What if I told you that you can change your life and discover who you truly are by spontaneously booking that flight ticket you always wanted to?
There’s no better advice I can give to anyone and everyone that to welcome more joy in your life, you just need to take the plunge to travel more. I’m not talking about vacations of pre-planned trips. The travel I’m referring to is the ones that are spontaneous journeys to somewhere you’ve never been; with an open schedule, to embrace whatever opportunities life is waiting to throw at you that are beyond your imagination.
Special trips are some of the best experiences to share with those whom matter, like our friends, a partner, our family. However, there’s a compelling case for solo travels I would like to reiterate on, that are best taken from time to time.
Once you travel, chances are you’ll be bitten by a sense of wanderlust that keeps us yearning to explore more destinations, immerse in more cultures, eat a colourful palate of delicious flavours, meet interesting people. We always put off exploring new places until our later years but I want to inspire you to travel more and travel now through fifteen life changing benefits, that will inspire you to take that leap of faith. You could be introverted or extroverted, single or attached, young or old, but these fifteen reasons do not discriminate.
- The path to purpose
When you travel, you invest in yourself. Money can’t buy the experiences you encounter in different cultures, with new people, dissimilar lifestyles, in the shelter of your homeland. Newness offers a peek into new insights, ways of the world and living in it, thus contributing to new purposes in your life. When you reach a dead end be it your life purpose, your missions and goals, or even career and education pursuits, pack a bag and hit the door. You’ll return from traveling with a life purpose, renewed.
- Gratefulness for home
Sometimes, the conveniences and luxuries of our home disable our awareness and appreciation for our blessings in life. When we take time away from home, specifically in a place that doesn’t spoil us with readily available amenities, say living with a nomadic Tibetan clan, you’ll return home grateful!
- Simplify logistics
Sure it’s going to be fun but traveling with a group entails the headache of coordinating with everyone’s busy schedule. Hence, you’re better off planning far in advance, but don’t forget the last minute drop-outs or change of plans that are bound to derail the itinerary. Traveling alone doesn’t tie you to coordinating with someone’s availability, you need only pack your bags and just go.
- You’ll be surprised about how little you know the world
There’s expectations, then there’s reality. When you venture out to the world, you will realise that some things you’ve heard about a foreign places are much different than what we were led to believe. First, the myths about traveling are dispelled. You’ll come to realise how much you can save as compared to the lifestyle expenses from living at home, that it’s not as expensive or dangerous as claimed. Strangers will offer kindness and friendship, and even ensure you have a place to sleep. The world is your oyster – you’ll be surprised about what you learn from meeting new people and immersing in different cultures.
- You’re your own great company
When was the last time you truly paid attention to your thoughts and entertained your dreams? Traveling alone allows you to spend precious time with yourself and you’ll realise how enjoyable your own company is. A solo trip imparts a powerful, introspective and transformative self-discovery. Listen to your thoughts over peaceful sunsets on the beach, an energising hike are best enjoyed.
- Make new friends easily
Like myself, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make friends when traveling solo. When people are out of their familiar environment, they reveal a more raw and real façade and more readily express themselves. This in turn affects those around them to be more authentic, and that’s when you make best friends within hours of chatting.
- Do whatever you want
Traveling alone gives you the license to entertain yourself however you want. Want to do that half-day spa but hesitant to leave out your travel buddy? Want to sit all day at the beach bear drinking mojitos instead of sightseeing? You don’t need anyone’s permission.
- Absence makes the heart grow fonder
It’s OK to spend time away on vacation without your partner tagging along. It can be a refreshing experience to come home to your partner after a solo trip, your passion renewed for him or her. Not only that, you’ll be establishing a firmer mutual trust. On another note, you can share a new favourite place with him or her and put it on the to-visit for your next couple holiday!
- Achievement self empowerment
The thought of sitting alone at dinner and breakfast is enough to make many people feel uncomfortable, and painting a daunting picture to solo holidays. But once you step out of your shell, you’ll tackle these fears and achieve a sense of empowerment. Take the opportunity to do things you’ve been afraid to do. If traveling makes you smarter and better, traveling alone doubles the effect.
- You’ll realize life is a wonderful gift
Make it a point to replace “I wish I had” with “I’m glad I did.” We’re gifted with life, and traveling and experiencing the world will flood you with gratitude and appreciation for beautiful moments and the people in it. Do this, and you’ll realise you can live life to the fullest while you’re young and driven, rather than adding to the stack of life regrets on your deathbed.
- Let love find its way to you
Why wait to be in a relationship when you can travel as a single person, solo? Don’t leave it to the chances of make-or-break vacations. When a relationship doesn’t work out, the trip turns into a miserable and drama-filled nightmare. However, when you pick up the pace of traveling alone, you stop waiting for the right one to come around. Why not go on your own and let nature do its course with the One at the right time?
- Live a life story worth retelling
As Anna Quindlen once said, “the life you’ve had doesn’t have to be the only life you have.” Don’t settle when you can add adventure to your life, rather than merely living to exist. Be your own proof that there’s a larger story to your existence.
- Embrace freedom in the world
Our culture attempts to define what is acceptable as a “normal” or “successful” life. Most people live the life they think is expected of them.
Traveling alone reminds you that you have a say in the matter, and that the prison of expectations you’re standing in is locked from the inside…and the key is in your pocket.
The next time you lament over your limited freedom, realise that you’re stuck in your very own prison of expectation by your own doing. The key to freedom is in your pocket, and the expectations for you to be normal or successful are culturally implemented. Traveling solo renews your perspective, that you define your own freedom.
- Learn to trust your intuition
Traveling alone helps sharpen your confidence. You’ll find the ability to sharpen your ability to read between the lines in situations to come.
- You will learn to be more present.
Do yourself a favour by switching off autopilot mode, that can easily be achieved when you travel alone. New situations and environments forces you to switch on a sharper focus and fixed attention to your surroundings and to actively participate in it.