“Don’t be scared to walk alone. Don’t be scared to like it.” John Mayer
Three years ago, you couldn’t pay me to travel anywhere by myself, and getting on a plane to go abroad solo was definitely out of the question.
It’s funny how time changes things and us, and the things you never saw yourself doing suddenly becomes your reality.
Traveling solo has become a new part of my reality, I absolutely love doing it and I’ve learned many lessons along the way. Being the ‘not liking to wait on others’ and ‘get up and go’ person that I am, it’s just a natural fit for me to go it alone more often. It’s exciting, nerve-racking, and so very rewarding all at the same time. Now that I have a few international solo adventures under my belt, I’m eagerly looking forward to the next one!
If you’ve been thinking about venturing off alone but are still indecisive or nervous, here are 10 reasons why you should travel solo at least once:
1. You never return the same way you left.
Venturing out alone renews your spirit in the most positive way. It changes your energy, your perspective of the world, the way you view others and the way you view yourself. You become a bit more fearless and more confident in your abilities to figure things out on your own.
2. Leaving your comfort zone is good for you.
Traveling solo gives you the kind of healthy push you need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. You learn to embrace being around unfamiliar places, people and all of the challenges that will present itself on the road.
3. There’s so much to learn about the world.
Seeing and exploring some of the most beautiful places will leave you speechless. Experiencing different cultures and ways of life that make each place so special is a unique experience within itself.
4. Spending time alone helps you get to know yourself better.
The best relationship you can have is the one you have with yourself. Traveling solo gives you the time you need to slow down, reflect and spend that quality time with yourself that you may often miss when you’re caught up in the day-to-day life back home.
5. You will discover just how strong you are.
Not everyday looks and feels the same when you travel solo and you learn to roll with the punches either way. Some days you might find yourself with a group of new friends running around the city. Other days you may just want to take it easy alone while going at your own pace. You’ll realize that while you enjoy being around others, you become mentally stronger and more capable to wing it by yourself.
6. The way you look at things will change.
Your perspective on certain parts of the world or customs and beliefs will be completely different when you experience it firsthand and you’ll find that that all of the photos you see and articles you read just don’t do them justice.
7. Making new friends abroad is amazing.
A solo trip is never really spent completely in solitude because you will meet other travelers just like yourself. You will share stories and realize how much you all have in common and you’ll realize, you’re not ever really alone at all.
8. It’s not as scary as you think.
All of the worries and misgivings you initially had when you set foot on the plane will disappear the moment you reach your destination. While it’s true you should practice a certain level of caution no matter where you are in the world, you’ll discover that a lot of the ridiculous things you’ve seen in movies aren’t real.
9. Experiences are way more valuable than things.
Nothing compares to buying a pair of shoes that are made in Paris and actually visiting Paris. Nothing.
10. You will more than likely want to travel solo again.
Traveling is an addiction in and of itself. But the freedom you get when you travel solo is just different. From going at your own pace and not feeling guilty about it, to the strength and confidence you discover within yourself. It’s a peaceful and calming journey you’ll likely want to experience over and over again.
This article was originally posted on This Way North, and has been re-published here with permission.