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What Nobody Tells You About Travelling Solo

Travelling solo is the best form of self-care you can invest in. But it comes with a package.


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Ka Portka

a year ago | 5 min read

You will get hooked.

Uploaded by Jezael on Unsplash

I always admired people who dared to go on solo adventures, travel overseas and dive deep into foreign cultures.

I used to dream of being one of them.

This year, I have fulfilled my dream.

I am here to tell you that travelling solo is the best form of self-care you can invest in.

But it comes with a package.

It Gets Lonely.

Unfamiliar places can be overwhelming.

New people, new culture, and new cafés are charming but at the same time offer a new perspective.

You get mesmerized by new places but have nobody to share them with.

Instead of running away from the uncomfortable feeling of loneliness, sit with it.

Accept loneliness as one of many diversified facets of life.

Yes, you will feel lonesome for a while. But you will also appreciate the company of people when you come across meaningful connections. Then they become a gem.

When you find yourself on a deserted island, with nothing but your thoughts and iced Matcha in your hand, you get to know yourself.

There is nowhere to run. No Netflix to kill time and emotions with. There is only an abyss of mixed feelings and anxieties that, when seen, lose their power over you.

It Builds You Up.

You learn uncomfortable truths about yourself.

Travelling solo builds your character because, at first, it breaks you down.

You end up alone with your thoughts —thoughts that are not always bright and shiny, but with a hint of fear and dark clouds.

Don’t get discouraged, though. When you observe your sabotaging thoughts, you learn a great deal about yourself.

Uncomfortable feelings serve as contrast. They show you what you don’t want from life. And you get to change your ways so that you can live according to your preferences.

It gives you the opportunity to contemplate who you are, and what type of reality you want to create.

It is a wonderful self-discovery journey.

It Changes You.

You are not the person you were before travelling.

You change when you explore the world.

Some relationships at home will feel different, even chip away.

While you were busy discovering a new self, people at home were moving on with their lives.

You may find yourself searching for new circles of friends who share your passion for travel. It is a natural part of your personal growth.

In the past, big city life excited you. Today, you appreciate the tranquillity of nature or yearn for the excitement of hitting the road.

You come back home. Everything seems the same. Then you realize the thing that has changed is you.

It Makes You Bolder.

When you travel solo, you are responsible for your choices.

There is no familiar face you can turn to for help or advice. You learn to navigate deep waters.

If you are indecisive, a solo adventure will be a treat.

Travelling might ignite you to pursue your dream career or leave that corporate job.

It will also reveal a big deal about how you cope with stress and your skills to manage it.

Travelling is a self-realization journey. It puts distance between you and your ego. You get to see how powerful you are on your own.

When you travel, growth is around every corner.

Travelling solo offers limitless possibilities. You realize anything is possible, and maybe the life you have at home, in fact, isn’t the life you want to lead.

You Will Have Doubts.

That sneaky voice in your head will get louder:

  • Did I make the right choice?
  • Am I up for a solo adventure?

Doubts are normal. Today’s self-help world worships positivity and a sunshine state of mind.

Hey, I am an enthusiast of positive self-talk, but we should normalize having doubts.

After all, we are humans, not computers programmed for positivity around the clock.

Bad days will happen, despite the company of tropical fruits and breathtaking views.

Happiness is not a destination. It is a state of mind vulnerable to constant fluctuations. Happiness doesn’t mean that nothing is wrong.

Happiness is a mindset:

even if it is wrong, I accept it, but negative feelings will pass. I will thrive.

You Don’t Magically Make Friends.

I bet you hear stories about people making friends at hostels or random places along the journey.

But it is not always the case.

If you are a shy person at home and seem unapproachable, you will take your vibes with you.

To make new friends, you have to put yourself out there.

People won’t randomly come up and invite you to hang out with them.

Meet them halfway. Engage in small talks. Don’t be afraid to ask for directions or give them to strangers if you have the expertise.

My tip: Embrace solitude. When you learn how to enjoy your coffee alone, you exude a relaxed and comfortable energy around. That kind of energy is magnetic.

You Learn How to Get Comfortable With Yourself.

Travelling alone may not give you friends, but you will become your best friend.

Embracing solitude is one of the best life hacks.

People who like spending time with themselves feel comfortable with their thoughts. And there is no better way to polish that skill than riding solo in a foreign country.

Time alone is necessary for our brains to unwind and recharge. It is a perfect opportunity to practice meditation without sitting cross-legged.

Uncomfortable situations are your best teachers. Comfort does not offer you growth.

Being alone is an art. It means you feel comfortable in your body and confident in your mind.

If you feel uncomfortable eating alone or sightseeing with nothing else but your camera by your side, remind yourself that nobody is paying attention anyway.

People are preoccupied with their own shit.

If you are confused whether you nailed the art of feeling comfortable alone, here are the signs.

You Learn the Freedom of Not Having A Goal.

Wandering around the city teaches you how to slow down and appreciate the journey, instead of rushing from one spot to the next.

After all, there is a limit to croissants and cups of coffee you can soak in.

You have an entire day to plan, and you may run out of ideas on where to head next.

I know many people who find it difficult to stroll around town without a destination to reach.

But when you break through the discomfort of not having a goal, but appreciating the present moment, the journey gets meaningful.

You Get Addicted To It.

Because you answer to nobody, but yourself.

At first, the thought of leaving home and the familiar seems scary. But after a while, it gets comfortable.

Once the anxiety of your first solo trip settles, you fall in love with independence and exploring new places on your terms.

I wish you, my dear reader, to discover new places all by yourself.

Then, you get to see the old places with fresh eyes.

Thank you for being here,

— Kate

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