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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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