7 Ways Your Life Will Improve When You Travel Alone

The dynamic of traveling is changing. The Visa Global Intentions Study determined that the percentage of people traveling alone went from 16% in 2013 to 37% in 2015. Travel is becoming more accessible to everyone due to technology and the ever advancing tourism industry. Men and women of all ages are setting out to see the world on their own, realizing that traveling solo can be a life altering experience.

When you travel alone, you will experience the world from your unique perspective. You will assimilate to other cultures, learn about new places, see beautiful landscapes and architecture, eat new and different foods, and so much more. All of this aside, there are miraculous ways that you will change and grow internally when you set out on a solo journey. To some of us, it can be intimidating to set out for the first time in a foreign place without the support system of your friends or family. But what if you find that it’s really not that difficult or scary? What if you were to allow the entire world to open up to you? Possibilities are endless when you shake off those preconceived fears so that you can open your heart, your mind, and your suitcase. Here are just 7 of those possibilities:

      1. You will let go of fear.

The unknown can create possibility for danger. What if I can’t speak the language? Am I too old or too young? Will I feel alone? What if something REALLY bad happens?!

Well, statistically we know that there is more risk and danger involved in getting behind the wheel of your car these days than almost anything else. Of course it is important to be aware of your surroundings and to keep a good head on your shoulders while you are traveling, but just as there are people with bad intentions in this world, there are wonderful people with amazing souls as well.

Traveling alone has become much easier over time with hostels, surf camps, and hotels that specialize in accommodating solo travelers at affordable rates, and with websites such as Tripadvisor.com, you can find almost anything that is backed up with reviews from people just like you. Lots of these places offer airport pickup and drop off, all inclusive accommodations, and organized tours, so you are never left feeling stranded or alone.

Language barriers, although sometimes inconvenient, can be easily overcome. You are capable of learning on your own, and there are plenty of online apps to help. Also people are complex beings that have far more advanced inherent systems of communication than just words.

The solo sojourn is not for any specific demographic, so if you have any doubts about your age or gender, drop it.

Face your fears. Just as the unknown creates possibility for danger, it also creates space for growth, happiness, love, and learning. Remember that stepping out of our comfort zone is how we grow. You never know what experiences are waiting for you if you never leave your bubble.

      2. You will  make authentic connections with new people.

Just your interest in solo travel probably means that you are open minded, you are adventurous, and you value having new experiences. These qualities are generally shared among those who travel, and they are traits that bring very different people together for life-long relationships.

On your travels, you may find that the people who you connect with are of different cultures or mind-sets than the ones that you have already been exposed to. You may find that your current environment may be just a small cross-section of the world’s views, beliefs, habits, and desires. Yes, it is easy to get close with someone who was on your same basketball team in school for 4 years, but what if you could make friendships with people from different corners of the world because they teach you about new ideas, take you out of your comfort zone, and challenge you?

You may find that you will create a whole new network of people who can not only join you on your future travels, but can inspire you to expand your horizons and show you what really lights you up.

Every person that you have ever met started out as a stranger. Be open and you can create possibility for amazing, unconventional friendships.

      3. You will be empowered.

You will be in charge of every decision that you make on your solo trip. Everything will be up to you including where you stay, who you spend time with, what you eat, where you go, and how long you stay. To a lot of us, this can be intimidating because it can be more difficult to trust ourselves than to trust others. You will learn how to trust yourself by letting go of fear and doubt. Give yourself a chance to call all of the shots.

When you learn that you are capable of making every decision on your own, and that it is even necessary to make the wrong decisions every once in awhile, you will gain a whole new level of empowerment. Suddenly the world becomes a little more accessible, and you find that you can be in the driver’s seat of your own life.

      4. You will reassess your values.

This aspect of solo travel can really change your life in the best way. When you travel, a shift happens where you will begin to value experiences, culture, and knowledge rather than possessions and financial gain. You may find yourself selling that expensive car or pair of shoes so that you can pay for your next plane ticket or month of travel.

You may find that you will change your career path to something that allows you to travel and have experiences rather than the one that allows you to buy more things. This shift can be inconvenient at first, but that won’t matter when you find that your life makes more sense and has more purpose.

 

      5. You will find passion.

We all get to those points in life where things feel “sticky”. You know… those times when you just don’t feel excited or motivated by your daily life. When you allow yourself to make decisions from your heart, you will be amazed at the new things you will learn, the new skills you will gain, and talents and skills that you didn’t even know you had.

Think of traveling alone as a turning point experience. It will redirect you. It will teach you or remind you of what is important. You might learn to surf, cook, climb, speak a new language, or love. You will be shaken up in the best possible way, and your life will be invigorated.

      6. You may change your definition of home.

So here is one that may cause some initial tension with family and home-town friends: You might actually never come back. You may surrender to the vagabond life, or you may find that a different city or country allows you to flourish more as a person.

Don’t worry, you will always be able to visit, there will be skype, facetime, and social media. Most interestingly, you will find out who your real loved ones are because not only will they come visit you, but they will love you whether you live in the same town as them or not.

      7. You will learn to love yourself.

There is no better way to put it. Traveling alone is an opportunity for you attract the people and experiences into your life that YOU want to attract. You will learn to trust your inner compass, and you will become your own best friend. You will find comfort in solace, and security in standing on your own two feet. Without a doubt, you will improve yourself, and the most effective way to improve upon the world is to start from within.

 

Create authentic connections with others. Empower yourself. Reassess your values. Find passion. Let go of fear. Find your home. Love yourself. Improve upon the world. Set out on a journey that can change your life for the better.

What are you waiting for?

-Emily Shoemaker

 

We want to hear your solo traveling questions or about how traveling alone improved your life. Please comment below!

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