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12 Reasons You Should Travel Alone At Least Once In Your Life

12 Reasons You Should Travel Alone At Least Once In Your Life

Although it’s great to spend vacations seeing the world with family, friends, or a lover, traveling alone can also be completely incredible. A solo adventure has the potential to be life-changing. Here are 12 reasons you should travel alone at least once.

1. You Will Become Empowered

When you realize just how resourceful you can be when you have nobody else with you, it’s empowering. As you discover tricks to successfully navigate through unfamiliar territory and learn how to have a great time without the company of others, your confidence soars. Learning how self-sufficient you are can give you the boost of inspiration and motivation needed to do amazing things in other areas of your life.

2. You Will Cure Your Travel Bug

If you’ve had a case of the travel bug, you know it can strike any time, and the only way to cure it is to succumb to it and travel. You know the feeling when you get it…you absolutely crave to get out and discover new places. When you’re consumed by wanderlust, you can easily argue against more “rational” purchases such as new furniture, in favor of funding your next adventure. When you travel alone, you can cure your travel bug as soon as you’re afflicted; you don’t have to wait for others to clear their work schedules and book flights. If the travel bug strikes and you’re prepared to go alone, you can leave whenever it’s convenient for you.

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3. You’ll Learn To Thrive Outside Your Comfort Zone

Traveling leads us to unfamiliar places and situations. When you travel, there’s the feeling of being out of your comfort zone, and when you’re traveling solo, that feeling is completely intensified. A solo trip will expose you to a lot of new experiences outside your comfort zone. You may surprise yourself by not just surviving, but thriving outside your comfort zone. Spending time outside your comfort zone is essential for growth.

4. You Will Learn To Be Decisive

When traveling with a partner or a group, every idea can be bounced off someone else. When you travel alone, you will learn to be decisive; you will be making every decision alone. From where to eat, to what time to wake up, to what sights to see, and which airline to use, traveling solo forces you to rely on yours truly. As you realize you can make good choices without help from others, you will likely trust your instincts more, and this new found self-assurance and confidence will be helpful in many areas of your life.

5. You Recharge

Traveling alone will allow you to get the rest and relaxation you desire. When you travel solo, you don’t have to worry about anybody snoring or hogging the blankets. You don’t need to set your alarm if you don’t want to; there are no early breakfast dates with family and friends. Taking time to nurture your mind, body, and spirit in the ways you recharge best can replenish and inspire you.

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6. You Light Your Fire

A trip alone can ignite your creativity. Spending time alone with an open mind can be exactly what you need for your imagination to soar. Your enthusiasm and passion for life may sky-rocket from your awesome adventure.

7. You Will Meet New People

If you enjoy meeting new friends, here’s your chance; you will likely find some when traveling alone. Since you won’t be focused on talking to anyone you know, you’ll be more likely to strike up conversations with strangers. Meeting people from different backgrounds opens our minds, expands our world, and can inspire us a lot. You may meet some amazing locals or other adventurers like yourself; either way you’re bound to make some new friends during your journey.

8. You Discover

Along with discovering the awesomeness of this great big world, traveling solo will give you ample time for self-discovery. When you’re alone, you can give yourself time for reflection, and can really think about what your purpose, priorities, and passions are. Being away from everyone who knows you can be a strange feeling. When it’s just you, you can get rid of any act you put on for others, and you can bare your soul. You and your naked soul can then figure out what really matters to you in life.

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9. You Increase Your Compassion

Traveling alone, with no distractions, will enable you to really see the world around you and make you realize what you take for granted. First hand experience in another area of the country or world will open your eyes to the disparities between groups of people. Along with increasing your compassion for others, your self-compassion may also improve. When you’re alone, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been passed up repetitively for promotions at work, or if you’re struggling with something in your personal life. When you’re surrounded by strangers, nobody judges you for your perceived “failures,” because they only know what you want to tell them. Being alone gives you opportunities to work on being kind to yourself and practice self-acceptance. Instead of being constantly reminded of your “shortcomings”, you can remember why you’re wonderful and deserve to be loved.

10. You Can Do Anything You Want To

When you travel alone, you don’t need to spend time doing anything you don’t want to do. Since it’s just you, you can choose everything. You can decide how scheduled or unscheduled you want your trip to be, visit sites you’ve always longed to see but your family and friends haven’t, and set the pace as fast or slow as you desire. You can be as adventurous as you crave to. You can choose to hang out at the main tourist spots or go completely off the beaten path. This world is your playground, and the way you enjoy it is all up to you!

11. You Will Learn to Enjoy Being Alone…

You just may learn that you are damn good company!

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12. …Yet Miss the One You Love

Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Spending time apart from your significant other occasionally can rejuvenate your relationship. When couples allow themselves the freedom to pursue their own dreams and nurture their separate interests at times, they are less likely to feel smothered by the relationship. By spending some time exploring the world on your own, you will hopefully be reminded of why you love your significant other, and will have amazing stories to share when you reconnect.

I love to travel; my travels have been some of the best times of my life. I’ve journeyed away from home alone twice (for 10 weeks and 5 weeks) and have met awesome friends I still keep in touch with years later. I learned about myself, my priorities, and my dreams, by taking time to reflect while traveling solo. Both times, I came home completely refreshed and more excited about life than ever.

Traveling alone can help you realize how strong and capable you are. As with any other adventure, it’s important to do your research and travel safely. Beyond that, pack your bag and go explore! The world is waiting!

Tips to Successfully Travel Alone:

  • Do your homework. Research which areas are generally safe for solo travelers, and which areas to avoid.
  • Whenever possible, explore in the daylight.
  • Tell someone from home where you’re going to be each day. Check in with loved ones at predetermined times.
  • Trust your instincts.
  • Dress to avoid standing out. Now’s not the time for you to be showy. You don’t want everyone to know you’re by yourself.
  • Book your lodging for your arrival night in advance.
  • Update your list of important phone numbers and carry your phone with you.
  • Before traveling to a foreign country, visit a travel medicine physician to receive education and recommended medications specific for your intended destination.
  • Look at the weather forecast. Don’t make the mistake I did and pack a ton of cold weather gear when you’re visiting a region having record highs.
  • Record your thoughts and experiences.

Featured photo credit: Nirvana/ePi.Longo via flickr.com

More by this author

Dr. Kerry Petsinger

Entrepreneur, Mindset & Performance Coach, & Doctor of Physical Therapy

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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