A lot of people travel alone for different reasons; they prefer the piece and quiet, no one is willing to go with them or one day they just f*ck it and buy a plane ticket. These are all very legit reasons. But little did you know that travelling alone is the best way to grow? You've become a much more confident, educated and happier person. Not to say travelling with company isn't great! But when you do it alone the experience is incredible. But how does this make me grow as a person? It can't have that much of an impact can it? Oh yes it does, and in a fantastic way...
21. It's A Good Chance To Reflect On Yourself
There's a difference between being alone and being lonely. Traveling by yourself means that for the most of it, you're alone. Which isn't a bad thing. It's great to take the time to get to know yourself, look back over your life and think about who you want to be in the future. It also gives you the mental space to really examine, not judge, yourself. Know what you like, what you want, and what you don't. Without the interruption of anyone else's opinion.
20. You Get To Do Whatever You, Whenever You Want
No being dragged to a museum or an attraction you know you're going to find mundane. Yep, it's all about what you want to do and at whatever pace you choose. Which is pretty f*cking awesome.
19. Forcing Yourself To Go Outside Your Comfort Zone Is One Of The Best Ways To Grow
Whether it skydiving, snorkeling or even trying frog legs, pushing yourself to do stuff you never would do before is a great way to open your mind. The sense of accomplishment triples because you did something without needing to be convinced by others. Trust me, that little internal sense of accomplishment is euphoric. It will leave you more comfortable to try new things more!
18. You Make Friends With People You Never Would've Talked To If You Weren't On Your Own
I remember the first time I went traveling by myself. Not a complete introvert, but I felt uncomfortable meeting new people without my already close friends there. I stayed in an 8-bed female dorm, and I left with 7 new best friends. It made my trip all the more special and left me feeling more socially confident. It also made me realise that new best friends are everywhere, you just have to say hi.
17. You Learn Something New About Yourself All The Time
This can be anything on any level whether it being that you thought you enjoy modern art, and, in fact, prefer neo-classicism instead. Or that art isn't you thing at all, and you much prefer hiking. When you travel by yourself you really learn what you would rather spend your time doing. Therefore, you get a much better idea of who you are.
16. Experiencing Euphoric Moments Alone Is One of Life's Greatest Pleasures
I took this photo one morning in Budapest. I was just heading into the Batthyány tér metro station to get out of the rain when the sight of Budapest's Parliament building caught my eye. I had never seen this sight in the misty rain before, and even on this -8 Degree Celcius morning in the midst of January I couldn't take myself away from it. I walked closer to the Danube, just to really capture the moment. It's little moments like these that have a huge impact on your appreciate for beauty. And because I was on my own it made the moment all the more tranquil and special. I could really savour it. Can you imagine how many moments you have like this traveling around the world?
15. It's The Best Way To Build Confidence
I would recommend traveling to anyone with a confidence issue and to especially stay in hostels. There are thousands of hostels where the environment is laid back, and everyone is friendly. Even if you're a total introvert, staying in a hostel is an amazing way to grow your social skills in a safe environment. When you're on your own, you make friends whether you intend to or not. You do things you never knew you could. You see things you've only imagined. It all makes you more confident.
14. You Learn To Appreciate Good Company
Even the lone wolves get lonely. When you meet a great group of people or even make a new friend you really appreciate the special time you have together. Whether that be volcano boarding, sharing an overnight train journey or enjoying an ice cream.
13. You Notice the Little Things Around You
There are plenty of things you miss out on seeing because you're preoccupied with sorting out what to do next with your group of friends. On your own you're extra observational. You see the little things, even in the biggest cities. Like friendship between two old men sitting on a bench, incorrect spellings of English words are my favourite and even little attractions such as plaques that you wouldn't notice if you were in the midst of a conversation.
12. It's Great For Getting Over Anxiety Problems
We all have a fair share of anxiety, ranging from little to extreme. When you travel by yourself that building confidence slowly destroys that anxiety bit by bit. As you start to trust yourself more and learn that even if you miss that bus it's not the end of the world you'll become a more laid back person. With more time to really enjoy life rather than worry about it.
11. Unexpected Days With Complete Strangers/New Best Friends Are The Best
Because of travelling by myself I've ended up rolling around the gardens of Versailles in a golf buggy, ended up hiking to Austria through the Alps and that's only the beginning. You make so many amazing memories and meet incredible people when you least expect. It's one of life's best surprises.
10. It's Makes You a Kinder Person
Random acts of kindness from strangers when you're travelling makes you appreciate the good in people. Whether it was a dorm mate asking if you were ok after a bad day, a local asking you if you're lost and ends up giving you a tour of the city or even someone giving up their seat because they can see that your 30kg backpack is getting the better of you. Manners are one thing, but doing good for nothing in return may mean more to someone than you'd expect.
9. You Always Get A Seat On Transport
This lady got particularly unlucky. But generally in the day-to-day sightseeing fun you're way more likely to grab a seat if you're on your own. One of life's little pleasures if you ask me.
8. Telling People To Fuck Off Isn't An Issue Anymore
The greatest way of stopping street sellers or creeps from spending an extendable amount of time in your grill is by telling them straight up to f*ck off. Well, maybe not so blunt the first-time round. But very quickly you learn that the easiest way to get rid of someone is just telling to go away. You can still be a nice person, but at times you need to tell some people to leave you alone. It's a great way of sticking up for yourself as well.
7. More Time To See/Do Everything
You can sure cover a lot more ground when it's just you. You already don't have to take into consideration what someone else wants to do, and when you're travelling it doesn't mean you have the longest time to spend in one particular place. It also means that if you get bored of one place, you can just get on a train and head somewhere else.
6. The Sense Of Freedom
The fact that you can pick up your stuff at any time and go somewhere else is completely freeing. It's up to you (and your funds) where you go and when. That feeling of landing in a new city, taking in the atmosphere of somewhere you've never been and the sense of adventure is one of the greatest feelings anyone can have. When you're by yourself that internal sense will leave you feeling so excited instead that you'll find it hard to wipe that smile off you face.
5. The Sense of You Can Do Anything
Coming towards the end of your trip you have this massive sense of accomplishment, and you're right to feel it too! Whether you've ventured to a new city for a few days or have gone backpacking around Europe for months. It's the fact that through all train delays, long days and distance covered you did it. You really feel like you could take on the world by yourself, and it's incredible.
4. You Learn to Appreciate Time With Loved Ones
As much as it is travelling around the world, feeling of seeing your loved ones again does excite you. Seeing your Mother, best friend or dog for the first time in six months is an amazing feeling. You can't lie when you say you didn't miss them a little while you were away. And you treasure the time you have with them because you know you'll be back on that plane to discover more of the world as soon as you can afford it.
3. You Start To Give Less of A F*ck of What People Think of You
After making a fool of yourself more times than you can imagine travelling by yourself combined with your new found confidence you literally will not have time for negativity in your life. Talking with new people has taught you that everyone really is an individual, including yourself. And unless you've learnt that you actually really don't like who you are (which is crazy because why would people speak with you for more than five minutes if they didn't) you are going to give a f*ck what people think of you anymore. The only opinion of yourself should come from you, and you learn that traveling alone.
2. It Boosts Your Desire To Travel & Your Respect for The World
Once you start to discover the world, you can't stop. It's a healthy addiction. You've seen so many beautiful things, created by both nature and man that it makes you truly appreciate how lucky you are to be able to travel! The world has a lot of bad sides, the news only reports the bad things that happen. But in travelling your mind opens to a new perspective on life, and it makes you want to keep learning about the planet we live on.
1. You Come Home A Total Badass
After traveling alone, you do not return the same person. But in a great way! It gives you a massive confidence boost, you're more educated, you've made worldwide friends and overall you've made amazing memories. I believe it makes you a much stronger person inside and out! So what are you waiting for? Get planning and start you adventure!
By Professional Wanderluster, Catherine Munnelly