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Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid Of Solo Travel

Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid Of Solo Travel

We’ve all been there — that knotted ball in your stomach, those panic injections, the extra malaria pills you buy at the last minute, just in case. Everyone tells you how brave you are, travelling all by yourself. And this makes you terrified. Well not anymore, folks, and here’s why:

1. You’ll never really be alone

Everyone else is solo travelling too, and you’ll find a whole dorm room of people jumping at the chance to book a tour together, to go for a drink, to play Uno. The real challenge will be finding a moment to yourself.

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2. You’ll discover more

When you go for those walks around a brand new town and stumble upon that cheap local restaurant with the best pho in town, or that hidden staircase up a mountain side just before sunset, you’ll be glad that a hungover friend or a distracting conversation didn’t stop you from finding it.

3. You’ll have more freedom

You want to extend your stay in an area you love and shorten your stay in the next destination? There’s absolutely nothing holding you back — you do whatever the hell you want.

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4. There are no arguments

Unless you’re particularly indecisive, you’ll never argue while you’re travelling alone. There will be no one to get on your nerves or push you off a cliff jump so that you land belly-flop first (ouch!). No one will demand an expensive private room with an en suite when you just want to get messy with 12 other people in one room. All the decisions are yours to make, with no resistance whatsoever.

5. The lack of safety is a rumour

There is a false belief that travelling alone is terribly dangerous, that solo backpackers should arrange their wills, settle their accounts, and bid their farewells before they board the plane. But, the truth is that when you’re alone, you’re more aware. You pack things like a medical kit and torches, you avoid walking alone at night, and you don’t take stupid risks. Solo travellers are a sensible survivalist bunch.

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6. You’ll become a more powerful person

Without anyone to hold your hand and walk you through it, you’ll be Miss or Mister Independent — figuring it all out yourself, booking everything, organizing yourself, researching the new language, the change in currency, the top attractions. You’ll realise that you are capable of almost anything. What a feeling.

7. You’ll push yourself

You’ll be more adventurous than you’ve ever been before because you’ve backed yourself into a corner — you have no choice but to meet people and make new friends if you don’t want to be alone the whole trip. You’ll also be more active than ever, signing up for tours, renting a bike, joining a group at your hostel for a trek into the mountains. With a friend, you might have just drunk beers by the pool and slept the week away, but on your own, you’re ultra proactive.

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8. You’ll make connections around the world

Sometimes, travelling with friends stops you from making that many new ones. But travelling alone throws you onto the paths of all kinds of people from all kinds of places. So make friends, swap contact details, and maybe you’ll even get a free holiday out of it at some point.

9. You’ll mull things over

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves and throw up over the words “you’ll find yourself.” You probably won’t. Your personality doesn’t hide behind mountains in other countries. But maybe you’ll work some stuff out with all that time to think, or maybe you’ll discover a new passion and find your true calling in life, with so many new things to open your eyes.

10. You’ll gain new appreciation

When you’re home, in a clean bathroom with tap water you can drink, in a house made of bricks rather than wicker, surrounded by friends and family you love and eating a beautiful roast dinner at a polished wooden table, you might finally realise how good you have it. You might even feel spoiled. You might even want to give some of it away because you now know exactly how much more a small token can be worth to other people and, after relying on the kindness of strangers for your whole trip, you’ll value that kindness as the miracle it is.

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Last Updated on May 28, 2020

How to Overcome Boredom

How to Overcome Boredom

Have you ever been bored? Restless? Fidgety? In need of some inspiration?

I have a theory on boredom. I believe that the rate of boredom has increased alongside the pace of technology.

If you think about it, technology has provided us with mobile phones, laptops, Ipads, device after device – all to ultimately fix one problem: boredom.

What is Boredom?

We have become a global nation that feeds on entertainment. We associate ‘living’ with ‘doing’. People now do not know how to sit still, and we feel guilty when we are not doing anything. Today, inactivity has become the ultimate sin.

You might not realize it, but boredom stimulates a form of anxiety and stress. It evokes an emotional state that creates frustration and feeds procrastination.

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It’s a desire to be ‘doing something’ or to be ‘entertained’ – it’s a desire for sensory stimulation. What it boils down to is a lack of focus.

If you think about those times when you’re bored, it’s usually because you did not know what to do. So, indecision also plays a big part.

When we are focused on what’s important to us and what we want to achieve, it’s pretty hard to be bored. So, one answer to boredom is to become focused on what you want.

Sometimes It’s Good to Be Bored

If boredom is a desire for sensory stimulation – then what’s the opposite of that? To be content with no stimulation – in other words – to enjoy stillness.

Sometimes, it’s not boredom itself that causes the frustration but the resistance to doing nothing.

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Think about it. What would happen if you were to ‘let go’ of the desire to be entertained? You wouldn’t be bored anymore, and you will feel more relaxed!

In my experience, it’s often the most obvious, simplistic solutions that are the most powerful in life. So, when you’re bored, the easiest way to combat this is to enjoy it.

It may sound weird but think of ‘boredom’ as a form of ‘relaxation’. It’s a break from the constant stimulation that 21st-century living provides – constant TVs, mobile phones, radios, internet, emails, phone calls, etc.

Who knows, maybe ‘boredom’ is actually good for us?

Next time you’re ‘feeling bored’ instead of feeding the frustration by frantically looking for something to do, maybe you can sit back, relax, and savor the feeling of having nothing to do.

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In this article, I’ll share with you my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom.

3-Step Strategy to Overcome Boredom

1. Get Focused

Instead of chasing sensory stimulation at random, focus on what’s really important to you. Focusing on something important helps prevent boredom because it forces you to utilize your time productively.

You should ask yourself: what would make good use of your time? What could you be doing that would contribute to your major goals in life?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Spend some time in quiet contemplation considering what’s important to you.
  • Start that creative project you’ve been talking about for the last few weeks.
  • Brainstorm: think of some ideas for new innovative products or businesses.

2. Kill Procrastination

Boredom is useful in some ways because it gives you the energy and time to do things. It is only a problem if you let it. But if you use it to motivate yourself to be productive, then you can more easily overcome boredom.

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So, the next time you’re bored, why not put this good energy to use by ticking off those things that you have been meaning to get done but have been too busy to finish? This also presents a great time for you to clear your to-do list.

Here are some ideas:

  • Do some exercise.
  • Read a book.
  • Learn something new.
  • Call a friend.
  • Get creative (draw, paint, sculpt, create music, write).
  • Do a spring cleaning.
  • Wash the car.
  • Renovate the house.
  • Re-arrange the furniture.
  • Write your shopping list.
  • Water the plants.
  • Walk the dog.
  • Sort out your mail & email.
  • De-clutter (clear out that wardrobe).

3. Enjoy Boredom

If none of the above solutions work, then you can try a different approach. Don’t give in to boredom and instead choose to enjoy it. This doesn’t mean allowing yourself to waste your time being bored. Instead, think of it as your time to relax and re-energize, which will help you be more productive the next time you work.

Contrary to popular belief, we don’t need to be constantly doing things to be productive. In fact, research has shown that people are more productive when they take periods of rest to recharge.[1] Taking breaks once in a while helps boost your performance and can help make you feel more motivated.

So, take some time to relax. You never know, you might even like it.

Final Thoughts

Learning how to overcome boredom may be difficult at the beginning, but it can be easier if you make use of some techniques. You can start with my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom and work your way from there. So, ready your mind and make use of these tips, and you will be overcoming boredom in no time.

More Tips on Overcoming Boredom

Featured photo credit: Johnny Cohen via unsplash.com

Reference

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