So you’re dying to go on an adventure in another country. You keep picturing paper umbrellas in tropical drinks whilst lounging on beautiful beaches a half a world away. You’ve talked to your friends about joining you and they sounded excited at first, but the closer the time comes to buy the ticket the less enthusiasm they have about actually joining.
They have all kinds of excuses: I’m too broke right now, too busy, too scared, or frankly, too disinterested. So you asked your cousin, your old roommate, and you even asked that guy you kind of sort of dated for a few weeks last spring but it fizzled because he’s akin to dental floss: useful in certain situations, but not that interesting.
None of them can join, so now you have to face the idea of traveling on your own. Guess what? This is actually a blessing, because there are a bunch of truly awesome things that only happen to people who travel alone. You’ll emerge a better person thanks to your solo travels, trust me on this one.
The following are 22 ways that traveling solo changes people for the better:
1. We come to embrace serendipity
Solo travelers don’t have to take anyone’s desires or thoughts into account but our own, which means we can make spur of the moment decisions all the time without it impacting anyone else, and it’s glorious.
2. We get selfishness out of our systems
The word, ‘selfish,’ gets a negative connotation, but it shouldn’t! Everyone deserves to be totally selfish at least once in life. A solo adventure is the perfect time to embrace being totally selfish for once.
3. We get to be our true selves
Like it or not, our personalities are influenced by our familiars. Being on the road without anyone from back home is freeing, so we can be exactly who we are right then and there without anybody from home to judge or influence us.
4. We learn to say ‘yes’ more
If there’s nobody around to hold us back, we can say yes to all of the things we really want to do.
5. We also learn how to say ‘no’ without feeling guilty
If there’s nobody around to talk us into it, we can say no when we don’t feel like doing something, and don’t have to feel one bit bad about it!
6. We have tons of friends
Solo travelers tend to emerge from their travels with new friends from literally all over the world.
7. We become more outgoing
Lone travelers have no choice but to hang with people we don’t know, so we become more outgoing as a result. It’s easy because travelers are friendly people who are super easy to talk to. Solo traveling is the best way to become less shy.
8. We can relate to anyone
Solo travelers eventually learn how to find a common ground with anyone, from anywhere. We learn how to appreciate our differences and how to approach them intelligently.
9. We are great at problem solving
If things go wrong on the road, which they inevitably do just like at home, we have to be the one to solve the problem. We quickly learn that there’s no use crying about it and that we can’t depend on anyone else to fix it. Thanks to this, solo travelers become problem-solving ninjas.
10. We’re confident
With each milestone we pass and each big problem we overcome, our confidence grows, and it’s a beautiful thing.
11. We become fearless
Eventually solo travelers realize that we’re so amazingly capable that nothing can hold us back, and that’s when we become fearless.
12. We know that the world isn’t a scary place, after all
Traveling shows us that we have more similarities with people from other cultures than differences, that the world isn’t that scary after all, and that people are fundamentally good.
13. We grow mentally
Other cultures have a lot to teach us, such as how to work hard, how to enjoy, how to taste, smell, see, and experience. The more we know about this world, the more our minds grow.
14. We also grow spiritually
Different belief systems have a lot to teach us, and travelers have a chance to cherry-pick the spiritual components that speak to us the most. Without anyone to impact our feelings and thoughts, and the time and space to think and be alone, we have a chance to grow spiritually thanks to our travels.
15. We learn that we’re pretty awesome on our own, and that we complete ourselves
Traveling alone provides and opportunity to learn that we really don’t need anyone else around to bring us happiness. It has to come from within, and when we learn that we’re enough, it’s a beautiful feeling.
16. We’re smarter
We know a little bit of a lot of languages, understand the nuances of many cultures, and can navigate places without needing much prior knowledge because we’re street smart. In short, we figure things out more easily.
17. We are master negotiators
Solo travelers learn how to haggle with the best of them, and those skills are useful for all kinds of negotiations, such as buying a car, a house, or closing deals in the corporate world. We’re used to always having to do the talking, so we learn how to quickly.
18. We’re more observant
Without anyone around to distract us, solo travelers become quite observant of our surroundings, and we get to form your own opinions on what we see.
19. Our intuition is sharp
Solo travelers quickly learn that the voice of reason in the back of our heads is almost always right, and this becomes even more pronounced over time.
20. So is our ability to read people
Traveling solo and making all of our own decisions about people and situations heightens our ability to read anyone, anywhere, at any time.
21. We become way more interesting
When you know a lot about the world, you can positively and intelligently contribute to conversations about art, politics, and leisure. We’ve become more interesting thanks to our travels.
22. We have fewer regrets
One of the biggest regrets of the dying is not being true to and taking more time for themselves. If you really want to travel, then you owe it to yourself to do it. Traveling, especially by yourself without anyone to hold your hand, will prove all of the above to you, and will remove one BIG potential regret from your life.
You will show yourself what your capable of. So instead of fearing a solo trip, embrace the opportunity and enjoy the ride.