This was originally a guest post here but since it’s just so awesome I wanted everyone to be able to enjoy it!
Today I’d love to tell you why traveling solo is one of the best things you can do! Most people do not want to visit someplace exciting or new without a buddy. While traveling with friends or family is an amazing experience, I would suggest that taking a trip solo at least once in your life teaches you more about yourself than you could ever imagine!
I traveled through Ireland and Northern Ireland for a little over a week, between my semesters in France, by myself. It was a crazy trip: I almost missed my flight at Charles de Gaulle airport, almost got my bag stolen on the train, and got completely soaked from a thunderstorm in Blarney. The lessons I learned about myself and how I handle situations was a blessing.
1.You find out how you deal with difficult situations. Flight delayed? Bags lost? Hotel reservation gone? Rude people? You learn to stand on your own feet and deal with situations head on. There is no one to lean on except yourself and you come out of these situations walking taller and more confident in your abilities.
2.You realize how you interact with other cultures. You see if you stick to more ‘american’ places and your hotel or if you venture off the beaten path and embrace with the culture. You learn that your initial views of the city or culture you are in might have been wrong and you find a whole new respect for the place you are in and the people who are surrounding you.
3.You realize what makes you happy. Do you need to talk to people to make your spirits lift? Do you need to read a book in a park and chill for a while? Do you need to stare at a painting in a museum for an hour? You find out what charges your batteries and you do it, without any bad feelings about wasting time or imposing on someone.
4.You can be spontaneous. You can make all the plans you want but if you pass an interesting looking shop you don’t feel bad about ditching people or plans to go in a spend time looking around. You can go to a pub and watch a soccer game and chat with locals and find out what they think you should see in their city.
5.You become comfortable in your own skin. How can you not right? You stop worrying about what other people think about you and you learn to enjoy time with your thoughts. By the end of your trip you feel completely comfortable eating lunch by yourself in public or sitting on a park bench just relaxing.
So go. Just GO. Pick a place and go all alone. It can be a different country, a different state, or just two towns over. Spend a week or spend a day but GO!
*Please remember that when you travel alone you always need to be safe and always aware of your surroundings. We don’t want a ‘Hostel’ or ‘Taken’ situation on our hands here!*