I believe travelling alone is a journey of self-development and personal growth. A journey that can change you as a person, and possibly your entire life to come. Sounds like a big burden to bear in mind, while planning your next holiday.
Most of the times you know intuitively what kind of scenery you would enjoy. Or if you don’t, you won’t know what would you do enjoy, because… well, you haven’t travelled. Getting to know yourself is one of the greatest outcomes of travelling alone.
Stages of travelling alone
The concept of travel has its roots somewhere at the beginning of religion. Does pilgrimage ring any bells?
I believe those people who told religious stories, also observed the benefits of travelling alone as personal and social development and integrated the habit of travel into religious practices.
That and fasting, but that’s not our topic now. You can read more about the crazy Muslim fasting during Ramadan, but a form of fasting can also be found in the Christian religion or Hindu.
So getting yourself started can be a little slow, but keep in mind we all had learnt how to walk, and we all succeeded. We all managed because you didn’t give up.
The habit is to go on holidays with your friends or family, that’s how it always has been.
At first, when planning a holiday, you think who shall you ask to join, and most of my single friends have an even harder time to find someone to go for a holiday.
When you are in a relationship or married, your better half is the first one on the list (and it isn’t much you can do about it).
Telling your friends you’re going alone on a trip may sound a bit strange to them and in some cases, you may even get the question “are you depressed?” and they will try to ask you what is wrong. But the thing is, there is nothing wrong with anyone.
We are doing more wrong to everyone by sticking to a wrong person or group of people and going on a trip together.
Most of the times when people decide to travel by themselves, it’s not so much as a personal wish, but more of an imposition, rather than a choice. But that’s how I discovered how much good can travelling alone do.
The benefits of travelling alone
Probably you heard before of the term travel addict.
Addiction is developed on something which causes pleasure, and travelling can do the same. The first experience of travelling alone will have a significant impact and will determine the next travel experiences.
Most stories I’ve heard are truly amazing and one of a kind. I remember how hard and unimaginable was for me to go on my first solo trip, but today I can share with you some tips I’ve learnt while travelling alone.
People are social human beings, therefore you will need to talk to other people.
For most this may be a step outside their comfort zone, but that’s how we grow and become a better version of ourselves. Discovering the world and the people in it is a process of self-discovering and personal growth. Read more about personal growth and some thoughts from the journey which changed my life.
And it feels good. Travelling alone gives a great feeling of freedom and self-awareness, which for some, becomes an addiction.
Travelling alone gives you confidence.
Like any addiction, the outcome of travelling alone is a good feeling about oneself. Travelling alone gives you confidence (that most people lack), by putting you in new situations. It puts in situations you would have never been otherwise. And it is putting you in control of your own life and decisions.
Learning to decide is one of the main issues most people have today, and many are not capable of deciding for themselves and live a life where others choose for them.
Don’t draw the wrong conclusions before experimenting
There are two kinds of people. The ones who love travelling and love travelling alone and the ones who have never travelled alone.
The latter find travelling alone sad or just think of it as a bad experience, that only an introvert would choose. This conclusion couldn’t be farther from the truth.
I am not judging what type of personality you should have or not, I’m just an advocate of the benefits of this experience.
To answer that judgement, one needs to step pretty far away from their comfort zone to start travelling alone.
You must be willing to discover yourself before discovering the worlds around you, more than anyone else. The very definition of introverts is a shy and quiet person who is unable to make friends easily.
Only an introvert willing to change will embark on such a journey.
But the good part is, by the end of it, the traveller is a changed person and he/she cannot be called an introvert.
Stop making excuses
Most of us come up with this common excuses like “I don’t have the money to travel” or “I don’t have the time”.
Ask yourself what do you do with your money and with your time?
Is there anything else more important than discovering your soul and skills, for which you spend your resources?
I don’t believe there is anything more important than living the life you were meant to live and you can do that only by knowing who you are and what you love. Take the time now, to make the most out of it.
There are also some lucky few who have found their perfect partner. I’m not saying to ditch your partner and keep all the fun to yourself.
I’m encouraging you to travel together. Travelling alone can be the most significant inner journey you can make, but when it’s done in two, travelling can make or break a partnership.
Knowing a person in just one environment doesn’t mean you know him or her.
“I don’t have enough money to travel”
Whatever is that you always think about and set your goals and compare to, is your reality and priority.
If making money is the first thought on any topic, it means money is your priority and whatever you do, you will never think you have enough.
I suggest investing your time into cultivating relationships and getting to know people.
When I set to travel as my priority, I see the opportunities everywhere. Talking about it will make people around you talk about it as well. Having the information may lead to new ideas and therefore to new experiences.
Next time you want to answer with “I don’t have the money/time to travel”, tell yourself:”It’s not a priority”. And see how that feels.
Travelling alone is an inner journey as much as it is an exterior journey. All the travel fails you get to live and the people you will meet, will either bring the best in you or the worst.
I truly hope it will be the best and then you will help others on their journeys. as humankind needs more open-hearted people, with kind souls and an accepting mentality.
Since you are on your journey of personal development (through travelling), check out some other great personal stories to help with your self-development:
- Personal growth: The story of the self-development journey
- 5 Beliefs I hope we could all share
- How did volunteering help me on the journey of personal growth