When you are given the opportunity to travel solo, something inside simply explodes. There is nothing like being entirely on your own in a foreign place and being open to new experiences. It’s like something akin to nirvana.
To get there, you have to first be open to participating in the great wide world beyond your front door, and once you get there it will be like nothing you will have ever known; it’s so much better.
As crazy as it sounds, some of the best, most meaningful traveling you can do are trips you take on your own. Yes, just you and the open road or the high-seas or the blue sky stretching out ahead of you as you fly through the air, off to your next destination.
Traveling with friends and loved ones have their own place, that is also very important, but encountering something new for the first time while alone is a singular experience.
You Learn to Rely on Yourself
When you’re out there in the great wide world with just yourself and some spotty international phone data plan, you have to trust in yourself.
That you are following the map correctly. That you know you haven’t eaten anything you’re allergic to. That you can find a doctor or medication if you ever became ill.
Trusting yourself enough to keep yourself safe is a huge factor in successful solo traveling.
You Discover Yourself
Part of the great intrigue of traveling is being introduced to new foods, new ways of thinking, and new ways of life that you were previously unaware of.
One of the greatest opportunities in traveling is learning more about what makes you tick. Maybe you take a hike and stumble upon a ruin. Maybe you walk into a town square in the middle of the night to find families outside dancing and you realize you are more carefree than you expected. Maybe you find the sweetest, most exotic fruit in a remote region of the world and it suddenly becomes your new favorite.
Solo travel gives you the gift of opening yourself up to finding a not yet discovered passion without being influenced by misguided, but well-intentioned, family and friends.
You Learn to Love Yourself
When you are traveling alone, you learn to love yourself on a whole new level. It’s very easy to be lonely. Solo traveling implies that it’s a solitary experience.
However, the best, most understanding, compassionate, interesting, and funny companion is the one you have at all times within yourself. There is nothing better than coming home from a trip knowing that you are a changed person, not just from experiencing the world at large, but also from having found a deeper love for yourself.
At the end, it comes down to this – you are welcome to stay in your village, suburb, or town as long as you’d like, but even in a place like New York City, one of the most metropolitan, vibrant, worldly, intricate places on earth, you will still benefit from traveling alone throughout the world.
In the end, you can bring your experiences back to positively change the constant world around you. There’s not much more beautiful than that.
Feature image credit: Mark Doliner