Travelling alone can sometimes be the scariest, yet most rewarding experiences of our lifetime. Solo Travel can attract the lowest of lows and the highest of highs. But for those of us that tend to become bored with routine and the sometimes predictability of life - these are the risks we are willing to take when venturing to the strange and new. Finding ourselves in a new city, country or continent can be both exciting and daunting at the same given time. But that ambivalent rush of emotions is what drives us to jump on a place in the first place. We love it! We thrive on it! And we wouldn't have it any other way!
Whether you are an experienced solo traveller - or looking to make your very first adventure on your lonesome - we have prepared a list of 10 Life Lessons you are likely to Learn whilst on your voyage. Let us know what you think!
1. The ability to follow our hearts
When travelling solo we are free to choose where ever we go, when ever we want and with whom ever we want. We are free to follow our impulses, make crazy on the spot decisions, take each day as it comes and follow the heart. There is no second or third person to drown our desires with ifs or buts... we just go!
2. We open ourselves to others
When travelling with friends we are sometimes forced to make sacrifices, or in nicer terms... negotiations. Don’t get us wrong... for some the sacrifice is worth it! There’s nothing more spectacular than sharing an unforgettable overseas experience with a close friend. However when travelling alone, we all reach the realisation that in this world, we are never truly alone. We follow our desired paths and on these paths we meet travellers that share our dreams and desires.
3. Learn to trust our instincts
As soon as the plane hits the unknown land we transition into survival mode. Where Am I? I cannot remember the language! Where am I going to stay? I can’t read this sign! How do I get to my hostel? We suddenly become aware of our surroundings. The People. The Sights. The Sounds. The Signs. Our senses are awoken and yes, we are alive!
4. We learn to let go of our egos
Whilst on our solo voyage, we become eager to surround ourselves with others... hear of their travel stories, find out what to do, where to go. We no longer judge the person sitting before us because as a solo traveller – sometimes annoying company is better than no company!
Things can sometimes go wrong. Cancelled flights. Missed buses. Late trains. Hostels booked. Soon we learn to forget the little things. Lost money, lost wallets and stolen shoes can always put a spanner in the works. But somehow it always seems to work out! The more we travel the more we better adapt to these situations. We take a deep breath, remind ourselves 'whatever happens... happens,' and move on
6. We learn to face our fears
Soon enough normal life becomes mundane. We want that adrenalin fix that comes with arriving in a new city. With this new appreciation for Fear we realise that life is short and that days spent numb and bored, are days wasted. We begin to live our lives to the very full. We begin to say YES
7. Common Sense
Travelling alone gives us universal skills – common sense. By travelling solo we are in complete control of getting ourselves from A to B. We learn to double check documents, research cities before arrival, learn about local customs, read body language and stay safe. We have no one to tell us when to board, where to go and how to get there
8. We learn to love ourselves for who we really are
The above lessons soon lead us to #8 – loving ourselves. As we open ourselves to the people and the places around us, survive the unsurvivable, gain confidence in our ability to get around in unfamiliar countries & form relationships with shared path dwellers we find peace within ourselves. We find peace in being alone. We welcome the challenges thrown at us. We feel invincible
9. We appreciate relationships
This is the final and most important reason we travel alone. Soon we come to realise that we, as humans, crave companionship. We’ve shared experiences, we’ve said hellos, we’ve said good byes. When we return home to our friends and family we appreciated the lasting relationships. The ones that overcome distance and borders. It's the essence of life.