Photo: Twin Sails/Shutterstock

9 Things You Gain When You Start Traveling Solo

by Nicole Sunderland Oct 16, 2016

Love for yourself.

So you say you love yourself already… but when it’s just you on the road and you have to rely on yourself, you learn just how tough you are and that you are one bad ass person. You challenge your self-worth from time to time but you become this amazing human when you realize you can do anything.


Sure it’s a virtue. How cliché. Things happen when you travel: delayed flights, missed trains, bad hotels, you get sick .. the list is a mile long. You learn to take the good with the bad and then realize just how fortunate you are to be able to do this. Once you realize something is out of your control – you move on.

Acceptance that your parents were right.

Money does NOT grow on trees – while the internet continues to produce videos of all these wonderful places to visit, you have to make money to get there. You are going to have to work your ass off to keep frolicking the globe.

A deeper understanding of the human condition.

We all think we are bad af for traveling solo but nothing beats a hug from anyone. For the brief moment, you understand what each other are going through – the good, the bad and the ugly. Don’t be afraid to let people hug you or hold your hand – they are there for you.

You learn photos may be worth a thousand words but there’s always five hundred more to be said.

You show up to a Paradise that everyone posts on their Instagram but fails to mention the country is 80% in poverty and people are living on the streets and are hungry. Like most social media channels, people only show you the highlight reel. Do some research before you take off on your trip and be aware of what to expect – otherwise, deal with culture shock

Time management skills.

Solo travelers typically keep tight schedules and move quickly between destinations to get the most out of their experiences. You learn to be on time, get things done early and do what you say you are going to do. No one likes the late guy anyway – get your shit together

An understanding for those less fortunate.

Just being on this adventure is more than a lot of people could ever fathom. You show up in a country where people are starving and you are able to not only eat but do it at the fanciest pace in town. You learn that money isn’t everything but it is a basic necessity that people need to purchase other things to survive. After a while, you learn to quit being so frivolous with your money

You learn to manage money like a boss.

I don’t mind being called a cheap ass and you shouldn’t either. Working hard for the money you have and not knowing where your next check will come from is a scary thing. So you learn to skip the strip clubs, bottles of Henny, and move on to ramen and water.

You learn to appreciate your own life.

We always think we have it worse than we really do. You woke up, congrats – that is a gift in itself. You will find yourself in places where you don’t understand how people can live on so little or with nothing and that they are happy people – and yet you complain about not having Wi-Fi. It gets easier, sister.

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