Traveling is known to have hundreds of significant contributions to a man’s total well-being. But there are advantages particularly experienced by lone travelers as they explore themselves and the world.
Since my parents broke up when I was a cute third grader, I grew up in so many different cities across the country. We were moving from one point to another and can’t seem to find a place we belong until recently. I was enrolled to at least 10 schools before college – a reason why I never had a longtime highschool best friends. Everything was transitory and temporary. I didn’t know back then that life was introducing to me an exciting way of life and that I was meant to travel more later on.
I may lack ideal parental influence (I don’t blame them thou) during my childhood days, but I was molded to be what I am today by the places I’ve been and the people I’ve met.
Based on years of going around, here’s my list of advantages of traveling alone:
1. Increase independence and love for solitude.
You learn to rely on yourself more especially if you are someone baby-sitted by family and spoiled by work subordinates. Scenarios of lone traveling such as waiting for your flight in an airport requires you to be mindful of your stuffs, paying attention to the announcements, planning out your meals, and saving phone battery – all these develop a deeper sense of self-reliance and independence.
You will also appreciate being alone and you will never equate it with being lonely again. You will appreciate the amount of peace of mind a solitude can offer as you find genuinely at peace and comfortable with yourself.
2. Conquer fear without pressure.
In traveling with myself, I learned surfing, snorkeling, rock climbing, coffee roasting, and experienced hundred-feet extreme adventures, among others. You get to try things that are way out of your line without any judgment. Most of the lone travelers’ first fear to conquer is traveling alone, once outdone all the rest becomes easy and manageable.
3. Make friends easier and learn so much from them.
People from our circle are within our circle because we have similar culture and beliefs. This often limit our knowledge and does not expand our wisdom. Meeting strangers allows you to discover new things. Some might even help you rediscover what you really want in your life. Not to mention that winning new friends is such a delightfully inspiring feeling you could bring on your way home.
4. Have time to evaluate people you left.
Travels allow you to take a break from your existing friends and social circles. That break is crucial to help you see if you really miss those you left behind whom you think you can’t live without. When you return, you’ll either reconnect and pick up where you left off, or you may discover the friendship seems hollow. Traveling away from (and sometimes with) those you care about is vital. It will either deepen those relationships, or reveal that they were only based on something trivial like locational convenience.
5. You appreciate your existence.
You’ll get to know yourself better. When you travel outside of your comfort, you’ll be forced into situations where you don’t have immediate stimulation and gratification.
You can only see how you’ll react in those situations if you’re courageous enough to explore them. When you’re far outside your comfort zones and routines, you’ll find out what you’re really like.
6. Improve your language skills.
When you travel in a group then you really do not have an emergency need to talk to someone native because you can talk to your own friends and enjoy your time, but when it comes to the solo travel you are all on your own and obviously, you need to talk and interact. Being a foreigner when you interact with a native person, you learn a lot of words and common phrases from their language. I learned to speak at least 5 local and international languages and its one of my rewards for successful travels. Learning new languages sharpens mental capacity and boosts self-worth.
7. Follow your route plan or not have one at all
Being with companions can mean being with many different plans. Being on your own, on the other hand, gives you the luxury to draw out your most ideal travel plans and activities. You can even ditch plans and just find yourself lost and wandering new streets and sights. Isn’t that the ultimate goal of traveling?
Traveling without too much expectations and concrete itinerary enables one to truly experience what the world has to offer. After all, we desire to be called travelers, not tourists.
Many of the most important changes in my life had come about because of my travel experiences. Like what I would always say, I am a mixture of all people I met and life-changing experiences I get while exploring the world. Traveling – and most of the time traveling alone – has contributed so much to my sense of existence. There is certainly a kind of magic about going far away and then coming back all changed. ~