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12 Precious Life Lessons You Can Learn From Traveling Alone

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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.

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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 November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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