Life! It’s about doing what’s expected of any given society and going with the status quo. That’s why living outside the realm of conformity is the sure fire way to create memorable, life-enhancing experiences.
For singles who have a desire to travel by themselves yet are reconsidering based on the ordinary and the expected, here are 10 truths about travelling solo and why you should go anyway.
1.You Will Get Lost
It is inevitable, no matter how great your Google Maps skills, at some point you will become hopelessly lost. Getting lost may result in you stumbling across a hidden laneway or a quirky store where you spontaneously purchase your new staple jacket or the outfit that you swear by for years to come. Even worse, it could result in conversations with strangers that give you some local insights you’d never have learned from your well-researched travel websites.
2. You Will Feel Insecure
When travelling solo, there will be a sense of insecurity that washes over you. What were you thinking setting off on such an adventure? It could be the simplest thing that triggers your insecurity; however, like most things, it will pass, leaving you with a newfound sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
3. You Will Not Feel Safe At All Times
Whether it’s walking down a street, taking a wrong turn or maybe even checking into your accommodation, there will be times when you feel unsafe. Sometimes it’s just your mind playing tricks on you and other times it’s your gut telling you to make a move.
Use precautions and common sense. As long as your new freedom doesn’t make you lose these and throw caution to the wind, you will be safe.
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4. There Will Be Uncertainty
Despite the best laid plans travel comes with uncertainty. Did I book the right accommodation? Am I choosing the right places to visit? Will I meet people? Shit, I want to back out! Uncertainty can lead to spontaneity. Embrace it, roll with it, wing it. See what comes your way.
5. You May Have To Plan—AKA Homework
Let’s face it, homework sucks. But remember all the times our parents forced us to sit down and finish our homework which resulted in a reward—going out to play. Well, this is similar. Planning and researching result in a well-laid plan that then pays off—fun, adventure—these are the experiences you want to have.
6. You Will Be Judgemental
Meeting people from all around the world will, naturally, result in some confrontation of your long-held beliefs. What happens if you have held a particular judgment about a type of person, a certain place, and you are suddenly forced to reassess based on real-life experience about said culture or country? God forbid your eyes are opened—you might have to change your opinion!
7. The World Is Full of Strangers
You will be alone in a world of people you’ve never met, forced to speak to them and interact. Use your words and say hello! A whole new world of interesting people and potential life-long friendships will open up…….
8. You’ll Be Single
Yes, you’ll eat alone at first, book a room for one but ‘Single and fancy free’ tends to attract others on the same frequency. Dare I say a holiday romance could be on the cards? Holiday romances are guaranteed to be more intense/heady/exciting than those you find in the office, online, or at your bestie’s BBQ. When you’re alone no one back home is judging you—let loose, be bold, embrace the opportunities that come your way.
9. You May Have A Lifetime of Longing
The problem with travel is that you may fall hopelessly in love with a place and have a lifetime longing to return there, or to feel the freedom you experienced while travelling. The travel bug is never a bad thing. Once you’ve done it alone, anything is possible and no matter the age and stage you’re at, the skills you learned while going solo will allow you to pack up and set off again—perhaps taking others along for the ride.
10. You’ll Be Changed Person
Solo or not, travelling changes you. Alone time naturally leads to reflection and introspection. It’s in the quieter moments of life, when we are out of our comfort zone that we get those insights that change us, our best ideas and the lightning bolts of understanding about where we’re headed. Journaling your adventures may lead to a deeper understanding of who you really are and what matters to you—out there in the world you just might end up finding you.
I can absolutely vouch for the best travel experiences—and most memorable times in life— have been those when I was uncertain but went anyway. The times I took a chance on a conversation with a stranger who is now a life-long friend and when I found a powerful holiday romance with someone I met out one night which made me extend my trip to his hometown.
With all of this in mind, it’s clear that life can be so much better than sitting on the couch! What are you waiting for? A life less ordinary is just a click away.