“Traveling – it leaves you speechless,
then turns you into a storyteller." Ibn Battuta
The world solo traveling can evoke many emotions such as fear, curiosity and there are those who enjoy it and those who would never dream about going to a faraway country on their own. Solo traveling will change your outlook on life, teach you many lessons and in ways help you discover who you are. It's always a fun idea to want to take a cruise around the Caribbean or spend spring break in Ibiza with your best friends, but solo traveling is something you have to do for yourself at least once. But, be warned, after you've experienced it, you won't be able to stop. There are a few things solo traveling seems to do to many people
You Learn Different Perspectives
Many individuals tend to live in their own world and don't care to learn what is different or that things can be different. By solo traveling (and traveling in general) you are taking a break from what is the same routine and people at home and looking at a new place with fresh eyes. People, culture, food, ideas, and religion is different everywhere. Don't be afraid to learn about the country you are in and a gain a more worldly knowledge and do so with an open, nonjudgmental mind.
You Learn Patience
Not every travel experience is going to be perfect and smooth, and that's the authenticity of it. You might see photos of bloggers sipping champagne at the airport lounge and think how easy it is, but who knows what went on behind the posh staged photos. You have to be patient with yourself and others. You have to get used to waiting around, delayed flights, or running to catch a flight. You might get frustrated with language barriers or public transportation, but it's all part of the journey and will be worth it in the end. Whatever happens, don't forget to breathe and know it's not the end of the world
You Learn To Be More Friendly
Traveling is when you should sometimes turn your phone off. Don't worry about staying updated or worry about texting your friends and family every hour. You're in a different country, so live and enjoy every second of it you can. This is the time to meet other travelers, make new friendships and maybe even fall in love. Talk to the person sitting next to you at the cafe and make conversation. Dress up and go to a club or bar, dance by yourself, enjoy the music and mingle with the crowd.
You Gain Confidence
There's something about a person walking through the crowds of Bangkok, Bali or Cambodia with their tanned skin, overstuffed backpack and color baggy elephant print pants. They look comfortable, easy and confident in with their self. Confidence isn't about what designer clothes you packed into your Rimowa or Samsonite luggage, but it's about your inner being. You aren't impressing anyone wearing heels at a beach resort. Confidence should be real and being able to let your hair down, being silly and having genuine fun. The only person you should be doing it for is yourself.
"I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world." Mary Anne Radmacher
"Travel makes one modest. You see what a
tiny place you occupy in the world." Gustave Flaubert
You Learn To Overcome Fears
Fear is one of the main obstacles that keep people from buying a ticket to their dream country. They fear of eating alone, of the unknown, of getting lost, of being bored, and even of safety. But, what better opportunity to get over your fears while exploring beautiful places like Paris, Positano, Santorini, Kyoto or Bali. If you have planned the trip accordingly, researched enough and use common sense, you will be safe. If you have an open mind and are truly trying to have fun and explore, you aren't going to worry about being bored. If you get lost, so what! Talk to some people and make some friends.
You Learn to Live In The Moment
You really do learn to live in the moment when you travel. You aren't at home so stop worrying about what's going on at work, don't obsess over social media or feel the need to message everyone throughout the day, because all of that is faraway from you. What you see in front of you, the people, the sights and sounds is what you should be enjoying and it should have your full attention. Don't worry about recording or photographing every single moment and enjoy it wholly.
You Learn Humility
There's so much going on everyday and many people have no idea. They only want to see the pretty and ignore what troubles other people are facing everyday. Young girls are being trafficked for sex in high volumes in Southeast Asia, families are living in makeshift houses and barely getting by on a dollar a day and babies are not getting vaccines or food. Many times traveling inspires people to take a stance because of what they see. Even if you are one person, you can still make a difference and leave a lasting impact in someones life. Wherever you go, try to see if you can invest a few hours to volunteer in the local community. There are many other ways to help out such as donating food, supplies or clothing items to orphanages, churches or rehabilitation centers.
What global issue do you wish to help change? If you don't have time to do to participate while you are traveling, you can start when you get home. It can be volunteering in person or even having a social media presence if you prefer to work at home. Sometimes all it takes is talking about a topic and that sets a chain reaction that causes other people to take charge.