What Travelling Alone Teaches You About Life
Looking forward to your next vacation? Whether it is lounging at the beach in Bali or roaming the streets of London, travel is something that many of us enjoy and look forward to.
Travelling alone, however, is something that less of us do, in part because of the fear of being by ourselves in a foreign country. Yet, travelling alone is a time when some of the most incredible memories can be formed, a time when you learn the most about yourself, and about life. Here is what travelling alone can teach you.
You Can and Will Handle the Details
So much of our lives are spent with people – we work with our colleagues, hang out with friends and go home to family. When we do things together in pairs or in groups, there is always someone else to share the load and handle the details with, if not for us. Travelling alone however, means that you need to be able to plan things solo. Whether it is booking your train tickets, navigating a different city map or figuring out the best route to your accommodation, you will handle it yourself and pick up the valuable planning skills you need.
You Do Not Always Need Approval
Travelling alone means you will inevitably be doing activities by yourself. What this means is that you will be able to learn to make decisions on your own. You do not need to consider how other people think or feel, or what their schedules are like. Importantly, you do not need them to agree for you to go ahead with what you want. So, want to climb Mount Kinabalu or visit the Pyramids of Giza? Go right ahead. This realisation of freedom, and finding the courage to go ahead without being held back by a group – will be an important ability to bring back to your regular life.
An Open Heart Starts With an Open Mind
Although we might think we are kind, compassionate, good people, the fact is that when stuck in our comfort zones we are interacting mostly with like-minded people. These people share our beliefs and we are rarely challenged to think differently. This changes when you go overseas and meet people from different cultures and lifestyles. Without a friend or a group to stick to as you travel solo, you are more likely to get to know the people around you. This is a good time to challenge your prejudices and stereotypes, opening your mind to really build understanding and tolerance.
The World Does Not Revolve Around You
We know, not everything goes according to plan, but this is exacerbated when you travel. Flight delays, bus breakdowns, getting lost or even being cheated of money are all common occurrences while travelling. Alone, you would not have the support of a friend to walk you through it, making the problems seem worse. Rather than see this as a deterrent to your wanderlust, understand that these incidents can help you handle stress better. You learn graciousness, patience, and mostly that life is not all about you and your wants.
There is Much to be Grateful for
Last but not least, travelling alone is a great way to remember what we are grateful for. Whether it is the convenience of public transport, or a home-cooked meal, there are many things that we take for granted in everyday life. Only when removed from these conveniences we are accustomed to, will we begin to notice the little things that we rely on to make our lives better. Perhaps this will let us return home with a renewed perspective and a fresh sense of appreciation!
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