5 Ways Solo Travel Will Change You
To take a solo trip, you don't have to set out with a life-changing, soul-strengthening journey a la Eat, Pray, Love in mind. Maybe you're simply taking this trip because you want to enjoy your own company, or because you want to see a particular destination and your partner flaked, or you couldn't find anyone to go with.
Your motivation for traveling solo is yours and yours alone—that's the beauty. However, no matter what your intention is going into a solo trip, don't be surprised if it changes you in some pretty profound ways.
I never planned to become a solo traveler, but once I did—once I looked back and grasped how it changed me, how it molded me into the person I am today—I was hooked.
No matter why you decide to take a solo trip, know that these are a few benefits you're pretty much guaranteed to reap over time. These rewards are just gravy on top of an experience that's already going to be fun, enjoyable, and empowering!
#1. It'll make you more comfortable with being by yourself.
There will be plenty of times and scenarios in your life where you'll need to be alone, so learning how to not just handle it, but to enjoy it, will be majorly beneficial to you. But I don't want you to think that solitude is a punishment, either. Once you start getting more comfortable with it, you'll start to see how useful and pleasant it can be.
I currently live alone—the first time in my life I've lived without roommates. And although I loved living with my friends, I'm obsessed with living on my own now, thanks to my solo travels. Every time I come home to my own, private space, I break out into a smile. I've learned to savor and now, even crave my time alone. It's made me a more independent, thoughtful, and grateful person.
Plus, enjoying your own company gives you the freedom to do more! Gone are the days when I'd miss a concert I really wanted to go to, or wait weeks to try a new restaurant till a friend was available to go with me. Not only do I have no problem going to things like this alone now—I do it on purpose, all the time, because I enjoy it.
#2. ...but it'll help you get better at making new friends, too.
One misconception about solo travel is the actual amount of alone time you'll have. It depends on where you're traveling to and where you stay, but generally, solo travelers have a pretty easy time making friends with other travelers and locals.
First, when you're alone, you're more approachable. You'll find that people reach out to you and invite you places, without you having to do much.
You'll also learn about the art and science of making new friends yourself. You'll build conversation skills, you'll learn about where the best places to meet people are. You will also build confidence in yourself as a person, which will help you put yourself out there even more. When you meet someone new across the world and you really hit it off, it'll remind you how much you have to offer, how unique and wonderful you are. It's an empowering feeling, and it'll help you go out and make even more friends.
#3. It'll help you get to know yourself.
When you're traveling alone, you'll have to look at yourself and your life closely. There's nowhere else to look! You won't have your relationship with another person to think about or be concerned about—only your relationship with yourself.
You'll learn about how you react in different situations. What you like and don't like. What you agree with, and what you're against. What type of person you like spending time with, what type of person you want to be, where you can improve. You can face up to anything you've been avoiding in your daily life. You'll have plenty of time for introspection, and plenty of time to test yourself and see what you're made of.
Just like a couple taking their honeymoon will come back knowing a little more about each other and feeling even more in love, you'll come back from your solo trip knowing and loving yourself even more.
#4. It'll teach you how to take care of things yourself.
When traveling solo, there's no one to manage your experience or take care of logistics and problem-solving but you. You'll learn how to TCB! When you get back from your trip, you'll carry that skill and confidence with you.
I still value the resources I have and the input of others, but now, after all my solo travels, I've learned to look to myself first. I try to figure out a situation on my own before I go asking for advice, and I usually can.
You'll start seeing areas of your life you were used to having someone else handle, or at least guide you in. And you'll feel ready to handle them and guide yourself. When faced with a challenge or problem, you won't shy away as much, because you'll have learned through your solo travels just how competent and capable you are.
#5. It'll boost your confidence.
So you just got back from your solo trip—you did a thing that most people will never have the courage to do. You proved what you're capable of, which is taking care of yourself and your experiences.
You singlehandedly solved every issue that came up. You took care of every task. You faced your fears and accomplished something amazing that you can be proud of for the rest of your life.
Just like I said in #4, you'll have realized how competent and capable you are. It's similar to the feeling of crossing the finish line of a big race, or graduating from school. You accomplished something big all on your own—you persevered even when it was tricky or difficult. YOU DID IT—and now you know you can do whatever else comes your way.
Is there a solo trip in your future? Learn everything you need to know in my comprehensive course, Solo Travel 101. From packing to solo-female safety tips to advice on making friends, dining alone, and more, I'll prepare you to travel alone so you can reap the five benefits above—and lots more!