1. Your Confidence Will Expand
“Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.” -Theodore Roosevelt.
You may have apprehension about taking that first solo trip, but it will be one of the best things you’ve ever done. Facing fear gives us strength. As you navigate the city alone, muster up the courage to ask a stranger for directions and take the complicated knobs on a foreign appliance – you will feel stronger and braver with each challenge.
Adventuring alone, you will be faced with your strong and weak points – you will be challenged to accept them. Traveling alone will help you develop an appreciation for who you are and that you are enough.
2. You Will Meet Amazing People
“The more I traveled the more I realized that fear makes strangers of people who should be friends” – Shirley MacLaine
Going out alone is by far the best way to meet new people. When you are out with others, you are not paying attention to strangers – giving you plenty of opportunities to interact with them. You will also find that being alone makes you approachable. The person sitting next to you is not concerned with interrupting you, they can ask you a question or easily strike up a conversation. You will have to put your head up, staring at your phone or keeping your nose in a book will create a barrier for these spontaneous interactions.
These spur-of-the-moment connections have been some of my most memorable moments when travelling alone. I’ve also made some amazing friends by being open to an impromptu conversation.
3. You Will Learn What Matters Most
“Loving life is easy when you are abroad. Where no one knows you and you hold your life in your hands all alone, you are more master of yourself than at any other time.” – Hannah Arendt
Travel creates challenges you don’t have at home. You are limited by the size of your bag and the strength of your muscles on what you can bring along your journey. This will force you to think carefully about your choices. There are not hard and fast rules about what to bring – if you are a reader, you’ll bring a Kindle or even a book or two. If you are an artist, you will find a way to cram some supplies in your bag. The same will be true with your purchases; you only have some much room, so you’ll have to make choices.
There will be decisions to make about how you spend your time – and without a travel mate, these decisions are all yours. You will have to own the choices and you may discover that you are just fine doing nothing for an entire afternoon – or that you are willing to spend 6-hours on a train ride, just to see a historical castle.
Traveling alone means you have no one to answer to but yourself, you own your actions.
4. You Will Become Your Own Best Friend
“If you make friends with yourself you will never be alone.”- Maxwell Maltz
Learning to love yourself can be very difficult. We know our weakness and failures more intimately than anyone else. We are often incredibly hard on ourselves. Spending time alone can be difficult if you are not comfortable with yourself.
During my solo journeys, I have stayed sulked in bed for days, I have had to pull the car over to have a good cry, and I’ve walked the streets feeling lost and lonely. But these times are moments of growth. I am forced to face my feelings, to find a new direction, to take break free of past guilt and anger, to force myself to get out and see the beautiful sights and to engage with the people around me.
Traveling alone will for you to confront yourself and to enjoy the solitude of being alone with yourself.
5. You Will Appreciate Getting Lost
“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I’ve ended up where I needed to be.” – Douglas Adams
Getting lost is part of the adventure. You plan to visit a museum but end up lost and having a desperately needed drink in a pub to ease your frustration. Maybe you’ll discover the best beer in town, or have a lovely conversation with a local, or discover a new destination for your next day’s journey. Getting lost, missing the train, ordering something you can’t pronounce on the menu – the unexpected moments are often the most memorable.
Once you discover the beauty in these unexpected moments, you’ll find that you are eager to try something new – knowing that if it turns out differently that might be better!
Looking for a new way to travel solo?
The Travel Ninja Programs are designed to help you find a new way to look at who accompanies you. Enjoy the freedom of independent, solo travel in a small group of women with the support and guidance of a host committed to encourage your solo travel adventures. Choose from Travel Ninja 101, a guided experience with pre-trip workshops to share with you tips and techniques that will give you confidence exploring the world independently. Travel Ninja 102 provides a host who will support you before and during your trip and a small group of fellow independent explorers.