Travelling solo may seem daunting for many, I’m not going to lie I was absolutely terrified! At 20 year’s old, I decided to leave home and embark on an exchange program all the way across the other side of the world. London here I come!
With no one to greet me at the arrival gate and the obvious shift of climate, background chatter and even the smell I began to freak out. I felt tiny and vulnerable in a busy, scary new place. I didn’t know where to go and didn’t have anywhere to run if things went south. This exact feeling and this experience allowed me to become stronger, confident and gave me the ability to talk to strangers comfortably.
As scary as it sounds and as hard as it first may seem, travelling alone helps you unleash a stronger, more confident you. Just think about it, if you can go to a strange new place alone and come out with great experiences you can take on the world!
Solo travelling becomes an addiction. Since my first trip to the UK, I have embarked on many more including to the US, South-East Asia and across Europe. Each time I learn something new and discover my strength through facing extraordinary situations that only travel can give you.
Talk to strangers
Being alone forces you to interact with strangers, even if you are an introvert. Asking for direction, learning how to order a coffee in a foreign language or just starting a conversation with a roommate at a hostel, you will be meeting new people everywhere you go! Unlike in everyday life, the bonds you make with other travelers are unlike any relationship you’ve experienced before. Not only do you share your travel stories and advice on where to visit next, you can relate with one-another through all those travel mishaps. The conversations you have with strangers are much more intimate and by the end of the day you feel as if you’ve known them for years.
Trust your gut instinct
When travelling with others it’s easy to fall into becoming a sheep rather than leading your own way as a wolf. As a solo explorer you often rely on your gut feelings to get you on your way from being lost or deciding whether you should have that extra cocktail or not. Travelling alone helps you avoid being peer pressured into something you don’t want to do and lets you run your own adventure at your own pace.
Become a wiz at directions
When you are alone it’s up to you to get from A to B. You are forced to master the art of reading metro maps and street signs in multiple languages and Google Maps becomes your very best friend. Figuring it all out yourself also gives you a great sense of accomplishment. You build confidence not just from talking to strangers when asking for direction but realizing that you are capable of doing it all yourself.
Learn to enjoy being alone
Walking around the streets of Barcelona, New York or Chiang Mai alone gives you an incredible sense of freedom. You realize who you are and notice all the little quirks about yourself that makes you unique. Sure, it’s amazing being surrounded by those who love you but nothing comes close to the love you have with yourself.
Do what you want. When you want.
It’s as simple as that, you get to make all the calls. Don’t feel like visiting the Louvre today? Why not spend the day shopping at Champs-Élysées! Want to go out all night or catch up on some sleep? There is no one to please but yourself so you get to call all the shots and create the holiday you truly want.