Things You’ll Learn While Traveling Alone
Some people prefer to hit the road or cross the skies with family or friends, though many have discovered the freedom and adventure that accompanies traveling alone. Traveling alone promotes a sense of inner confidence and independence, and can be completely liberating when you realize that your agenda is the only one that matters. You can make decisions for you, you can be alone with your thoughts, and you can meet interesting people who you never would have met, otherwise. There’s no doubt about it, when you travel alone, you learn a lot.
You Learn to Adapt Outside of Your Comfort Zone
How often when we travel do we feel a little bit like a fish out of water? Perhaps you find yourself stuck in the airport of an unfamiliar city, or you’re surrounded by travelers and locals who speak another language. In these times, your default action is usually to rely on those traveling with you. You turn to them for conversation, for assurance, to make the most of a situation by reaching out to the familiar. In doing this, you’re not exactly embracing the opportunity to learn a new place completely, are you? When you travel alone, there are sure times where you’re forced outside of your comfort zone in order to advance your own agenda – maybe you need to talk to a local, or learn some of the language. Any well seasoned traveler knows that most of the unfamiliar things worth adapting to happen outside of that comfort zone.
You Learn to Trust Your Instincts
We forget how often we turn to others for help. If you’re navigating an airport with your spouse, you might find that you follow him around more than you lead yourself. “Should we go this way or that way? Do we have time to eat before we get on the plane? Do you think it’s okay if I plug my charger in here?” We’re constantly neglecting our gut instinct in favor of someone else’s reassurance. But why? Insecurity? Laziness? When you travel alone, you learn very quickly that your instinct is perfectly good in terms of making decisions that work for you, and it feels good to exercise it a little more often.
You Learn that Strangers Can Easily Turn Friends
There’s something magical and mysterious about some strangers, especially in airports (maybe because they’re from all over the world). At a distance, someone might intrigue you; you watch them from afar but never really approach them as long as you have your own familiar companion to chat with. In the back of your mind, you justify your actions to ignore the stranger that captivates you because you imagine you probably won’t have much to say to each other. On the contrary – when you travel alone, a small gesture of kindness or a few polite words can turn a single interaction into an actual friendship; and just like that, that stranger that you thought you’d never see again may have changed your life for the better.
You Learn that You Have More in Common with Others than You Ever Imagined
The world is filled with different peoples, different cultures and traditions… it can all feel very overwhelming if you let it. Perhaps, when you’re traveling with family or friends, you don’t reach out to the stranger sitting next to you because you fear you may have nothing in common… at least not more than you have with your own familiar travel companion. How wrong you might be! Traveling alone, you’ll learn very quickly that those who appear to be very different from you are usually not. Though there may be vast contrasts in lifestyle or cultures, you’ll find that most everyone has the same interest in connecting with others in a positive manner. So rather than ignoring the stranger next to you on the plane, you’ll discover all of the things you share in common and perhaps find a new, completely different perspective on life.
Traveling alone is an adventure because of what you’ll learn along the way… we can assure you that you’ll grow as a person, and the world will feel a little smaller as you embrace it alone.