Most people still don’t get why travelling alone is beneficial. I was just like them, sceptical. And that sound scary. But here I am, writing this to let the word out and tell you that all you need is to travel! Because really great things have happened to me after I started travelling alone are:
Travelling made me more sociable
I’ve always been a sociable and outgoing person, but I had to decide to either talk to people or feel lonely and miserable for one entire day. This awkward situation I decided to use it in my favour and pushed myself into taking the first step to approach another person.
When I am in doubt about asking people something, I remind myself the worst case scenario: their answer will be negative. This is a new piece of information for me, which is “this person has no time or pleasure to talk to me”. And that will help me understand people better.
Only by reaching out to people and talking to them I have come to know what kind of people I enjoy having around, which are my favourite conversation topics and how to break the ice. Yes, I had to just start and do it. And like any other skill, practice makes all the difference.
And most times people are incredibly helpful, so don’t be afraid to ask for anything you might need.
Made friends all over the world while travelling
I am naturally drawn to diversity and everything new. I get instantly curious about people from far away places, different cultures, and unusual stories.
That’s why I am more driven to talk to people and I get engaged in conversations with people I’ve just met. That led to friends and acquaintances from many different and far away places. I am so grateful for their friendship, and I do think about them every now and then, even though we don’t talk that often.
Ok, I get it, you may not feel like this. Most people don’t, and that’s OK. But hear me out ( or re-read the paragraph with getting sociable). The voice putting me down is my own inner voice. That’s my biggest enemy. Once I understood it and consciously was aware of it, my entire world changed.
Travelling is an inner journey, while you get to see the world
By far, the biggest breakthrough was to discover my wants and to understand my own actions.
I got used to spending time by myself, and this led to becoming aware of my needs. How much do I need to rest or how do I react when I meet new people. What do I enjoy doing, what kind of people I want around me, what kind of work I want to do, how I like the most to spend my free time.
The tool of travelling gave me the power to extract from any situations something valuable to take away, in my thoughts. I believe every interaction can be beneficial and each person that I meet can add value to my life if I only pay attention.
Knowing my values and beliefs has led to something even greater, which was to more focused interactions on my interests. And not only I got this strong set of values, but I developed the habit of engaging in conversation to help others find their own.
All of this are a brief illustration of how I found my peace. Read more about my journey of self-discovery here.
Discovered what is important to me and which are the things I want in my life
Knowing basic stuff about myself is also something that ultimately was going to happen, but the real question in my life was “What do I want?”. I was clueless when I was asked what do I really want to do with life, or where do I see myself in 5 years. That was not my favourite topic.
I now can express my values more easily. Yes, life is a never-ending learning process but I am aware of it and that has made a big difference in my life.
Ever asked yourself “What should I do with my life?” I did. For years. I was waiting for something to happen some sort of sign to get me moving. That never happen either. It was a lot of fear and uncertainty, and fear builds up from anxiety.
The answer you’re looking for is inside you. Use the tool of travel to dig.
It is normal to worry about things that could happen, but having the habit of always worrying leads to anxiety which ends in fear. And from that state of fear, nobody will ever take a risk.
But all my fears were shattered when I left my comfort zone, and because I had too, I meet many people and I discovered that everyone else is as lost I was. Nobody had a perfect plan of how their life should look like so I realised we are all the same.
I was not so lost after all and that huge discovery lifted the immense pressure I was putting on myself.
Improved my planning and time management skills while travelling
And I got good at this. By having the idea of what I am after (and of course we always pursue what is it that makes us feel good), it was much easier to focus on it and when I started focusing every day it taught me how to plan my time.
That’s why it’s so important to see things clearly and focus on the things you’re doing. I developed a routine of planning things ahead and I also think about what things or situations need some planning before arriving at a certain place or situation.
The unpredictable situations are not always pleasant, but the outcome is a better me. I will be ready for it, next time. And for the same reason, think about failing as a learning process.
Don’t worry too much about this. But if you feel you need to improve your planning tactics, please pack your backpack and just go. I promise you something magical will happen. It sure happened to me.
Travelling made me see things more clearly and eased my decision-making process
There is one really simple trick to make things simple. Most things are simple, but we tend to make everything more complicated. That’s what people do. I over think everything, and that leads to a lot of worrying.
Not sleeping at night, not being able to concentrate, and not being happy. I can tell you now that was not living. That was merely a disappointing way to cope with life. I don’t want that.
I noticed how simple things are, and how I can make everything simple in my life. Most of the things, or people around me, were not helping, so I just let go. Yes, travelling taught me that. You see, when travelling alone, you have to let go of stuff and people. Because you are the one moving and that’s just the way things are.
So I let go of the unnecessary time-wasting situations and connections. The outcome is having so much time to focus, plan my life and that’s how everything is simple and reachable. Everything is done with discipline, drive and focus.
Now, tell me if you ever had any difficulties making a decision about something you really love?
I discovered what is it that I want to do, and the decision came naturally.
And all the following decisions as well.
The best advice I can give you is:
Have patience with yourself. You’ll get there.
Travelling alone for the first time? Yeah, I’ve been there. I also have a post about travelling alone for the first time. I know it’s scary! (But so worth it!)