Why you Should Travel Solo at Least Once in your Life
written on December 13th, 2017 by Rusty Jorbina
I’m a huge fan of traveling solo. I actually prefer it over traveling in groups. I joined a retreat by myself in 2011, but my first real solo adventure was a backpacking trip to Laos in 2012. Since then I have been joining random tour groups or going to places alone and kept doing it even after I got married earlier this year. I even got to convince my sister to travel on her own every once in awhile too. Traveling alone can be daunting but it can also be fun and exciting.
Here are some of the things that you’ll realize when you go out there on your own:
1. You’ll get to know more about yourself. You’ll figure out what kind of things you like, you can do it more often, and avoid the things you don’t. For example, when I travel, I like visiting historical museums, I try to do an outdoor activity everyday, and I don’t like shopping, except in bookstores. It’s so hard to figure out what type of things you want when you have to make sure there is something for everyone in your group. How will you know if you actually like to surf if nobody else wants to try it too?
2. You’ll get to know more about the world too, even if you do not go far. You’ll learn new things once you are in a different place, especially where the way of life is unlike your own. Even if all you see is another city or town in the Philippines, you’ll end up learning more about far away places. It is not hard to end up socializing with other people when you are on your own and eventually you’ll end up talking to other travelers. You will learn a lot about their history, culture, and traditions in these conversations. And sometimes, their stories will even inspire you to travel more and experience these things for yourself.
3. You’ll get to meet new people and maybe expand your tribe! When traveling in a group of friends, you socialize outside your circle less. Without the chance of mingling with others outside your group, you cannot meet new people. Sure your friends are perfect and you don’t need to replace them, but you’ll also lose the chance to connect with people that might become part of your tribe. Perhaps you don’t need them there but maybe they need to be with you.
Personally, I’ve met some of the most amazing and colorful people on my solo journeys and these have also led to some of the most unforgettable experiences in my life. I met my husband while I was traveling alone too. We probably would not have gotten the chance to connect if I was with a group of friends.
4. You’ll break out of your comfort zone. Without the comfort of your family or friends, you’ll be forced to make judgments and decisions that you’ll normally not do in a group. Bus rides, train rides and flights sometimes mean sitting next to a person you aren’t comfortable with. You might have to sit alone for dinner at a restaurant. When you opt to sleep in a dorm, you’ll have to accept the sleeping habits of several other people around you.
It has been said that life begins outside of our safety bubble. Breaking out of your comfort zone may be hard but it can be rewarding.
5. You’ll simply realize that you can. Traveling on your own will teach you that you have yourself and that is enough. Sure, we need a strong support network too, but you’ll appreciate yourself more when you realize that you can do it without the need of people to hold your hand every step of the way. Once you see the things you have done to get through the journey on your own, you’ll become more confident of yourself and the things that you can do.