Imagine, you are all gung-ho about your vacation with your besties. You be like, tickets – check, luggage – check, things-to-do list – check and your bestie calls in saying, ‘You know, ughh something has come up and I can’t come.’ *Touche*
You clench your teeth, curse your friend, ponder over the idea of solo travel, and after all the permutation and combination, you decide to go ahead with the plan. At that moment, you are all jittery about the journey ahead, but once you are back, you feel more than thankful.
Because some things in life are meant to be tasted, experienced, and relished alone. Breaking out of the comfort zone can be challenging, but you become more responsible, accountable, confident, and reliable. And, words like perseverance, patience, and endurance and taking ownership of a not-so-pleasant situation gets a new meaning.
Travelling is like singing John Denver’s, Country Roads Take Me Home or All My Bags Are Packed, Am Ready To Go and solo travel is more like Steppenwolf’s Born To Be Wild, not literally, but the feeling is the same!
Here is why we’d like to call it a wondrous world of solo travel:
While travelling alone, the first and foremost thing one learns, understands, and sticks to till the end of journey (and even after) is to believe in oneself and the courage to sail through any situation alone. The courage to believe in the path chosen; the strength to overcome expected as well as unexpected twists and turns, and the courage to accept mistakes in between!
Solo travel trains the mind of an individual to face new challenges, think practical, act rationale, and to survive through any situation. Irrespective whether the journey is a long one or a short trip, one inculcates the openness to look into the eye of storm and helps one nurture the willingness to overcome it in the most realistic way. At the end of it, an individual feels proud of their capabilities and enjoys a sense of accomplishment.
An adult has three facets of personality, one for the public, one for the closest people, and one when left alone with self. Travelling alone brings out the best of the third one! A new surrounding, the indomitable urge to explore, to cherish, to understand, and to adapt make one submit completely to the new experience and make the most of it.
One of the best takeaways of solo travel is, one starts feeling comfortable in their own skin; begins loving, enjoying and appreciating their own company. That feeling is reassuring and self-contained and lingers on throughout the journey as well as after it.
Albert Einstein wisely said, “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”
Nothing comes out perfect unless one falters and fails. When alone, no one knows what is right and who cares about what is wrong! The perk of being alone is one can take as many chances as they want, learn from mistakes, and transform into a stronger, smarter, and wiser person.
While setting course on a journey alone, one learns to follow their instinct; an individual’s gut turns out to be the most trusted comrade. One adapts to being more confident, overcome insecurities, listen to everyone yet trust no one but self.
What will be seen, who will be met, what will I eat, where this road will take me, will I be lost? Travelling alone surely teaches one to break free from the fears that stop one from leaving the comfort zone. One thinks beyond the prejudices, assumptions, and embrace fears with ease and confidence.
Solo travelling firmly ingrains an individual with confidence, independence and self-motivation. A person’s mind opens up and develops his/her own mechanisms to cope up with the several situations since there is practically no one to seek advice from.
Acceptance comes hard. It is not easy to accept anything that seems unfavourable, and when there is someone else one tends to indulge in blame game. While alone, blaming is not an option; so the wise thing to do is accept, learn, and move on. It might be as petty as misplacing a toothbrush or as big as missing the last flight, but once accepted the mind knows how to find a way out.
The most incredulous part of solo travel comes when an individual discovers their real self (having lived through all circumstances successfully) and unlearns the art of taking things, people and life as a whole for granted. When an individual is solely responsible for his/her actions, decision, one starts respecting life in totality.
Pat Conroy, New York Times author summed up solo travel in the best way – “Once you have travelled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.”