Travelling alone can be daunting, but can also be one of the best experiences you’ll ever have. If you’re planning a solo trip, you can expect to return home having learned plenty of important lessons:
1. To be streetwise
You’ll quickly learn that the behaviour of overseas travellers stand out, and that pickpockets and other petty criminals often target foreigners. Without being able to rely on a travelling partner for a judgment check, you’ll quickly adapt to your surroundings, learn how to avoid dangerous situations, and understand what to keep an eye out for.
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2. To get out of your comfort zone
When you’re travelling with friends or family, it’s easier to stay in your comfort zone. When you’re on your own, you won’t have others to fall back on – and will be more likely to make an effort to ask for local advice and to try new things.
3. To be independent and responsible
By making all the major decisions instead of letting someone else be in charge, you’ll quickly gain independence – and you’ll also learn how to be more responsible, as you’ll have to remind yourself to prepare for your travel and deal with any consequences that arise from your decisions.
4. To live in the moment
When you’re with friends, chances are you spend a good deal of time reminiscing about things you’ve done together in the past. That’s normal, of course, but when you’re in a new city or country, it’s important to live in the present, which is much easier when you don’t have anyone familiar distracting you.
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5. That you’re capable
When you reflect on your solo travels, you’re likely to realise how well you handled many situations, even if you didn’t always feel capable at the time. Travelling alone may be the first time you spend a considerable amount of time by yourself – which is great for personal growth.
6. How to spend time with yourself
At home, chances are you’re never really alone. You might spend time by yourself, but you always have people to call on when you’re bored or need help. Learning how to spend time by yourself and enjoy your own company is a valuable skill that’ll help you throughout your life.
7. That missing people is good
Having the chance to miss your friends and family should be framed in a positive, rather than a negative, light. You’ll appreciate them much more when you arrive home if you’ve had a chance to miss them on your travels.
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8. It’s easy to have great solo experiences
When you’re making your own choices regarding food and entertainment, travelling becomes a whole lot easier. You don’t have to stick to anyone’s schedule, or partake in activities that you don’t really want to do. You’ll choose which amazing experiences you wish to join.
9.What you really want
Time away from home, especially spent alone, allows you to see your life clearly. You might find that you’re not as invested in your relationship as you thought, or that it’s time for a career change.
10.That the world is good
When you’re a solo traveller, you often end up interacting with people you wouldn’t have met if you had travelled in a group. Sometimes these experiences can be negative, but on the whole, meeting and getting to know new people will teach you that there’s plenty of goodness in the world, wherever you choose to go. You’ll probably end up planning your next trip on the way home!
Solo travel should be experienced by everyone at least once in their lifetime. Almost nothing else will teach you so many life lessons so quickly, so book that ticket and pack your bags!
Harper has written for various sites and blogs, including business and technology sites such as Trustpower. When her schedule permits, she loves planning travel adventures (or revisiting old ones) with her hubby Max – whether driving to their favourite beach in a town nearby or flying to a destination on their bucket list.
You can find more of Harper’s work on Tumblr.