Travel gives us an opportunity to breathe life back into ourselves. Especially when you go with an open mind, heart, and the willingness to do it all, your way. Here are 5 ways solo travel will change you, for the better.
Coming back from travel can always give you perspective. For me, I am able to put myself in the shoes of a traveler, even at home. Now I wander the streets of Los Angeles with new eyes as if to see things through those of a tourist. Everything is fascinating and exciting. It’s a fortunate feeling to be so appreciative of the simplest things. I see wonder in the most mundane, the way a girl has styled her hair that day or a conversation a family is having. I find it all interesting in ways I might not have done if I didn’t know what being a tourist is like. Travel gives you that. When you come home, you can hold onto that feeling and take it with you wherever you go. I believe these attributes bring forth gratitude in abundance.
The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more you will have to express gratitude for.
Yes, I am a believer in the Universe and the law of attraction. There are so many things to be grateful for and I find the more I take time to realize this, the more abundance comes into my life. Change your attitude, change your life! For example, I love hotels and hotel beds but nothing beats coming home to sleeping in my own bed even though I live in a small studio apartment! Traveling can bring gratitude into your life not just because you were able to travel to great destinations but because you also get to come home. Maybe now you have gratitude for the traffic on your commute to work because you realize you have a job that provides you the opportunity to travel solo. OK, maybe being grateful for traffic is a stretch but you get my point. You have to start finding ways to be grateful NOW because your life is NOW not when you get that promotion, not when that great guy comes into your life. You shouldn’t feel something or someone is necessary to feel complete. You make you complete.
I’ve said this before but solo travel provides the opportunity to rely on the kindness of strangers and the more you open your mind to stepping out of your comfort zone, the more likely you will enjoy traveling alone. On my first solo trip to Greece, so many questions ran through my mind, Would I find my tour guide? Would I be able to get around and communicate when I didn’t have anyone else around? Would I be safe? Will I meet new people? The answer to all of these questions was, “yes!” I got to get to know some great people on this trip that I might not have otherwise if I was traveling with others because I was open to meeting new people and not wrapped up in a certain group I traveled there with. I was also able to do what I wanted which you can’t always do when you travel with others. It felt good to be dragged up on stage by strangers to do a traditional Greek dance and not worry about what people thought. It felt good to share my life stories with strangers and they share theirs with me and not worry my friends would be waiting for me. I had no idea it would be so freeing. We get so used to our comfortable box because it’s safe. But let me ask you, if you’ve ever stepped out of your comfort zone, have you ever regretted it? Didn’t think so.
4. Creativity and Imagination
Visiting other countries and seeing other cultures is the perfect way to spark some creativity and imagination. Traveling especially solo, allows you to observe the way people live in different countries without any distractions. Do you want to sit and people watch for 4 hours? You can. Do you want to sit at the beach and watch the sun set in silence while thinking of ways to put into words how the changing colors of the sky makes you feel? You can! The world becomes your playground and your imagination is free to run, jump, and fly through it! Then when you bring that creative spark home you find you don’t have to travel far at all to find that feeling. Adventure can always be right outside your door.
To me, this is the best gift solo travel can bring a woman. When you truly enjoy your own company, you are never alone when traveling or alone in life. The number one question I get when people hear I want to travel alone is, “Aren’t you afraid you’ll get lonely?” No. I truly enjoy my own company. And I’ll tell you, if I waited for anyone to travel, I would never see or do anything.
Achieving the goal of enjoying your own company means you don’t need validation from anyone. You can do what you want how you want and show love to yourself without worrying about how anyone else will feel about it. This is not an easy thing to achieve but it is achievable. The true goal here would be to be able to sit there with no one else’s company but your own, not even the wi-fi *gasp*. But you can do it. I know you can. And when you get that place, you will find a peace that you never knew existed. It makes me emotional just thinking about it because the appreciation of your solitude, when you arrive there, is not something that can really be put into words. But this place is powerful, it is loving, and it is incredibly kind. And you just know when you arrive, from then on, everything and everyone else will simply be a compliment to that, not a need.
If you are wondering where you would even begin to try and get there, you can start by taking yourself to a movie, a great dinner, or go outside and watch the sunset. Then when you feel brave enough, you can venture on a solo trip. If you are contemplating a trip alone but your mind is giving you a million reasons why you shouldn’t like, “Everyone will know you’re alone! They will think you’re a loner and have no friends! You will look sad and pathetic dining alone, traveling alone, BEING alone!!” Well, I have the solution to get your mind to stop relaying these negative thoughts: Simply say, “Thank you for sharing, now shut up.” Then do it anyway. Eat the food, watch the film, BOOK THE TRIP. You’ll see your mind will eventually catch up and you’ll crave more adventure, you’ll crave life.
Here’s to falling in love with the world by falling in love with yourself.