At the beginning of the year, I created a vision board that would serve as a daily reminder to chase my goals and dreams. I dreamed of traveling to more places and really wanted to expand my blog beyond just food and fitness and to incorporate more lifestyle and travel. Had no idea how I was going to make that happen, but this year, the opportunities allowed me travel coast to coast. I visited Huntington Beach, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Denver, Chicago, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Austin, Miami, and New York. Whew! That’s an insane amount of travel all jam packed in one summer. I did fly solo during most of my trips and learned to love it. I think everyone should travel alone at least once in their life and here’s why:
It’s liberating. Most of our daily lives are dictated by schedules, work, and obligations. While traveling, especially solo, you get to decide every moment of your day. Your life, your rules! Whether that means you’re in bed all day at your hotel, or you’ve created your own jam packed itinerary, or you simply pick a direction and head that way, it’s an incredible feeling. Your only priority is yourself and your needs.
It’s out of your comfort zone. Traveling alone forces you out of your comfort zone immediately. It can feel lonely or even unsettling. When you step away from familiarity, you grow so much and learn so much about yourself. You’re also able to gain new perspective, become more focused on the destination, and be present.
You become much more comfortable in your own skin. Traveling alone also forces you to look inward. You learn to like yourself more or find things you don’t like and make note of it. I became more aware of my own conscious stream of thoughts and used to feel anxious being alone. Now, I absolutely embrace the solitude. There’s a difference. One of my favorite things to do while traveling alone is eating by myself while people watching. It’s actually quite relaxing. I also love walking around different neighborhoods, visiting museums, parks, and checking out other cool attractions.
You don’t have to talk to anyone! I consider myself an extreme extrovert. Most of my friends call me a social butterfly and I crave social interaction. But there are some days when I just want to plug in my headphones, jam out to a killer playlist and just walk without talking to a single person. Social interactions while traveling alone are totally optional. You get to embrace a solitary experience that’s all yours!
You’re more adventurous. Traveling alone creates more opportunities for last minute, spontaneous decisions and adventures. You end up doing things you otherwise might not with a group of friends because it’s not what the group wants. That could mean snorkeling in the ocean, skydiving, hiking up a mountain, trying a new cuisine, or even simply venturing into a new neighborhood. It’s an exhilarating feeling to do something a little wild and walk away knowing you gained a new experience that’s all yours.
You become more independent. You are fully relying on yourself to take care of yourself. No one is coddling you or holding your hand. Learning to be resourceful, smart, and aware is incredibly empowering. Whether that’s navigating a new city or country, learning the transportation system, or budgeting, you’re left feeling like you’re adulting and winning!
Traveling alone can be good for the soul. You gain a greater appreciation of life and your experiences. You’re also humbly reminded that life has much more to offer and traveling alone can certainly enrich it. I always come back refreshed, recharged, and ready to jet-set again. I learned to value experiences over material things and it’s set me up to enjoy my personal life so much more.
You’re never truly alone. There are people everywhere and you can strike up a conversation with anyone you wish by simply asking them a question. I find myself chatting up locals, cab drivers, or reaching out to friends or acquaintances in those cities and making deeper or new connections that way.