Many people are scared of traveling solo. Not from the lack of companionship or because they feel it´s too dangerous but because they think that it would be too lonely and even sad to travel without friends. However every solo traveler knows that they couldn’t be more wrong. Because what solo travel teaches you is to see the life in different colours.
There is a huge difference between going alone and being lonely. Solo traveling opens your mind, opens your eyes as well as your heart. Indeed traveling alone can result in a far more rewarding life experience. You will have instances where you wish you could stop time and stay in that moment for the rest of your life. Traveling solo teaches you the important life lesson of how to enjoy every second and not take a single moment for granted as well as how be alone without feeling lonely.
This is what solo travel teaches you:
1, Always believe in yourself
Solo travel teaches you to rely on your own knowledge, skills and personality. Every single step you do during your trip depends entirely on you. You may be faced with situations where you think you are out of your depth. There will be obstacles, misunderstandings and other challenges you must overcome. But you are strong! Why? Because you already found the courage to go solo!
Most people will never have the resolve to go traveling solo, they would be terrified at the thought! If you’ve already completed the first step of deciding you will travel alone then taking the plunge is easy! Don’t listen to anyone saying you can’t do it – your friends, family or especially ant inner doubts – you will do better than anyone expects! So get your backpack and go out the door, go to study your soul, reach the sky and humble your fears. Find the ground and believe in yourself. You will never ever hesitate!
My First Solo Travel
My first solo travel was actually an accident. I was supposed to meet up with someone but this person never arrived. I must admit – the first few hours were quite depressing. Me, a girl all alone in an unknown town. I thought this is sad, this is something what shouldn´t have ever happened. What a terrible trip this will be! You know what? It was amazing!
I realized I can have fun on my own, nicely enjoy the food, the drinks, the place, the people, the history, the culture, the vibrancy without anyone else. I am the best companion for myself! I overcame my shy side and I got know some pretty interesting people. I explored the town, met some locals and was absolutely sure that the next trip I can do it on my own again! Because I finally started to believe in myself.
2, Always believe in your dreams
Do you think that u can´t never get to the Himalayas? Do you think that going to Amazonia, flying to New Zealand or traveling across all of the contents is a dream that you will never be able to reach? You are wrong because you can get to any place that you wish. It doesn´t have to be tomorrow, it doesn´t have to be this week or month, not even this year. If you really want to go there then you can travel anywhere on earth.
Solo travel teaches you to focus on you goals, believe in your dreams and take action to make them happen. Write it down on a piece of paper, stick it onto your wardrobe, wall or door, and look at it every single day. You don´t even have to think about how exactly you are going to get there. You will find a way to get there eventually. It’s happened for me and not only once.
Do you know where many of my next travel or just non-travel dreams were born? On my short, small or longer solo travels. When I travel alone I spend time day dreaming of where to go to next. The places I am in can inspire me so much that I always come home with a new dream and mission to complete. I love it guys, and you will love it too!
3, Enjoy every here and now
You will never be younger and you will never experience the same moment again. Don´t waste your time, set some goals and meet them. Plan and use every single second of your trip. Don´t confuse planning with boredom! Scheduling doesn´t mean not having spontaneity. When you plan ahead of time what you want to see you avoid wasting your time hesitating or just walking purposelessly around. Know your targets and try to meet them – you’ll soon see that the time for crazy, unplanned stuff will always come along.
Take your time, be focused on details, and step aside from shallow exploring. The most beautiful memories are those which are carved into you after you experience things to their fullest. The more and deeper you delve the more you will experience from that moment and the more vibrant memory you will always have. Your brain and soul are the best cameras you will ever have. Sometimes is not the scene but the feeling that you remember.
4, Be always open to new people
Have you ever thought about how many interesting people you will never meet in your life? How many of them you ignore on a daily basis? How many of them you didn´t have any chance to meet just because you were too focused on your travel companions? I know going with friends can be great fun but going on your own is fun as well!
When you have more time you are more open to meeting new people and find other lone wolves on their own adventures. They might be from absolutely different cultures, coming from distinct backgrounds but they might introduce you to a new perspective. Just be open to random people appearing and disappearing during your journey. They can bring you wisdom, they can cheer you up.
Solo travel teaches you to discover new opinions and views on life you never considered. Be open to everyone and listen to what they have to say. Meeting new people can also introduce you to new traveling destinations you never knew about. You can visit each other in your home countries and explore parts of the globe you wouldn’t have known existed if you hadn’t taken the time to meet them.
My First Solo Travel
On my first unplanned solo trip I met some really nice and helpful people with their own amazing backstories. This wouldn´t have happened if the person I supposed to meet there had arrived. I would have probably spent all the time just with him. I would have lost the opportunity to hang-out with guys not even speaking communicative English. We used legs, hands, fingers and expressions to communicate – they spoke broken English and I didn´t speak any Spanish at all.
Despite of this it was an awesome unforgettable night! They took me to a roof party in the center of Valencia and the very long night started. The next day I hung out with a group of solo travelers from USA, Australia, and England… the third day I bumped into Spanish and German guys… so many people for three days! As I said ‘alone’ doesn´t mean lonely.
5, Fear is just in your mind
I don´t regret doing anything, I only regret not doing the things. When I was a little girl, not even 6 years old, I had a bad experience almost drowning under the water. This short and not even extremely dangerous experience made me nervous around water for years! In the years after this accident I wasn’t able to go to near to a pool, river, lake or any other body of water. I even got scared when having a long baths!
The years were passing and I spent all of my summers having to be content with just dipping my feet in. After I was 16 I finally learned how to swim. But I´ve never learned how to swim underwater to this day… What a shame! I went for several holidays by the sea (solo as expected) but have never had the feeling of jumping into the waves! I was so scared all of my life! Scared of water! Water which gives life to all living creatures.
How I Faced My Fear
This year I was traveling across Portugal. We were passing (not solo this time) several amazing abandoned rocky beaches and hidden bays. Anyone who has been to Portuguese seaside will know that it is absolutely gorgeous. All the people were jumping into the clear, stunning water going with the flow of the crazy waves. I was watching them and refusing to do it. On the way back sitting in the car I started to think. What a shame that I didn´t do it. Why? I want to be pulled, I want to be part of the sea and the waves and I really love it! Why am I such a coward and still carrying this phobia from my childhood?
After few weeks we went on a staff party on a beach. We did some water games and I took part in quite a wild banana boat ride. Nothing exciting for you? Well for me it was something pretty adventurous and brave! We got thrown into the water at least three times and I loved it! Being there in the middle of the sea, thrown under water, I realized how ridiculous my fear had been! A part of me had always wanted to try it but it had always been drowned out by this silly fear. Not by water or sea…just by fear, fear in my mind.
The Power And Courage Inside of You
Solo traveling gives you power and courage. You are a lone wolf and you have the power to overcome all of the obstacles waiting for you. You won’t have any of the comforts of sharing the travel responsibilities. No-one holds the map for you, no-one asks strangers for the directions. When you get lost there is no-one to find the way back for you.
When your first plan screw-ups nobody comes up with an alternative. Yes you will be scared, yes you will face your fears when browsing world alone. But later you´ll understand that it was all just in your head. After overcoming that you will never be afraid of anything again. Not even of being drowned in the water.
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Photo: magdeleine.co, pexels.com