Traveling alone can be terrible at times, but the positives easily outweigh any negatives. How can traveling alone change you for the better? It makes you accept everything that’s happening, accept everything that’s bad, accept things as they are, accept yourself and accept your life. It shows you what seizing the day actually means. Traveling can be terrible, yet traveling is terrific. Remember that.
Your first days of solo travel might be a bit sad and lonely. But if you continue, you’ll have the best experience of your life. You will meet extraordinary people, visit amazing places, and make lifelong connections. You’ll immerse yourself in other cultures, learn new languages, try new foods and open your horizons to new perspectives. You’ll be able to understand the world as it is, not as you’re being told it looks like. Here are five ways that traveling alone changes you, for the better!
How Traveling Alone Changes You
1. Not Being Afraid of Loneliness
We always seem to need somebody by our side. Isn’t that a little bit frustrating? We can’t eat alone, can’t talk alone, can’t go to the cinema alone, can’t dance alone. It “looks bad” on you to do all these things by yourself. But does it really?
Even though social interaction is important in our daily lives, we should also leave time for ourselves and ourselves only. We should stay quiet for some time each day and meditate. We should eat alone and concentrate on our food and digestion.
Being alone is not shameful, it’s powerful. If we don’t mind being alone, it means we are not afraid to live with ourselves. We are feeling so good with ourselves that there are no things to run away from, nothing to hide from. Realizing that is when spending time alone becomes an enjoyable activity. And guess what? Travel teaches you precisely this.
How to overcome loneliness when traveling
If you are traveling right now and have no clue on how to overcome loneliness anxiety, just remember that there are many other backpackers feeling exactly the same as you!
Here are some quick tips that might help you out:
- Go to the bar, and have a drink. Bring a journal with you and write down your thoughts. How do you feel at this exact moment, and why? Why are you not self-confident? Find the root of your anxieties.
- Meditate each morning, and ask yourself why all the time. Breathe in, breathe out, and let it go. Feel good with who you are. Make sure you understand that you are.
- When you feel anxious about communicating with new people, imagine that you’ll never see them again (which is ofetn true). So, be your best self!
- Meet new people by making eye contact and smiling. If you get a smile back, go up to that person, and ask them if they want to grab a drink. Be honest!
- Read in a nice cafeteria, and look around. How do the people seem? Would they be willing to have a conversation? Try! If they say no, at least you’ve done your job. You’ve asked.
Don’t concentrate only on the downsides of your trip. The lonelier you are, the more you’ll evolve in the following weeks, months, or even years. Take all of your experiences as important life lessons.
2. Opening Up Your Perspective
Travel will broaden your horizons in many ways. Here are some excellent examples:
- You will understand what “appreciating little things” actually means. There might be times when you won’t have access to Internet, hot showers, or comfortable beds. All the challenges that you go through will teach you to be grateful and pleased with everything that’s going on in your life.
- You’ll define your priorities, and remove deficient people from your life. You’ll learn how to let go, and enjoy time with the people and the activities that you genuinely love and appreciate. If something doesn’t fit in your life anymore, you’ll give up on it easier and faster. You’ll know what you want and how to get it.
- You will learn to value the true nature of the people you meet. Interaction with strangers will become a fantastic activity to pursue, especially when realizing how many benefits it can bring you (knowledge mostly!).
- You’ll seize the day, and see every challenge as an opportunity to develop beautiful inherent qualities and become stronger.
- You will use creativity much more in your daily life, since many times, dealing with various challenges determines you to use your most innovative skills.
3. Understanding Yourself
When asked “why do you travel alone?” while they travel, most backpackers will not have a proper answer. When asked “why did you travel alone?” after they’ve returned, most solo travellers will answer “to get a better personal insight.” That’s because personal development comes with patience and analysis, and traveling alone is the perfect opportunity to discover our true selves.
Here are some of the life lessons you’ll probably learn:
- You’ll become more patient. Dealing with so many different characters will teach you how to measure your level of tolerance.
- Your confidence will increase. You will develop new skills and perform new activities, thus becoming a well-rounded person. You’ll also learn how to say ‘yes,’ or ‘no’ to different people and/or activities that you like/dislike.
- Money is not everything. That’s something you’ll very well remember.
- Diversity is beautiful, and the world should be more accepting – another 101 course that you’ll probably sign up for soon.
4. Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone
Traveling alone is not always the easiest thing to do, but it is one of the bravest. You will become more responsible and care for other people’s needs. You’ll become more accountable, and you’ll develop a better grasp of your hopes and dreams. Some benefits of solo traveling:
- Becoming more loving and kind to other people, cultures, identities, sexes, races, colors.
- Rediscovering who you are and what you want from this life. We rarely think about the reasons behind our actions. Traveling opens our eyes.
- Becoming open-minded and understanding how the world behaves from different perspectives (political, economical, social, etc).
- Preparing for challenging times by becoming powerful.
5. Letting It Go
“In what way will traveling alone help me let it go?” some might ask. Here are some great reasons, based on my own traveling experiences. You’ll feel:
- No need to control things anymore – the world is what it is, we should simply live our lives
- No more ‘shoulds’ present in your vocabulary, as you shouldn’t do anything that you don’t want to do
- The need to let go of perfect outcomes or looks – perfect is boring!
- No more time concerns or restraints
- No more fears or anxieties
- Living in the present moment
- No more stereotypes guiding your life
- More honesty and humbleness – we are so small in this world after all
- An ability to do anything you want in this world, and make any decisions you consider proper
Traveling alone is definitely worth it. Try it, and you will see how it will change you. You won’t be afraid anymore, will open up your perspectives, understand who you are, become stronger by getting out of your comfort zone, and finally let go of some of the negative thoughts controlling your life.
Author: Joseph McLean is a journalist, writer at essay writing service and traveler. He’s been to more than 20 countries and he knows 5 languages; it definitely helps to improve his writing skill.