Traveling alone is a nerve-wracking experience. You’re in an unknown place, outside your comfort zone and without a companion.
You're on your own. The success of this trip is entirely dependent on you. It’s a lot of pressure.
But you should do it at least once in your life. It’s crucial to feeding and growing the spirit; it’s essential to self-discovery and personal growth. If you never have to completely and totally rely on yourself, can you ever really know yourself?
You will learn innumerable things if you just muster up the courage to book a plane ticket and go off on a journey.
You may be terrified -- you may be shaking in your new hiking boots -- but in the end you will be so thankful you did it.
Here are 10 life lessons you learn when you travel by yourself:
1. You learn you are perfectly capable of taking care of yourself.
When you travel alone, you have no one to tell you what to do. You don’t have to answer to anyone. While this freedom is very empowering, it's also a great responsibility.
You don’t have a friend or a parent to tell you where to go, what to do, or how to get there. You have to be your own guide, friend and leader.
When you’re outside the familiarity of your home, you quickly realize that it’s not so hard to take care of yourself. You’ll realize you’re not so helpless. You’re a real adult.
2. You learn to have fun by yourself.
There is nothing quite as lovely as realizing you don’t need someone else's company to have a good time. This is liberating.
When you’re traveling by yourself, you have to find fun in unexpected places. You have to seek it out.
When you’re used to having the fun come to you, making it yourself is an entirely new animal. Once you learn to have fun by yourself, you're 100 percent independent.
3. You learn you’re much scrappier than you realize.
In a different country, in a new land, you’ll have to figure out unusual ways to get yourself out of unusual pickles.
If you get lost and don’t speak the language, you’ll need to use your problem solving skills to get you where you need to go.
If you find yourself short on the local currency, you’ll have to figure out a way to stretch your last few dollars (or pesos, or rubles...).
You’ll find that there are ways around your hiccups. Where there is a will, there is definitely a way. Your will grows strong and resilient when you’re traveling alone.
4. You learn that the relationship you have with yourself is the most important.
Traveling alone and having experiences without anyone by your side will nurture your relationship with yourself. There is nothing quite like a solo journey to cultivate self-love.
As you become your favorite travel partner, you will soon realize that you are your favorite person. When we learn about the world, we learn about ourselves.
5. You learn to embrace new experiences instead of fearing them.
The concept of the unknown can make anyone quiver. Taking that first step into unchartered territory is scary, even when you have company.
When you’re traveling alone, you’re forced to trust yourself and jump feet-first into new things. It’s the only way to make the most of everything.
You quickly learn that being full of fear is not going to help you grow. You will replace all of those stomach-turning butterflies with the kinds of butterflies that make your soul soar.
You find that new experiences help you grow; they're not medicine to be swallowed with eyes tightly shut.
6. You learn how to manage your money.
You will become quite the little penny-pincher once you’re out there in the world alone.
Since you’re responsible for every dime you spend, you're forced to acquire the skills you need to keep the money flowing (or simply there).
You only have the money you came with and you learn the value of your dollar very quickly.
7. You learn how to make the best of even the toughest situations.
When you’re in a new place by yourself, you’re going to be faced with some tough situations. Maybe you missed that last train to a new city and are forced to figure out what to do until morning.
Maybe you lost your way and have to figure out how to get back to where you were. You have no one to call and no one to help. But you make the best of it.
You just have to hold your head up and chalk this up to a new, thrilling experience. You never know — maybe this is the first step to a new and exciting adventure you never even expected.
8. You learn how to talk to strangers.
With no one to hide behind, you'll learn to speak to strangers. You have to break out of your shell if you ever expect to make memories.
You’ll make many more friends traveling alone than you will if you’re traveling with friends or family.
When you're alone, you have to seek out companionship. You'll learn about cultures and customs you’ve never been exposed to.
9. You learn to trust your intuition.
Your gut will become your biggest asset. When you have very little else to go on, your intuition can be your best friend. When you’re in a foreign place by yourself, you have to rely on your feelings.
You'll need to be able to assess strangers' true intentions. You'll need to decide how safe this restaurant/alley/bar really is.
Listen to your intuition. Traveling alone helps you trust yourself.
10. You learn who you are.
Above all else, traveling alone will teach you who you are. If you can travel alone, you really can do anything. You are strong, smart and stealthy.
You may be cutting yourself off from the familiar, but you're also growing roots inside yourself.
Compensation for this post was provided by Discover it® via Elite Daily. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Discover it® or Elite Daily.
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