It’s better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times.
A lot of people travel solo. Perhaps each person dreams of doing so even once. And for good reason. Solo travel is such a life-changing and eye-opening experience. It leaves you with a certain high and a strong desire to pack your bags and go on to the next destination. It’s also the best way to self-discovery.
Ever considered traveling alone? Here are some ways it can transform your life.
1. You will become more independent
From the planning of the trip, to the activities, the transportation, and the hotel, they’re all on you. You, alone, plan your trip. And whatever glitch happens along the way, you’re on your own. Either you solve them or you get stuck.
What if you get mugged? Or you’re faced with the challenge of talking to locals whose language you don’t speak or understand? Being alone forces you to face those problems head-on in your own ways and styles.
2. You learn to be comfortable by yourself.
Humans are social creatures. They always have a group or a circle of friends they hang out with. Most people avoid being alone. This is one reason people cancel their travel plans–they’re friends flaked out on them. When you take that leap and buy that ticket, you’ll learn to love being alone. There’s nobody to please, argue, or compromise with. It’s just you. And it’s a liberating experience.
3. You will take risks
The fact that you booked a ticket to go somewhere you’ve never been before by yourself is already risk enough. But there’s something about being alone in a place that makes you want to do new and crazy things. You will be less pabebe. You’ll want to try their native food, visit hidden places, and join crazy activities.
4. You will surprise yourself
There was nothing I wanted to do in Sagada before I went there. It was a Banaue-Sagada-Baguio trip. I only wanted to take photographs in Banaue and pick strawberries in Baguio. I did not know what to expect in Sagada, except for the coffee that Angelica drank at “Gaia”. It was, then, surprising that I found myself in a cave full of slippery rocks and bat poop. Even more surprising was me joining in a trek when I initially wanted to just stay in, relax, and eat lemon pie.
The point is, you will surprise even yourself by what you can and can’t do. And you’ll learn that there’s actually less of the latter. 😉
5. Speaking of surprising yourself, you will test–and surpass–your limits
If you think you’ll live the rest of your life in a couch, then travel solo. You think you’d never be able to climb a mountain, but you actually could, with a little (okay, a lot) of effort. You will get down and dirty, and nobody would care. It’s such an exhilarating experience to be able to push your limits.
6. You will become more confident and outgoing
See, when you’re alone, you become more fascinated by the people around you–their stories and their motivations. What brought you together? Why are you here at this place right now?
You also tend to sell yourself more. You want them to see you at your best and most open.
7. There are no rules but yours
You planned the trip and you’re the only participant. There’s no one to tell you what to do. You can decide to go somewhere or to not go somewhere. You can scrap all your plans for the day and just get lost in some side street. There’s no limit but your imagination. In that sense, you will become more flexible.
8. You will make new friends
The thing about travelling in groups is that you tend to stay in your own group. There’s a vulnerability and openness to being alone that makes you want to meet new people. The best part about this is that you will meet like-minded people in your fellow travelers. These friendships may or may not last long, but they will widen your circle and experience.
9. You will strengthen your faith
Looking at nature in different places and perspectives will make you wonder: “Who created this?” Surely, these did not randomly appear out of the earth. If you don’t already, you will believe in a Creator.
7 But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:
8 Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.
9 Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this? 10 In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind. (Job 12:7-10, KJV)
10. You won’t want to stop traveling
The world is has become your oyster. The moment you step in your front door, you’d want to go out again and explore the farthest corners of the world. Home does not that strong of a hold on you anymore. Your feet will itch and your neck will tingle until your next destination.
So, swallow that fear and brush aside those anxieties. Pack your bags, book that trip, and lose yourself in a journey to find yourself. ❤ AYA