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12 Precious Life Lessons You Can Learn From Traveling Alone

12 Precious Life Lessons You Can Learn From Traveling Alone

While it’s fun to travel with family or friends, or go on a romantic vacation with your significant other, there’s nothing like solo traveling to open your eyes and soul to the amazing experiences the world has to offer.

When you’re on your own, you have the freedom to do almost whatever you want without worrying about disappointing someone in the group. You can map your own route, plan your own itinerary, and make any last minute changes as you please.

Whether you’re used to living independently or you find comfort in kin, you’ll find that traveling alone is a breath of fresh air. Not only are there countless reasons to travel alone, there are also many life lessons to learn from the experience. Here are some of them:

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Treat the World Like it is Your Oyster

Yes, you’re just a tiny dot in this enormous world but solo travelling shows you that the entire world is your home, that you are in the position to enjoy and experience everything it has in store. You have the freedom to go wherever you want, do whatever you want to do. Traveling in groups may hold you back as you would need to consider other people’s preferences but when you go on a journey by yourself, it is a lot easier to make the most out of the experience.

Roll with the Punches and Maintain a Positive Attitude

Pack lightly and leave your high maintenance attitude back at home. If there’s one thing you’re going to learn from your solo adventures, it’s that you’re going to have a lot more fun if you let loose and just roll with the punches. Expect that there will be countless hardships along the way, but you can’t let any of these stop you from having a worthwhile trip.

Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining

No matter how tough things get, you have to remember there’s always a silver lining somewhere, even in the darkest of clouds. Looking at the positive side of things has become second nature among those who travel alone frequently. The tougher the challenges are, the tougher you become.

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Travel Matures Your Attitude

Solo traveling will definitely change you, more often than not, for the better. It changes your outlook, persona and attitude. It alters how you react to situations. It makes you more creative, more resourceful, more flexible, and more open to new ideas and experiences. You never would have thought that you could become this person, but traveling alone does this and more to you.

“Alone” and “Lonely” are Different

Solo traveling literally means you’re on your own. It means that you have no one to rely on but yourself. But this doesn’t make you forever alone. Along the way, you’re going meet wonderful people whom you will form strong bonds with. And because you’re not with anyone else, it makes it easier for you to meet and be open to new people. You’re always going to get the help that you need when you need it. This is one of the precious lessons you learn from traveling by yourself.

Patience is a Virtue

Traveling alone will do so much in testing your patience. As you can expect, there will be mishaps and bloopers throughout your journey—some will make you laugh, some will make you cry. But in the end of it all, you’re going to see how your patience will go a long way in ensuring things turn out for the better.

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Life is Full of Possibilities

When you’re alone, there’s a possibility that you’re going to spend a good chunk of your time watching and observing people around you. If you didn’t know any better, you’d find things that would make you turn green with envy. Why does this family look so happy? Why does this woman have all that jewelry and wardrobe full of fashionable clothes? How come this man is driving that luxury car? But just the same, spending time alone will give you time to reflect about all the blessings that you have in your life, and soon enough you’ll realize that comparing your life to others will only steal your joy. You just have to be thankful for all that you have.

Enjoy the Moment

Another priceless gem that you’ll learn from traveling alone is that life is indeed too short. If you’re lucky, you might live up to a hundred years old but still this won’t be enough to cover everything. Realizing this will make it easier for you to embrace change and not let fear hold you back from having the time of your life.

There are No Mistakes, but only Lessons to Learn in Life

In solo traveling, there are no mistakes, only lessons to learn. There’s no use having regrets over poor choices or decisions. What has happened has already happened. Just turn your attention to the bright side, and learn from that mishap so that you don’t stumble upon it again. Crying over spilled milk is just a waste of time and energy. You have a lot more to enjoy ahead on your journey.

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The Journey Matters As Much As the Destination

Don’t rush to get to your destination. Make the most out of your journey as well. This is where you’re going to experience new things, meet new people, learn life lessons. Every second of your travels matters just as much as arriving to your point of destination.

Nothing is Permanent Except Change

Solo travelers will learn at some point in their journey that the only way to travel to the fullest is to jump into the unknown. After all, traveling alone is the first step in going out of your comfort zone. And the farther you are away from it, the more you’ll get a taste of all those delicious experiences life has for you. You’ll learn that there’s no need to fear new experiences, instead they should be welcomed with open arms.

Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Traveling enriches your mind and your soul. It satiates your thirst for knowledge and experience. It expands your horizon, showing things that you’ve never seen before. Contrary to popular belief, wandering doesn’t mean that you’re lost. It may mean that you’re just on a quest to get to know yourself better. And it’s also during solo travel that you get to learn that getting lost isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes, it’s the best way to find yourself.

It’s true that solo traveling can be a nerve-wracking experience. But once you get to experience what it’s like, you’ll be thankful that you mustered the courage to travel alone.

Featured photo credit: NAR studio via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

2. Pace Yourself

Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

6. It’s Not All About You

You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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