Travelling Solo: What you need to know
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Experiencing your overseas travels with friends and family can be very rewarding. However, sometimes travelling solo across the world can be life changing. Below are some reasons as to why you should consider travelling solo for your next adventure.
1. Absolute freedom
Travelling solo can open many doors; doors that may not have opened if you found yourself travelling with others. You’re more likely to embrace change and welcome new experiences with open arms. You won’t find yourself having to fit into a group’s schedule, explain every decision or disappoint anyone. It’s all about you. You can choose your own adventure, follow your desires and move with no stop signs in front of you. Solo travellers have the power to stay another night, catch an earlier train, head off the beaten track or even bungee jump! Also, if you felt stress back home, maybe from studies or work, traveling on your own can be the time to take some time off and nurture yourself. Think of it like therapy for your soul. You can use this time to pamper yourself. Uncover your heart’s desire. Indulge in delicious local meals, get a massage, try yoga and just simply enjoy your freedom.
2. Meet amazing people
Travelling solo can be one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do because of the great people you’ll meet. When traveling with friends or a partner, we tend to stick to the familiar faces and even though you’ll meet new people, the bond won’t be as deep and you’re less likely to make new friends.
While you’re on your own on the road, you’re much more enthusiastic to meet new people, travel with others and be open to forming new friends. Who knows who you meet? You might meet people that share the same interests, dreams and goals. They could become your lifelong friends. One might even be the love of your life! Also, when you travel alone, you can be more engaged in and more attentive to the place you’re in, the people you meet and there’s no compromise.
3. Face your fears head on
Travelling on your own you can be daunting for many. “What if something goes wrong?” “What if you get into trouble?” “Who will have your back?” “Who is watching out for you?” Being scared of the unknown is normal and perfectly human. If anything, fear exists for our own protection and even heightens our awareness. However, we shouldn’t let it interfere with our travels and often facing that fear is what makes you a stronger, more courageous and adventurous person. One travel tip is to use your common sense such as researching before you travel. Read reviews and comments from other travelers in forums and blogs such as Tripadvisor. Other travellers may be able to provide insight, suggestions and even warnings to help reduce any anxiety you might have. Being conscious of what to expect will make you feel more confident and self-assured. Common sense would also suggest that there’s no harm in protecting yourself with the right level of overseas travel insurance. If your bags are lost or a health issue arises, insurance will be a valuable investment at a time of need.
4. Find out who you are
Travelling solo has huge advantages. You can leave your old self behind and become a new you. The beauty of solo travel is it gives you a time to reflect and a time to test yourself. Find out more about what you are not very comfortable or familiar with and what really makes you tick. You can get to know yourself in a new way, test yourself in new situations and expand your comfort zone. When on the road, you might be met with unexpected challenges and be forced to make a decision that might normally make you uncomfortable. You will be surprised how well you respond to them. Unleash that version of you that you’ve always wanted to be but whom you’ve kept inside for so long. Travelling alone forces you to learn how to fend for yourself, navigate around strange cities and even learn new languages and cultures. It fast tracks your cultural assimilation and makes you realise that there is a world outside of your own little world back home. You will become more confident, knowledgeable and self-accepting.
5. Disconnect from the world
Just disconnect from the world for a while. Tune the world out. Turn off your phone and don’t check your emails for a few days. Forget those responsibilities, duties and problems back home. Leave them behind and focus on the now and just enjoy your travels. A positive outcome from ‘switching off’ is that some of the most brilliant ideas or solutions to problems are actually born from the moments when we disconnect and stop worrying. Sometimes our brains need to be free of old thoughts in order to be able to create space for new ones. So just disconnect yourself from everything and you might be amazed by how revitalised you’ll feel once you return home.