Part 2 – Travelling alone changes you in a profound way, both in how you see yourself and how you see the world around you.
Here’s a few of the reasons why…..
1. You will become more independent and self-sufficient
For those of you joined at the hip and afraid to do anything on your own, travelling solo will give you super self-confidence, independence and will make you self-sufficient. You will have to make decisions for yourself, and when there’s nobody at your side to turn to if you’re lost, or can’t find your hotel, you’ll have to trust yourself and figure it out. Even if you don’t know the language, you’ll make yourself understood somehow even if it’s using your long-forgotten high school French. You will learn to rely on yourself.
In case of Tsunami, Sign in Bali
2. You will learn a lot of new things
With each new country that you visit you will learn something new; whether it’s learning the language, how people live and what food they eat, visiting museums and cultural events, the local markets, the currency, the climate and even the transport. Every country is different and the things you see on TV or read about in books and papers will become real. You actually experience the place through living in it.
Floating Market, Thailand
3. Your sense of proportion will change and you will learn to relax and take it easy
You learn to go with the flow and accept things more easily. You become flexible and instead of getting upset when things don’t turn out as you would like, que sera sera, there’s always tomorrow. You let go of set food times and routines, and if you don’t want to get up until noon,there’s no-one to tell you you should and if you want to eat breakfast for lunch, you can.
Relaxing Beach and Palm Trees
4. You will learn to trust your decisions
You’ll learn to step our of your comfort zone and do things to push your limits. Things that might scare you – like eating alone or going in a very high cable car – will become second nature and enjoyable!
Very High Cable Car, Langkawi
5. You will learn to like your own company
There’s nothing better than going off on your own, you’ll appreciate the solitude that being on your own brings. If you worry about loneliness, don’t, you’ll always find someone to talk to, even sitting in a coffee shop, and to be honest, I probably talk to more people when I’m on my own than if I’m with a friend. If you’re with someone else you tend to not make the effort of chatting to or making friends with other travellers.
Coffee for One
6. You will become less fearful
Once you’ve seen a lizard or two on your ceiling or in the shower, bypassed large creepy crawlies scuttling off at the side of the road or given a taste to some strange food on a street food cart, you’ll become less daunted and fearful about what’s to happen next. Strange things will become commonplace and you won’t be so nervous about what’s around the corner!
Street Food, Asia
7. Solo Travel makes you meet new people
If you’re an introvert or extravert you’ll constantly be meeting new people. You’ll cross paths with fellow travellers on the bus or in coffee shops, or maybe local people that you get chatting to after asking directions to some place you need to get to. Each day will bring you to new people that you’ll meet. Everyone you connect with will stay in your memory, for good or bad, and it all adds to the experience!
Meeting Friends in Dubrovnik
8. You will become aware of your prejudices and you will see life from another perspective
Travelling in a country where you are in a minority, like being a white female in Morocco, or black in Eastern Europe, you are going to get a different perspective on being a minority. This gives you an idea of how others live on a day to day basis and you become more culturally and spiritually aware of differences.
Photo courtesy of Other Markets
9. You will learn that you come from a very privileged way of life
When you see poverty and hardship in countries that are third world, you come to realise that what people complain about back home on a daily basis are completely trivial and you realise that shopping malls are not the answer to life’s problems.
10. You appreciate what you’ve got at home
Carrying on from No. 9 – when you get back home to your nice cosy house and warm comfy bed, you truly appreciate the roof over your head. If you go off travelling to escape a bad relationship, the memories will fade after a time. If you don’t like your job, you realise that you actually have one to enable you to travel in the first place. You also appreciate having a supermarket round the corner to enable you to eat when you want to. Whatever you’ve got to complain about, you’ll appreciate it more when you’ve left it behind.
City of London Skyline