo-artist may come to terms with the depth of Ralph Waldo Emerson when he said, “None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone.”

6. Patterns & Reactions

Photo by Cam Karsten

Stepping out of our routines and daily lives clears the traveler’s vision. So often we live in the past or future. We do not stop to see and be the present moment-our present moment.

Indeed, it’s a gift, and to let this gift slide away over and over again is to miss the beauty of the day, the hour, of the minute and its seconds. They will never come again.

Patterns and our reactions to these patterns are what prevent us from living and taking part in the beauty we are gifted. By frolicking in the unknown we’re able to witness these patterns from afar and see how we react to them.

With a continued awareness we can prevent ourselves from falling into old habits and bygone ways. Each new day is our rebirth and each new breath can be as if we are inhaling for the very first time.

7. Past Analyzation

You’re soaking in the Andaman Sea off Thailand’s western shore. You see a woman walking the beach who reminds you of an old lover, a past friend, someone against whom you’ve carried a grudge for too long.

You’re alone. You have that isolation to observe your thoughts. Therefore, you reach deep into the past and sift through the relationship’s components.

These moments of past analyzation allow one to heal sore spots, to lick old wounds and overcome the pain still carrying into today, whether exhibited upon themselves or others.

Through this process of self-healing, the solo-sojourner may reunite with another and develop a more mature relationship; one more natural and unconditionally loving for the benefit of both parties, which includes the surrounding environs.

Past analyzation while traveling alone affords the adventurer a journey into the past to reclaim forgotten lessons and repressed emotions.

8. Future Dreams
The future is your dreams’ playground. It is imagination free of any construct built by the past and not portrayed by the present.

Next we leap out of the past, through the flicker of the present and into the vastness of the future. Here, unfettered possibility rests. The future is boundless. It is borderless.

It is imagination free of any construct built by the past and not portrayed by the present. The future is your dreams’ playground.

During travel, see the future as everything and nothing. It’s your empty canvas, and there’s no better time to wallow in hopes, dreams and possibilities. So extract your journal and write, draw, scribble and dabble the imaginary creating anything the heart desires, no matter how selfish or selfless.

It’s the Law of Attraction – all that is necessary in life is asking, believing and then receiving with gratitude.

9. Care for Oneself

The above eight steps are not concrete. They are not rules or dictations. They are mere ideas thrown out into a world of utter possibility and endless variety.

In essence however, they are the steps of an evolutionary journey, which can be taken at anytime, anywhere, by anyone. Yet a personal journey is best undergone in the silence of one’s own presence, and traveling alone promotes this introspection with ease.

Solo travel teaches the pilgrim to care for their own self – because it’s only when one masters self-care that the individual will be able to advance. Only when peace is established at home will one be able to spread peace throughout the world.

10. How to Love

The finale is love itself. Love is the master. When living with love, all thought, word, action and emotion radiate from this core of our being-that being love.

Through solo-travel, and through the varying evolutionary processes of the pilgrim’s own psyche, he/she rides the expressway into the heart and splashes in an indescribable feeling of love and peace.

And from the words of one final sage upon the doorsteps of this last stage of personal growth spoken by Joseph Campbell, “You are that mystery which you are seeking to know.”

You are the love you first sought, whether conscious of it or not. Your personal journey, either in this lifetime or another in the future, will bring you to this center within yourself. Traveling alone upon a solo-quest is the perfect catalyst for this grand voyage given to the human being as a birthright.

So go find yourself in solitude where the inner landscapes of personality become most audible within a world of possibility.

What have you learned about yourself from solo travel? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Spirituality

 

About The Author

Cameron Karsten

Cameron Karsten writes spiritual and health travel columns for Brave New Traveler. He left his formal classroom studies to indulge in dreams of travel at 19 years old, and has been wandering ever since. Visit his personal website.

  • Daniel Harbecke

    Excellent article, Cameron. One of the best things about travel is the discovery of who you really are outside the trappings of habit and schedule. I can tell you really get it, and you’ve really nailed it here.

    Travel is as much a vehicle inwards as outwards, if you pause long enough to hear your inner voice. When you find your solitude, you can hear that voice full blast. Connecting to the thread running through the seams of your life is an incredible, composing experience. Man, you did a great job in this piece…. Thank you.

  • Grace

    Thank you for the wonderful article! I’ve been debating on a solo trip to Morocco and you just highlighted all the right reasons to travel alone or indeed to take the initiative to live each day meaningfully according to the individual.

  • http://matadortravel.com/travel-community/ianmack Ian MacKenzie

    Great article Cam, certainly one of your finest. It encompasses much of the philosophy that BNT is all about – that the key to happiness and a better world isn’t “out there” – that the journey is really just an effective way to self-knowledge.

  • http://www.wranglingrhinos.com N. Chrystine Olson

    To qoute an Andrian Belew song ( from 1982—I’m dating myself, I know):
    ‘I am a lone rhinocerous.”

    I have done most of my traveling alone, long term or short for almost 3 decades now.Might be time to try something new. Better check out the Travel Partners section of the Community board. Key West at Christmas anyone? I’m in search of Hemingway’s ghost and 6 toed cats.

  • CC

    Wow…just wow…

  • mike stansfield

    What a load of pretentious twaddle

    • Stephanie

      Only the people that know about spiritual search and have actually experimented these realms, or experiment them at present, know what this guy is talking about in the article. So, of course, it’s understandable if some people come in here and say he’s talking as if he was Jesus or something, because they don’t know and haven’t gone inside of themselves into that never-ending journey of depth and life when any answers are found.

      Very good article, I am amazed you began your journeys at 19 years old because I am currently 20 and am doing something I clearly know is not what I want for myself, in and for my life. But of course, being aware of it I am looking for that little button that says Eject inside of me, and everything fantastic that I’ve come to do in this world will just pop out and explode, I am waiting for it, and soon, very soon I will get to it, press it and wow… I can only imagine the rest! :)

      Thanks for the article.

  • http://www.cam2yogi.com cam2yogi

    Thanks Mike, I like traveling alone too.

  • satori

    I so enjoyed your article! Just last night I finished Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love (Yeah, I know, Oprah loved it and all – but I thought it was an excellent memoir of travel and self-discovery). The book made me ponder the particular blessings (and hardships) of traveling all by one’s self, and how much traveling alone can contribute to one’s sense of self and place in the world. Your article gives me the sneaking suspicion that the universe is telling me to plan a trip all by myself…thanks for the food for thought!

    Also – mike? You’re a jerk.

  • http://www.keepingpaceinjapan.com Turner Wright

    One question… what if you’re always the solo traveler?

  • http://www.cam2yogi.com cam2yogi

    Yes, I love that. Don’t you believe we’re always the solo-traveler? The majority of us are surrounded by family, friends and strangers, but there’s this slice from the senses that we are alone.
    I feel alone, and I’ve always felt alone, whether receptive to my family’s support or not. However, it wasn’t until I truly embraced traveling alone that I became comfortable with this individual solitude of life… apart from the social circles of society. Many argue that we’re naturally social animals, much like our near primates of the woods. And I agree. But we’re also solitary, self-thinking, self-responsible beings free to choose and break away from any physical bonds to explore inside and out.

  • http://www.nomadicmatt.com Nomadic Matt

    spot on. spot on. As a solo traveler, I can relate to all of those!

  • http://www.lakeinnisfree.blogspot.com an ismanto

    Well, Cameron, I think each of us needs to travel alone some times, but there are also some people who’d like to travel alone most of the time. I came from the second type. Yes, travel alone makes me going deeper into myself. With no one to talk to, you are a kind of forced to talk, hear, do for yourself. Isn’t it just like an introspection in the middle of the night, when others are sleeping and you are left alone with this world, this universe?

  • http://www.WanderlustAndLipstick.com Beth Whitman

    Great article, Cameron. Thanks for so eloquently pulling together the important aspects of solo travel. So many people reject the idea of traveling solo, thinking that they’ll be “lonely” but that’s rarely the case. Traveling solo gives you the chance to be with people, or not. Either way, you get to know yourself and return home with a whole new appreciation of your strengths and weaknesses.

    Beth Whitman
    http://www.WanderlustAndLipstick.com

  • Anil

    Sir please made me one tell me about urself example for me>

    My personal detail: My name is anil singh rawat. I m 27 year old & i belong in uttrachal district. My acdemic qualification is concerned, I m a graduate from delhi university. Moving towards my additional qualification, I have done one year diploma in computer application from ITG, Noida. My family background : There r 5 of us in our family. My father is a retire person in Janpath Hotel & my mother is a house wife. And I have one brother & a sister.I m the smallest amongest them. Apart of that my personal interest r, i m very fond of watching & playing cricket.

    Please sir rectify my personal details & briefly.

  • http://www.musicroad.blogspot.com Kery Dexter

    it is as important share to what’s learned on such solo journeys as it is to make them in the first place, I think.

  • http://completeandcreative.com Terry

    You broke it down very well. I love #10, no pun intended.

  • jim

    I agree with mike, what a load of pretentious dribble…. it’s written as if it’s religous scripture or something…ridiculous.

  • http://travel-writers-exchange.com Rebecca

    Loved your article. All 10 points resonated with me. When I traveled alone to Edinburgh, Scotland in August 2007 for the International Fringe Festival, I felt very free. It was great to spend time by myself even though I was surrounded by many people. I learned to become independent. This is ironic because I always considered myself to be an independent woman. I discovered I was not as independent as I thought I was. Also, I learned to ask and accept help; I learned to trust people.

    I’ve been on a journey of self-discovery since March 2007. I moved across the USA in September 2008 and continue on my journey to the “center of me.” Who knows where it will take me next!

  • Check Out Harmonic Wealth by James Ray

    Traveling alone does definitely lead to self discovery…I also wanted to let you know that I just finished this book and it might interest you. It deals with all five pillars of your life (financial, relational, mental, physical, and spiritual) and shows you how to create true wealth (as in well-being!) in your life. The very practical applications have made a big difference in my life – and could do the same for you.

    Here’s the link: harmonicwealth.com/read

  • Hollywood

    Hey, Nomadic Matt,

    If you are who I think you might be, do what you should do and be in touch with those that love you.

    Peace, Zen, Freedom, Love, — and consideration for those who care

  • http://www.collthings.co.uk Cool

    Experiencing travel on own or with others is what life is all about.

    "The core of mans’ spirit comes from new experiences". Christopher McCandless

    Check out these cool travel quotes:
    http://www.collthings.co.uk/2008/10/cool-travel-q

  • Lauren

    Beautifully written. The last part on how to love, brought tears to my eyes. It's time to do this. :)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/mismis mismis

    Hey,
    A friend of mine wanted to go to Thailand with me this summer until I told her I have a trip through Southeast Asia planned. I must have said it wrong because she started talking about how much fun it's going to be and so on. I had to tell her I really have to do this alone a few days later (even though I should have told her right away so she wouldn't have gotten her hopes up in the first place, but I'm really bad at doing that to people and honestly, I wouldn't have told her at all if her dad wouldn't have said no to her going on the trip…) Now she won't understand why I desperately want to travel alone, and maybe that's my fault because I'm not very good with words and didn't know how to explain her.
    Beautifully written, Cameron. I'm sending her the link right away, and maybe she'll forgive me:)
    x

  • james

    I just finished reading the The Evolution of Change, by Dr Michael J Thomas, this book opened my eayes to things I never realized, in using the laws, I recommend all read this book, find it at http://www.mindnfocus.com

  • http://glistenconcepts.multiply.com/ Angel MEG

    Hey! I love your post!

    I will definitely mention your article in my blog. More power! =)

    Love lots,

    Angel Meg

  • http://www.accessyourwealth.com Edward Litors

    “To take one’s life within one’s hands and have the freedom and maturity to mold it into shapes, forms and experiences of one’s desires is to embrace this basic knowledge.”. Dude, this was an awsome post! It made me realize that you need that silent alone time. No outside interference, just You and Source. I bet all of your questions could me answered during a time like this. Society is just so busy, rushing, etc, that we walk around most of the time like a chicken with the head cut off, no clear and defined direction. Great things cannot be accomplished without Source involved.

  • Meg

    This article just convinced me to stay in Spain by myself for a week when my family leaves!! thank you i hope you are right!

    • Phil

      hey im travelling alone to Majorca for 3 nights on Monday 3rd Aug, after the recent terrorist activity there im a little scared but i was already a little nervous! not looking forward to it at all but what u have done is very brave and i’m looking forward to finding my inner self!

      Phil :)

  • mihkal

    i enjoyed reading the article, thanxalot cameron, i appreciate your open-mindedness. also big thanx to all of you who post something, ’tis really touching. that way, you encourage me to fulfil my destiny as a BNT again. it seems right that we as self-conscious beings not only die alone, but also live alone. some get the hang of it, and start leading a happy life, developing strong determination, inner peace, gentle wisdom. when it all boils down to the fact that we here must die, how do we make use of that precious gift of human life, how do we care for this precious human bodymind?

    what i realized while solo-travelling alone on el camino thru austria and switzerland, and also during the time i spent in spain and australia, was that it is a real pleasure to remain silent for days on end. you do not have to talk. then you meet some people and wonder why they are so friendly and then you realize that you been smilin all the time. and you share some insights you have. you share life. then you go on your own again. what goes on inside then changes the perspective on myself and the world i live in. i have met some people i have never seen before. now they have become part of me or at least brought home to me that somehow what i call my self is alive, is relevant only in relationship to other sentient beings.

    there is a time for everything i guess: travelling alone or in a group, with a friend, a loved one. somehow we are alone, even at times someone is breathing nearby, and yet we share the air we breathe, we share feelings and thoughts, ideas and most importantly, we share love. dear friends, let us treasure the time we have been given, for this is all that matters. thanx again for that blog, it triggers a lot of beautiful reminiscences and phantasies. right here. right now.

  • june

    I traveled alone for most of the summer. I said it was to ease my broken heart, but that wasn’t so. I said it was to find new hope, a new beginning, but that wasn’t so. I said it was to explore new places to find new friends. I found a few. But what I also found was my own heart again and the pain that lies there wasn’t cured by a summer’s worth of travel. But at least, I learned to love that heart again. I learned to keep going

  • Lena

    I loved this article Cameron. Ive been scouring high and low for someone who can clearly article the self growth that comes with solo travel and this article is PERFECT. THANK YOU!

    And you ARE talented

  • http://careerbreak.posterous.com Kathy

    Travelling alone I find it easier to make connections and friendships. This might sound odd but I think if you travel with another person or other persons you become a ‘group’ and sometimes a bit insular. Whereas if you are on your own you have to be a chameleon and try to fit into places, situations and established groups.

    The only drawback is that being a woman of a certain age – in some places you get mistaken for a sex tourist!

  • http://www.avenstar.net Kim McGinnis

    Cameron,
    Thank you for the insightful article. I agree that being able to be alone and be happy being alone is the foundation to being happy with others and in different situations. It’s like the law of attraction. When you get to a point that you are happy on your own and you are genuinely content you are vibrating at a higher level, and so it is no surprise that this is when you attract the love of your life, that dream job, or a best friend.

    I believe that The Law of Attraction really does work. But since the movie, The Secret, came out, I think the new catch phrase might be a “Universal Consciousness” and where people a few years back were desperately seeking success I think today people just want to be happy. I do want to clarify something about my belief in the so-called law of attraction. Yes, I believe that if one trains one’s mind to consistently think in a positive way, which, in turn makes one feel good the majority of the time, more desirable situations and people will come into one’s world.

    The key is consistency and this takes a disciplined practice, which is something most people are not willing to commit to. This disciplined practice is something The Secret does not touch upon at all, and that is precisely why the world is in need of a ‘new secret’- one that explains in a fun yet real way that happiness is something that is absolutely possible – even in the state the world is in today. That’s why it’s time to have a new film – an update to The Secret. And that’s why we at Avenstar Productions teamed with inspirational speaker and author Andy Feld to make that happen. This time the secret is ‘Shamshara.’
    thanks for listening,
    Kim

  • http://www.andyfeld.net Andy Feld

    Thanks Cameron and Kim. Ultimately our happiness, joy, and abundance are of course our individual responsibility and nothing like traveling alone to understand this. Recently I was a guest on a radio talk show and a caller said his definition of happiness was always being around friends, family and loved ones. I countered that many just as many individuals find their own joy in solitude.
    The fact is that although we are all unique, our inner peace and happiness is an inside job. We are currently at an evolutionary tipping point where many are finally understanding that we are one with spirit and responsible for ourselves. Many are finally learning that we are much much more than what we do or earn for a living. Yes,there is a wonderful silver lining to the financial crisis. Thanks for the diologue. Andy

  • http://www.ciudadanoenelmundo.com Ivan

    It is a fantastic post,i think travelling alone is really special,give you a lot of feelings about yourself,to understand your past,your present,to dream about make the future,and is very special about People,to meet locals and other travelers is much more intense when you travel alone

    i think like Robert Byron in THE ROAD TO OXIANA
    ´Is not Just an account of months of Travel,is a defense of TRAVEL as a form,perhaps the most important form of HUMANISTIC EDUCATION¨ Sir Robert
    Byron

    • Corinne

      Well articulated, Ivan.

      Corinne

  • Kendall

    Have you heard of the new upcoming movie “How Thoughts Become Things?” I just saw the trailer at http://www.HowThoughtsBecomeThings.com It is a question I have had since seeing the Secret, but it really hasn’t been answered very well. I hope this film will do a better job. It claims it will tie the Law of Attraction to modern Neuroscience in a way that will be applicable for everyone. I think that if they can provide these answers it will be wonderful!

  • Corinne

    Well done, Cameron. An extremely relevant post. Inspirational. Comforting. Informative.
    I am on my way and I will think of you fondly.

    Cheers,
    Corinne

  • Nevin

    I just saw the trailer on the film “How Thoughts become Things” and thought it was worth talking about here. I think this will be a great movie. The website talks about deeper lessons into The Law of Attraction, using Neuroscience and modern Psychology. The film is being made by Douglas Vermeeren who did The Opus. I am interested to know everyones thoughts. Since Rhonda Byrne has put out her book “The Power” and has apparently has no intention of doing another movie like “The Secret” is this movie the next step for all of humanity?

    Here’s the website http://www.Howthoughtsbecomethings.com

  • My-Tien

    You make it sound so pretty

  • Kelsi

    Absolutely beautiful article. I love the subject matter, and couldn’t agree with you more after experience certain aspects of it myself.
    Gave me chills at times, and brought me the excitement I now recognize as the understanding and internalization of complete freedom and liberation, regardless of geographical location.
    Thank you :].

  • Bernard Denis

    Hey this was a reminder of my trip to Australia..so cool…..
    i went when i was 20 in 2008-2009. i decided to put my stuff in a little room at my parents house. Then i left with a year in mind to go all alone, not really anywhere to stay planned or anywhere to work, i just went!!, it worked out ill just say and all these steps i can truly relate to in some way or another! ,,, but next time i think ill find a job first that part really felt like i was carrying another person on my back most of the time if you know what i mean?.

  • http://www.bondibuddha.com Rob Thomas

    Very nice Cameron!

    I wanted to say that I am 49 and spent the whole of 2009 living a nomadic existence through parts of Asia. Originally I am from the UK and have traveled quite a bit, but never without purpose. After working hard at businesses and jobs I was good at, but hated, I decided I had acquired a pile of crap I didn’t care about, fake friends and a persona far away from the fun, easy-going chap I used to be.

    My adventure changed my life. I wish I could write as eloquently as you and tell other old geezers to go off and do the same. It actually inspired me to start my clothing brand Bondi Buddha – something I dreamed about since I was 19.

    Anyway… cheers,

    Rob.

  • http://cocoways.tumblr.com/ Coco

    woow..interesting tips. I do notice whenever a person is going through rough time in order to heal, you need a vacation and time out from critical situations even few days of holiday can do the trick. Sometimes it reform a person’ mind completely.

  • Hassanmlawsh

     it’s one of my fav articles of the whole time in BNT!

  • LisaPres

    I am looking to travel this summer alone to Turkey. I’ve normally traveled with my family overseas and domestically (USA). I’m a bit scared b/c I’m a 31 yr old Female. But a part of me thinks it should be Safe if I take precautions.

    Thanks for this beautifully written piece.

    • Cschadle

      I’m 21 and did it. Don’t let anything stop you #noregrets

      • Cschadle

        I did hear eastern turkey is not the safest though, be careful.

    • Varmychris

      Turkey is a very friendly country and super affordable.  I have been there 4 times.  You have absolutely nothing to fear.  Enjoy your trip and find that happiness you are seeking.  Good luck!

    • DeeZee

      I think something that I have learned in my solo travels, and that are crucial especially for a woman traveling alone, ands even more so in such male centric cultures (i did turkey last month, for a month, and it is definitely male centric) is following your instincts.  Use your common sense.  The same logic that has brought you safely through your US and other international travels will translate just as well in Turkey.
      The list above is pretty spot on, and you are bound to learn things to carry with you from that point forward, but following your gut is important.  If something doesnt feel right, then just move along. Because even though it could be nothing, if you arent comfortable, then you’re not enjoying yourself anyways. 
      So, my advise is don’t just listen to what your instincts tell you about a place or a person, but follow it.

  • Ch33rb0

    Im 22 male from new zealand and looking at dropping everything and travel the world. i just need to take the dirst step and do it.. are there any web sites where u can find other people traveling alone and join them ? ?

  • Allison Raff

    You find out just how strong you really are standing all alone in a place that before that moment is foreign. You somehow begin to regain trust in human existence that before that moment has been shattered by all previous encounters. You become forever changed by your experiences… experiences and relationships that you can never forget. 

  • http://twitter.com/tepenc Stephen Conor

    When self evaluating, play music really  helps in time. It helps you contemplate with what has been happening to your life.

  • Segendorf

    Great post. I am about to embark on an 8 month solo journey. I’m terrified and thrilled. This post has reaffirmed my reasons for doing this. Thank you

  • Zehra

    Because of my current job, I’ve been traveling solo a lot for the past two years. True its all for work, yet I still have time to enjoy, contemplate, and recover from the past wounds. What’s written here makes so much sense, and I’ve been through them all. A little music (as mentioned before me) and a good book make the experience even better!

  • Cschadle

    I studied abroad in Europe for 5 months and traveled to 12 countries. I met so many amazing people who I continue to keep I touch with. They have even flown to the US to visit since. I learned so much about myself and what I am actually capable of. Was I terrified? Absolutely.. But I was terrified the first day of college too. You learn to adapt, you learn to open up, and as a result, gain so many wonderful and life changes experiences. It’s a decision I will never regret but cherish for the rest of my life. You’ll be so proud of yourself. I hope you took the opportunity.
    - Blessed

  • Eam Ylime

    Thank you Cameron.  I am going to do this in less than a month and by reading this article,  I was able to ease  a lot of troublesome question and validate other ideas. 

  • Deneen Bunch

    I have traveled to many places…..and provide the schedule the planning for all to enjoy the trip. I have traveled alone on several occasions and love it..!! Montreal Canada, New York city, Rome Italy and Zurich Switzerland.   The colors are more vivid…the sounds more meaningful…and you have no one to appease.  It seems when you bring someone from home…problems are discussed…..and it makes one feel….i am still home. When alone…you meet new people for a moment….hear history more clearer….take in the beauty to were it moves you.  Endless chatter is exhausting with company. I am slowly learning I enjoy the solitude and refuge of a solo traveler…..The family cannot understand why I travel alone…Thank you for this website…now someone who understands..! 

  • Johnrelh

    It’s help us to know what we are going to do in every decision in our life.It is important to have an right decision before doing what ever you want to do. Traveling alone is not an easy tusk  you must know in every steps you made and in every steps their is a footprint’s leave from it and the new steps you have than their is a new stories in you life you do…(I TRUST NO ONE THAN MYSELF)…HEHEHEHE

  • Kalani

    I am looking to travel beginning of next year alone in europe, I feel like I have nothing to lose, I’ve lived on Kauai in Hawaii all my life, I have never left Hawaii, lost my job and I feel stuck. I believe I will be frightened indeed! But it well help me realize myself worth and open my eyes to many different things.
    Good luck to all you travelers :)

  • Catherine

    I’m going on not only my first trip to Europe, but my first solo trip, next month. I’ll be going through Brussels, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Croatia. At first I was nervous about going alone, but now, I can’t wait! 

  • Aloma Rose-Marie Lashley

    Wonderful article…

    • Robert Benoit

      Thank you! noted

  • Danilo Macri

    Thank you so much for this, flawless article really insightful.

  • Anonymous

    I am taking a solitude trip all alone tomorrow. This article helped me a lot. I am in search of myself…

  • Amanda Gabbert

    Great article! Traveling by myself taught me who I am and a lot of the insight I gained has and will stay with me for a long time.

    • Ida Haynes

      you are reading my mind, as is this article!

  • Root Leaf

    that hit the spot… thanks for the primer.

  • Antonio Bueno

    If you want to know Valencia and you’re traveling alone, let us by your host. By our west for a week… we are waiting for you.
    Contac with us:
    Our City Just for You (Valencia, Spain).
    http://www.ourcityjustforyou.com/

  • Jon Barrett

    This is all very good….but I think item 10 is stretching things…’How to Love’? lol.most of what I’m reading above tells me about someone looking inwards, being a self centred, egotistic and not really caring whts going on in the real world…. ‘How to Love’? needs to start with the opposite of all the above traits and surely…to find the better person in yourself…you need to take on life’s challenges…suffer adversity and actually care about others or your neighbour and doing unto others as you would yourself. some people who never leave the borders of their own home can equally find themselves, their inner peace and to find true love… so I wouldn’t get too hung up on the colourful stereotypical idea of travelling… especially if it suggests you will learn how to love….just a thought! :-)

  • Michelle Elizabeth

    True in many accounts! Traveling alone reminded me of what I forgot– that I’m in control, responsible, to work towards your dreams… Translating it back into my life in my home country has helped put a lot of it in perspective as I try to settle down in life and my career. This article was a good reminder to see the bigger picture the way I saw it when traveling. Thanks! :)

  • Avalok Arts

    I am a chronic solo traveler and find it difficult to explain why I do so to my friends and family. This is an excellent article which lists out all the things I wanted to say. Great!
    BTW I just returned from a 5 week long solo Motorcycling tour over 3000 KMs of the Deccan region of India and I stumbled upon this page…serendipity!

  • Deneen Bunch

    I absolutely love your writings…..on a soulful level I read this one article often to remind me of the most important relationship I have…with myself. I am taking a trip to Rome in the spring for the entire month alone…..self discovery, peace from a chaotic world….solitude….I am a therapist…and these soulful journeys are needed to rest and rejuvenate myself after helping so many others find their own inward peace….thank you for your wonderful insight….

  • Lauren Metzler

    Such a beautiful post! Traveling solo for me has been such a rewarding and fulfilling experience! I have done soooo much that I once thought I was too afraid to ever do! I have seen beautiful sights that will stay in my mind and heart forever…Huangshuan Mountain in China and the lush rainforests of Northern Thailand, scuba diving with sharks in the Great Barrier Reef… all of these experiences has changed and shaped me into the person I am today. I am eternally grateful that my past self decided to “just buy the ticket” and I sincerely cannot wait to see what other adventures I get up to!

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