Typically when I tell someone about a trip I recently went on by myself, I get this kind of surprised reaction that’s somewhere between concern and admiration. Most will ask a few questions and, more times than not, make a comment about how they couldn’t do anything like that or they wish they could be so brave.
I will admit….when I first started traveling by myself I felt like I was sticking out like a sore thumb. Glaringly alone, lonely, and newly elected mayor of Loserville. I could practically feel the neon sign flashing above my head. As a result a lot of my first trips were to see hockey games, which is kind of like taking a book to read when you eat dinner out alone. A two-for-one buffer that gave me a purpose and a focus for the trip.
Now that I’ve made a few trips by myself, I’ve learned to appreciate the perks that come with solo travel. I love to go places alone! I finally realize it’s not about being a loser, it’s about strength and empowerment!!
Below is a list of 5 perks I have found that come with solo travel:
1. Freedom. It’s all about you, baby!
Do what you want, when you want, how you want. You want to eat candy for breakfast? Break out that Snickers bar!
Want to sleep until noon? Or go to bed at 6? It’s PJ time!!
Enjoy spending the entire day staring at art in a museum or watching penguins frolic at the aquarium? Sit and look until your rear end becomes attached to the chair!!
When you travel alone there is no one else to consider. No one to compromise with. No other opinion besides your own. It’s your chance to be selfish and do whatever your little heart desires.
|Random Road Trip Weekend|
2. Become more independent.
Solo travel will most likely put you in situations you haven’t experienced before, at least on your own. Whatever it is – reading a map, navigating public transportation, flying somewhere – half the fun of these trips is depending on yourself.
This sounds a little intimidating if you’re not accustomed to doing this. I’ll tell you a secret….you can do it!! What I have found in these situations is that you just learn to figure it out. You might have to ask for directions at times, but I’ve never had to change my plans or not do something. It always works out!
|Most recent hockey trip to Nashville|
3. Increase your self-confidence.
An amazing side effect to perk #2 is the realization that Yes. You. Can!!
It’s such an exhilarating feeling to be on the flip side of a situation you weren’t sure you could handle and knowing that you rocked it!! Eventually you start to realize that you’re actually a ROCKSTAR!!
I’m telling you first hand, it’s extremely empowering to know how capable you are. The knowledge that you can handle whatever comes your way can change your life in so many ways, both on a trip and at home.
|At the top of the Seattle Needle, which you have no way of knowing if it’s true or not, but trust me. I wouldn’t lie.|
4. Learn about yourself.
How you deal with things at home, in your city, in your comfort zone may be completely different than how you operate in unfamiliar territory. I have found that some circumstances intimidate me more when I’m not familiar, while other situations make me much bolder.
For example, in a strange city I am far less likely to just drive and see where the road takes me. When I’m home I occasionally spend half a day on a random “Sunday drive”.
At home I don’t do a lot of eating out by myself, even with a book. On trips that’s all I do, and I really enjoy it!
|Blue Ridge Parkway|
Life can sometimes be noisy between the family, work stress, car trouble, house repairs….you know, there’s a lot going on. Use a solo trip as a way to unwind and take a break from everything.
I make an effort on every trip to leave my everyday life at home. As I pack my suitcase, I try to unpack my work and everyday worries. I don’t want to carry them with me.
This can be easier said than done, but truly, what’s the point of a vacation – however extravagant or not – if you can’t leave home at home?
|San Francisco, at the pier|
Have you ever been on a trip alone? Did you love it? Hate it? Leave a comment and let me know you’re here!