Traveling is one of the most rewarding experiences that a person can have. Sure, when a trip is shared, it allows for great memories and deepens relationships, but traveling alone is a chance to expand and grow without any outside influences.
At least, that’s one of the many reasons everyone needs to try it at least once.
It Broadens Your Mind To A Culture Outside Your Own
Every culture has its little quirks and customs that seem so ordinary to you but completely absurd to others. Your culture has shaped your thoughts, your feelings, your habits, and your goals.
Experiencing a new culture is the chance to form new thoughts, have new feelings, learn new habits, and find new goals. This is a way to make the best of your culture and the best of another you learn about, and to live the best of both worlds.
You Get To Meet New People As You Go
When you travel with someone else, you naturally both rely on each other. They keep you busy on long bus rides, or they help you break language barriers. When you’re alone, you’re forced to interact more with others, even just to ask for directions or recommendations.
And if you’re sitting alone on that bus ride, you’re more likely to seem approachable and strike up a conversation with the person beside you.
You Learn That Life Doesn’t Have To Progress In A Linear Path
You’re taught that in life you must go to school, get married, have kids, then die. You don’t truly get to live. When you travel alone, you realize that although you have a destination, there is no right or wrong way to get to it.
You can make all the stops you want, take an unlimited number of routes that each give you their own lesson and experience. And there’s no specific order. Why can’t the same then be applied to your normal life?
It Gives You The Confidence To Take On The World
There is no denying that you really need to step out of your comfort zone to travel alone. That’s what deters many people. However, once you actually do it, you realize how capable you are of facing the unknown, taking risks, and adapting to all kinds of new scenarios.
Then you get to go home with a new sense of confidence to take on whatever comes your way.
You Become A Budget Expert
There is no one you can split the bill with, so if you’re on a budget, you need to get creative with how and where you spend your money. You might meet someone to share a hostel with or learn to cook where you are.
It teaches you how to manage money in a short amount of time and take on financial accountability. If you blow all your money, it’s on you (which is okay too because there is no price on experience).
It Forces You To Heal From Within
When you travel alone, you also spend so much time in your own company, with nothing but your own thoughts. It forces you to face everything you’ve been distracting yourself from. This is your opportunity to just sit and reflect and finally let go of everything that’s causing you pain.
This will allow you to feel refreshed with a blank slate, ready to make better decisions when you return home.
You’re Free To Go Wherever, Whenever
You don’t have to compromise to spend a day doing what someone else wants. Now the world is truly your oyster.
You get to pack up and go on a whim to follow someone you met a hostel without consulting anyone else.
You Find Your Limits
There’s no one to push you or hold you back. You get to really test how far you can go and tackle what you’re afraid of head-on. You get to completely strip yourself raw and jump off of a plane if you want to, or eat a seasoned spider not just because someone is pressuring you to but because you have the choice.
You can keep pushing until you finally get to a point where you say, “OK, there is no way I’m doing this.”
It Makes You A Much More Adaptable Person
A lot of the anxiety we face in our day-to-day is due to the uncertainty of what the future holds and how to reach our goals. When you’re traveling alone, you have no choice but to constantly be adapting.
Even if you have it all planned in advance, you can’t plan for who you’ll meet and where they’ll take you. If you go with the flow abroad, then you’re able to bring that comfort with the unknown back to your everyday life.
You Turn Off The Auto-Pilot
So much in life is dictated by others above you and situations that are out of your control. But when you’re traveling alone, you’re in complete control. You don’t have to settle anywhere or for anything. If you don’t like it, you keep moving.
In that sense, you keep challenging yourself to see how far you can go on your adventure before you feel truly content.
It’s Hands-On Education, No Textbooks Required
They should really have a traveling school, because the lessons those experiences teach you will never be able to be taught in a classroom.
Sure, you can learn the language in advance or read an entire encyclopedia about their cuisine, but nothing will prepare for how you will feel surrounded by people who live so differently than you. Their rituals, their holidays, their customs, their tastes, those are not things you can truly understand until you experience them for yourself.
You Give Value To Experiences
There is a reason they say that money can’t buy happiness. Although, ironically, it costs money to travel, the rewards of traveling can never be given a price.
Think of it as an investment to yourself that a new Chanel bag can never replace.
You Get All The “Me” Time You’ve Been Craving
When’s the last time you were truly alone for more than a few hours? No phone, no TV, no responsibilities to get to, no noise. A midday walk doesn’t count. Traveling alone allows you to truly disconnect and be one with a new world.
Whether you’re traveling in nature or in a new town, there are no expectations or responsibilities holding you back.
No Influence From Friends And Family
Who you are is largely conditioned and brought up by your parents and later on by your friends. Although they taught you a lot, what you learned is also limiting and sometimes even detrimental.
But to really be able to weigh that out and to see if you can gain a new perspective, you need to explore what other restrictions or freedoms others are living by and if those would feel more authentic to you.
You’ll Love To Live With Few Belongings
You don’t care so much what you’re wearing and how much makeup you put on when you’re not trying to impress anyone. When you’re focused on the experience, all you need is food, somewhere to sleep, a comfortable change of clothes you can rotate, and that’s basically it!
You’ll start to wonder why you felt like you needed to hoard so much back at home anyway.
You Get To Know What You Like And What You Don’t
New choices you’ve never had to make allow you to discover more possibilities. If you were never able to swim in the ocean, how can you know if you prefer it to swimming in a lake? That’s even a really small-scale example.
You get to know which habits, foods, weather, and customs appeal to you, and what they bring out in you. Maybe you were meant to be a surfer and you wouldn’t know that till you rode your first wave.
You Get To Have An Experience That Is Truly Yours
There isn’t a lot that you don’t have to share in life. Even if you’re single. You share space, you share your work, etc. But when you travel alone, you get to create an experience that is truly yours alone.
You can choose to tell other people about it, with no one chiming in because they weren’t there, or you can even keep the stories to yourself.
It’s Okay If A Choice Doesn’t Work Out
You don’t have to worry about disappointing anyone or living up to anyone’s expectations. Every choice you make while you travel alone is a risk but also an experiment.
If it goes badly, you learn something, and if it takes a turn, it gives you a new experience. If it goes well, you only have yourself to thank!
You’re Allowed To Be Selfish
Usually, the word “selfish” has a negative connotation and is not something you’re encouraged to want or be. Yet, while you’re traveling alone, you have to put yourself first, whether it’s for your safety or for your enjoyment.
You get to do whatever you want, and it’s completely okay. In fact, it’s encouraged! Isn’t that a nice change of pace?
You Make Friends Who Change You
If you ask anyone who has traveled alone, they’ll all agree that one of the biggest highlights was the people they met along the way. The connections you form while traveling bond you for life.
Next thing you know, you’ll have the travel bug and friends around the world you can stay with every time.