Posts tagged ‘Europe’

July 2, 2015

Travel solo, so that …

I’m two months shy of turning twenty-seven, I don’t have a boyfriend, or kids for that matter, my insanely busy season at work just ended, plus I have an addiction to traveling the world. So yes, I understand that my situation may seem somewhat unrelateable to yours, but I’m urging you to see the brilliance of why you should take the time to travel solo.

My recent trip to Europe was mostly spent with friends; I attended a wedding, and in some cities stayed with good friends. But I also wanted to take some time and travel alone just so I could relax away an extremely busy first six months of the year. I spent four days and three nights in a country I didn’t know anyone; simply laying at the beach, running, shopping, eating, praying, and writing. It was magical.

The interesting part is I’ve done quite a bit of traveling alone for work. My previous job had me on the road every other week, so I know what it’s like to be in a new city or stay at a hotel alone. But this was different. I didn’t have the excuse of saying to the server, “Oh I’m just in town for work” as to why I was eating alone in a restaurant. I was alone because I wanted to be.

To say I’m glad I did it does not do justice. I’ve had multiple people, including my boss, tell me that I seemed much different when I got back from my trip. Rejuvenated, recharged, and realigned.

So maybe it isn’t realistic for you to buy a plane ticket to France tomorrow, but I’m urging you to make time for yourself – to get to know yourself. Not just one hour at the gym to release stress (which is still needed in our weekly routines), but an actual long period of time away from home – focused on you, focusing on yourself. It might sound crazy, but I’m telling you it is life changing.

Here are my top six reasons that you should travel solo, so that;

Travel solo so that you suit yourself.
Even the most amazing lazy day at the beach with friends, changes your outlook on how to spend the minutes within that day. It’s part of human nature and makes sense that even a day without plans would be different if you were all by yourself. When you’re alone, you won’t think to wait until someone else is hungry too before going to get food.  Once you get hungry enough, you’re just going to go find food. Traveling alone allows you to really and truly do whatever you want to do that day, because no one else’s plans will be changed based on it. It’s really quite freeing.

Travel solo so that you can hear yourself think.
When we are constantly surrounded by other people, even those we love to be around, there are a lot of distractions and excuses to avoid thinking.  Time alone is spent hearing yourself and recognizing your thoughts about what is happening around you. You won’t have other people’s opinions to pull or push you away from your own thoughts.

Travel solo so that you learn to trust yourself.
You have to rely on yourself to use a map, ask a stranger a question, or decide what the next activity will be. It builds confidence and it also brings out awareness of your gut feeling. You’re responsible for your choices and you will learn to trust yourself in decision making.

Travel solo so that you can feel uncomfortable.
I won’t lie – it at times is awkward to be alone. I had wondered what other people were thinking about me. One day I was at the beach for eight hours, watching big groups of friends or families enjoying each other’s company. I was enjoying myself too, just as much as they were, but I had to get used to it. Being uncomfortable in certain situations will only make you stronger and more adaptable for future situations. Feel comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Travel solo so that you can refresh yourself.
This one may seem like the no brainer, but it honestly is true.  Our every day, hectic schedules that are busy with work, kids, and everything that comes along with it is amazing – but draining. True relaxation and letting go is easier when you are alone. There’s no one to impress or be there for. Just you.

Travel solo so that you’re better for others.
You will only be able to fully love other people, once you love yourself (especially the voluntary or romantic relationships). When you’re alone for three days, you do start to realize what you love about yourself. Perhaps even dig out what you don’t love, and then you can work to fix it. Take the time to put yourself in a better, more confident, independent and appreciative emotional place so that you can be better for the people in your life that you love.

Enjoy some photos from my solo travel portion, and remember to just, love life.