June 25th, 2020
Near or far, travel always means stepping outside of ones comfort zone. In my previous post A Travelers Trade I shared some of the not-so-great moments I’ve encountered abroad and I enjoyed your comments about similar experiences 🙂
This is the third post of my ‘Traveler’ series, in which Kae from Hello City Girl shares with us the rewards that come with traveling solo and how it inspired growth.
A big thanks to Kae for letting me share this very relatable post!
The Life Changing Benefits of Travelling Alone
by Kae – Hello City Girl
I’ve made many decisions in life. Some of them were questionable (…hahah) but I definitely have some good ones in there. Going on a solo trip hands down was one of the best decisions I’ve made.
Solo travelling isn’t just an act of exploration, it is an experience for your mind and soul. When I went on my first solo trip to Vancouver, I was just excited about the scenery. I never expected it to change me the way it did. Here are the benefits of travelling alone that could happen to you!
Grow and Pick Up New Skills
When you are alone in a foreign country, you’re forced to be independent. You’ll learn to take care of yourself and learn to problem-solve.
When I was planning for my Peru trip, I decided to pick up Spanish using Duolingo (only the free version of course). Thank goodness I did because no one speaks English there. On top of the language barrier, I was terrible with directions. So I did everything I could to make sure I won’t get lost. I memorized street names and figured out how public transits work without the help of Google Map! These are things I wouldn’t have learned if I didn’t travel alone. It created opportunities for me to pick up new skills and grow.
Get to Know Yourself Better
Travelling alone is amazing for self-discovery. You may be surprised by what you’re capable of, and you may be shocked you are different from who you thought you were. I sure was.
I thought I’d panic when issues come up, but in reality I’ve handled them smoothly. I thought I’d be terrified not able to depend on someone, but I was able to rely on myself and managed through many unfamiliar situations. I thought I would suck at Spanish (actually this is true I do), but I was able to have full conversations with locals by the end of my Peru trip.
Gain More Confidence
Throughout your solo trip, there will be lots of opportunities to build confidence. Every time you solve a problem, you gain confidence. As you discover positive qualities about yourself and develop new skills, you gain confidence. You’ll feel good knowing you’re able to accomplish your goals, and feel proud that you’re brave enough to go for a daunting but valuable experience of travelling alone.
Realize Spending Time Alone Isn’t So Bad
When you’re alone, you can tap into how you’re truly feeling. You don’t have to compromise on what you want to do, and you don’t have to think about keeping someone company. If I want to go try on 8 different shirts at H&M, you bet I’ll be taking my sweet time in the change room, not having to worry about someone waiting for me outside.
Once you start to appreciate alone time, you’ll do more because you no longer need to find people to join you. I’ve always wanted to take a bread-making workshop, but none of my friends do so I’ve never signed up for it. Now realizing being alone isn’t so bad, I took the workshop myself and cannot be happier despite discovering I have zero talent in making bread.
Meet Interesting People and Be Inspired
I find that it’s easier to meet people when I’m alone. Not only will you meet people from around the world, you may also be friends with people you don’t normally hang out with. On my solo trip to Peru, I met two people who have inspired me. Interesting enough, one is much older than I am while the other is much younger.
The first one was a mom in her late 50s. She wasn’t happy in her marriage of 25 years, so has decided to get a divorce. But this is only the beginning of her journey. She then quit her job to pursue her passion of becoming a spin instructor. She also wanted to rediscover herself so she solo travelled to multiple countries. Now she is living happier than ever.
I don’t know about you, but I’d be terrified to make any changes in my 50s. I can barely handle changes in my 20s right now. Her story inspired me, knowing that amazing things can happen at any age, as long as you allow it.
May Have a Change in Perspective
While the mom inspired me to be courageous and take charge of my life, the younger girl taught me you’re never too young to speak up and act on what you believe in.
She is very vocal about her view on animal rights. She is not afraid to stand her ground and have a discussion with you. That is powerful. Before meeting her, I thought I’m not old enough to have an opinion or old enough to be passionate about something. I thought people might not take me seriously. But that is not true at all.
You won’t meet the same people as me, but that’s the beauty of it. You don’t know who you’re going to meet, and what kind of stories you’re going to hear. Sometimes we lack inspiration because we hang out with the same people all the time, and experience the same thing every day.
I encourage everyone to travel solo at least once in their life!
It may seem scary at first, but it will grow you in ways you might not have expected and by the end of it you’ll feel amazing. Have you travelled solo before? Would you like to? I’d love to hear your stories!
Head on over to Hello City Girl for more of Kae’s insights on Lifestyle, Travel and Wellness.
*All words and photos are Kae’s own.