10 Important Things you Learn when Traveling Solo
You Appreciate Time Alone
Travelling on your own can be one of the most liberating things you’ve ever done. You get to call the shots, if you want to extend your travels, you can, if you want to get the next bus and explore some more, you can! It’s all about you, meaning you make the rules. It’s pure freedom, and rarely do you ever get to make decisions without anyone else’s input. So get out there and blaze your own trails.
Making Friends is Easy
If you’re travelling solo and are afraid you won’t make any friends, never fear: Chances are, there are plenty of other people that decided to hit the road solo, and feel the same way! Doing a group tour when you get to a new country is one of the best ways to make sure you've got a bunch of new mates to travel the rest of the country with! Exchange travel stories, and pick up a few tips and tricks from some more experienced backpackers along the way.
You're Great at Getting Lost...and Found
Travelling alone means navigating alone, which inevitably results in getting lost. However, it’s not the end of the world. In fact, you might end up in a place that’s even better than the one you were trying to go to. Getting lost will also teach you how to find your way in the future--time to learn how to read those old paper maps again!
You Learn About Yourself
Taking the plunge and travelling without a familiar face really opens you up to the world, and meeting new people. In doing so, you’ll learn more about yourself than you ever thought was possible. You’ll become more aware of what makes you happy, and what doesn’t. Time alone will allow you to ask yourself, “What do I want to do? Where do I want to go next? Who do I want to be?” Traveling solo usually helps to answer these questions.
How to Make The Best of Tough Times
Whilst on your backpacking adventure, at some point you’re going to realize it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. It’s going to rain. You’re going to miss home and get lonely. You might get lost, you might miss your train. But here’s the thing: If your trip sailed smooth without hitting any rough waters, it wouldn’t be that much of a valuable experience. The tough times are what make you stronger, and force you to grow. Not only that, but they make you appreciate the good times so much more.
How to Be Independent
There are just some things that you can’t learn in a classroom. Travelling can teach you some valuable things, like how to be independent. You’ll meet some friendly people along the way, but above all else, you’ve got to rely on yourself. You’ll come back and take pride in saying that you traveled on your own.
How to Test Your Limits
When you travel solo, you’ll test your limits by travelling to some uncharted territory. You’ll reach new heights, whether that’s climbing a mountain, practicing a new language, or eating some exotic food. Travelling is all about new experiences. You’ll come to learn what you’re willing to push towards, like that summit at 6am or catching the last train to get to the next country.
Learning to Live with Less
Before you try to take your entire life with you, know this: You’re going to have to carry everything with you wherever you go, most likely on your back. Try keeping that in mind before you pack your entire wardrobe. In order to be a backpacker, you need to think like one. This means that you should focus on bringing the essentials. You’ll be traveling from place to place so you can always pick up things along the way, and you’ll come to learn how little stuff you actually need.
You Won’t Want to Stop
You might not think this yet, but once your trip is over, you’ll have caught the travelling bug. Suddenly, buying a train or plane ticket doesn’t seem like such a big deal. Sitting in a plane for over ten hours is a breeze, and now you know exactly what you need (and what you don’t!). Now that you’re a pro, it’ll be easier to plan and prepare. Before you know it, you’ll be jetting off to the next destination on your bucket list.
How to be Spontaneous
Travelling solo also gives you the opportunity to let loose. It’s about making memories, enjoying new experiences, and having fun. It’s important to be responsible and have a plan, but that doesn’t mean you need to stick to that plan. Discover those hidden beaches, go cliff-jumping, try that restaurant that everyone is talking about. Those moments are the ones you’ll remember the most at the end.
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