For the past 9 months I have been working a job that requires me to travel around the country….by myself. When accepting the position, I had high expectations. I love to travel in general, so I thought it was going to be a lot of fun. But, traveling alone is very different than traveling with your friends and family. It’s definitely not bad, just different.
I feel like I have grown a lot as a person since beginning these solo travel adventures. There are some things you are bound to learn when you take on the world on your own.
#1 No one is judging you
Nobody is judging you for being at the movies by yourself or getting a dinner table by yourself. You have to be OK with asking for a table for one. In fact, people look at you with respect rather than pity for being a solo traveler.
#2 Decisions are easier
When you are the only one you have to make a decision for, it’s much easier. Your decisions don’t have to please anyone else. You can eat wherever you want to, leave at whatever time you want, and you don’t have to wait on anyone or even ask their opinion.
#3 You get a lot of time to think
When you’re on the road by yourself, you get a lot more time to reflect on life and just think about who you are, what you want, and what makes you happy. It’s a great time to just be alone with your thoughts.
#4 Some things are better with others
A new delicious restaurant or a new spectacular view may make you wish you were experiencing it with someone else. Without being able to see the reaction of a new great experience on the face of someone you love, it doesn’t bring as much joy.
#5 You MUST be OK with being alone
Even though you may meet new people when you’re away, a lot of the times you are all by yourself. You need to be OK with entertaining yourself and being alone for the majority of your day.
#6 It’s harder to stay accountable
When you’re gone for several days at a time, you don’t have to be accountable to anyone for being on time or eating healthy. There’s no one else around to tell you to do anything, so most likely you won’t. You must learn how to hold yourself accountable and not rely on anybody else.
#7 Home is special
After being gone for several days at a time, home seems to feel so much more special. You will really begin to understand the meaning of the phrase, “Home is where the heart is.”
#8 It makes you more confident
Being off in the world by yourself makes you feel like you can conquer the world. You have no one to rely on so you must rely on yourself. When a challenge arises you deal with it on your own and it makes you feel so much more confident in your own abilities.
#9 Safety is constantly on your mind
There’s no “buddy system” when traveling alone so you have to be smart with the decisions you make. You’ll plan your evening so that you’re not walking back to your hotel in the dark. You do your best to not put yourself in compromising positions.
#10 You become a really good traveler
After traveling alone for a while, you become really good at planning a trip. Your phone is loaded with travel apps and you can create an itinerary in minutes.
There are times when it’s hard, but I wouldn’t trade this time I’ve spent traveling alone. I would recommend it to anyone who has the opportunity to do so!
Would you consider traveling solo?