Summer is the time of the year where travelling comes into focus and self-discovery becomes an important part of it. While many prefer travelling with friends, family or even spouses, there are a certain group of people who prefer travelling alone.
These are the solo travelers. Solo travelers generally travel with one purpose: self-discovery. The calmness of our souls get disrupted during the course of our day to day lives. However, travelling to exotic places and exploring them alone allows us to rekindle our souls and refresh ourselves.
Till this very day, I crave journeys and train rides alone, it allows me to think better and understand myself more. I decided to put together a few reasons why this summer could be the change you need.
1. Gives You a Chance to Be Exotic.
We all strive on being unique and defining ourselves, however often enough we fall into the same cycle and routine of life. The inability to cope with stressful lifestyles often push us towards depression and sadness.
One thing I’ve realized is that travelling alone allows you to be exotic or be different. Instead of adapting to the norm, you become yourself and get in touch with your own identity. Taking off the masks and being wild and free can be uplifting and produces a de stressing effect. This gives your mind the time to think and react.
Being able to breathe and ignore materialistic things allows you to reconnect with nature and get back to the basics of life.
2. Have The Liberty to Explore.
If you’ve traveled in groups, you’ll realize it follows a typical pattern. You go around visiting every landmark, eating in expensive restaurants and visiting every museum. When its time to return, you go to shop souvenirs which might require you to purchase a second set of luggage to carry it all. You never had the liberty to explore the real culture of the country or try out any of the weird looking street food.
However, if you’re travelling alone, you’ve got the freedom to do whatever you want to do. You could go around exploring the local markets and walk around the town to meet the local people. You could sit in a local cafe and enjoy the fine coffee or go to eat some local delicacies. For example, if you’re in Iceland in August, you may have a chance to enjoy a perfect Viking dinner. If you like fermented fish, eyeballs and brains, then you will definitely be the happiest person there.
This allows you to understand yourself and other people, which becomes an important life lesson. Eventually this becomes part of your character and gives you the ammunition to take on any challenges.
3. Food Makes the Best of Experience.
I recall travelling with my friends. Even though there are some great memories of that time, I hated the times we were dividing the bills. Its makes you forget the beautiful meal you had and leaves your mind in shambles. Deciding where to eat and budgeting a perfect place for everyone becomes a nightmare and eventually eating out becomes a tiring experience.
However, you know the best part about travelling alone is being able to eat whatever your heart desires. You get to walk around town and barge into any restaurant for hot food without worrying about sharing the bill later. You will be able to enjoy street food as well. A party in your mouth wouldn’t just be a theory, instead it will be part of your everyday travel.
Walking in China and enjoying the street food or sipping a nice cup of coffee in a cafe in Greece, the liberty of enjoying food is the best feeling ever.
4. The Ability to Believe in Yourself.
When you follow a daily boring routine, it’s easy to stop believing in yourself. When you go through different challenges in life, you start questioning your decisions. Sometimes being surrounded by friends and family helps even less because there’s no one who can understand yourself better than yourself.
Travelling to a strange country, with strange people and being completely alone forces you to take on different challenges. You’ll be forced to be quick on your feet and will have to solve each challenges your own way. It gives you the confidence and the ability to believe in yourself and your judgments. This self-assuring confidence allows you to assess and love yourself. Instead of being your worst critic, you become your greatest lover. This new attitude eventually gets portrayed in all aspects of your life, especially your career.
In a nutshell, travelling alone rekindles your soul and gives you the self-assessment you might need after a whole year of being surrounded by work, life and routine, sometimes even the very best of people need some time to reflect.
The most valuable thing an experienced person has is their experience. People make mistakes, learn from them, and adapt their life around them to become better people. Those people would then tell tales to others to help teach those lessons so that others would not have to make the same mistakes.
People still tell these stories today but in a slightly different format — they use speeches to express their experiences. Here are some valuable life lessons you can learn from some of the greatest inspirational speeches:
1. JK Rowling teaches us to not fear failure no matter how bad things become
It is a well-known fact that JK Rowling’s now-famous Harry Potter series was turned down by several publishers before it was finally picked up. Those publishers are likely kicking themselves in the pants right now. However, before that, JK Rowling was in a fairly dire situation and was on the brink of failure. Despite being turned down time and time again, she kept trying. Her efforts paid off. Harry Potter is now a ubiquitous character in today’s world culture. Despite failing over and over again, Rowling kept trying and fulfilled her dreams. You can watch her deliver some valuable life lessons in her Harvard commencement speech video above.
2. Steve Jobs teaches us to never settle
Steve Jobs had a fairly tumultuous life. He co-founded Apple, was kicked out of the company, came back, and then re-defined the mobile phone space with the iPhone. Even if iPhones aren’t the rage they once were, its iconic value is forever written in stone. One thing Jobs never did was settle. He lived life on his own terms and was rewarded for it by being dubbed one of the most revolutionary voices in technology of our time. In the Stanford commencement speech above, Jobs explains how you should never settle for what someone else wants out of your life. It’s your life and you should do what you want with it.
3. Admiral William H McRaven teaches us to make our beds every day
Anyone who has gone through the basic training of a military service will tell you it’s pretty difficult. However, every seemingly obnoxious step is actually a life lesson in disguise. This even applies to flawlessly making one’s bed every single morning. As Admiral William H McRaven teaches us, recruits are taught to make their beds every morning to remind them that even the little things in life matter. After all, how can you be expected to handle the biggest obstacles in your life if you can’t even handle the small and the mundane like making your bed every day? You can watch the entire speech in the video above.
4. Author David Foster Wallace teaches us that we’re a part of a greater existence
David Foster Wallace found fame in 1987 with his book The Broom of the System. Nearly 20 years later in 2005 he game a commencement speech at Kenyon College that is worth listening to at least once. In his speech, he reminds us that was are but a part of a huge, dynamic, ever changing interaction of life forms. In order to truly experience life, we need to leave our personal bubbles and interact with others even if it’s in an unpleasant way. Wallace states, “It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that made the stars: love, fellowship, the mystical oneness of all things deep down.” You can watch the whole speech above.
5. Stephen Colbert teaches us that life isn’t something you can plan
If there is anyone who knows about improvisation, it’s comedian Stephen Colbert. In his commencement speech at Northwestern University in 2011, Colbert reminded students that you cannot plan life. Life throws too many curve balls. There are too many unpredictable things that can happen. The most successful and happy people are not those who have a plan, but those who can roll with the punches and overcome the obstacles. He goes on to site his time as an improv comic and how all of the actors working together to create a scene out of literally nothing are all working for one another. He states that like improv comedy, you don’t know what happens next in life. You just make it up as you go along. You can watch the whole speech above.
6. Kurt Vonnegut teaches us to not sweat the small stuff
Some of our younger readers may not know Kurt Vonnegut. He is a famous author that found of of his success during the middle of last century. In 1999, Kurt Vonnegut was at Agnes Scott College giving a commencement speech. During the speech, he mentioned that in order to live a more complete life, people needed to let stuff go. He argued that you cannot reasonably expect others to forgive you for your mistakes if you cannot forgive others and that you cannot live life fostering a personal vendetta against others.
7. Neil Gaiman teaches us that success can be distracting.
Neil Gaiman is most known for his work in a number of literary mediums including journalism, comic books, and novels. In 2012, Gaiman gave a speech at the University of the Arts where he talked about success. He stated that when you become successful, you may be unintentionally swayed from performing the actions that made you successful. Gaiman recalled his early success and how he felt pressured to answer emails all day long and it actually prevented him from writing as much as he wanted. So he reminds us to keep doing what makes us successful and to not let others get in the way.
8. Barack Obama’s life lessons teaches us that you really can beat the odds
We know that not everyone likes Barack Obama but that doesn’t mean the man can’t deliver an amazing speech. In this 2004 keynote speech at the Democratic National Convenction, Obama reminds that it is possible to beat the odds and become something great. He cites his own upbringing as an example and how he was never expected to make it as far as he did. It shows that when you’re passionate about something and when you try hard enough, you can accomplish almost anything. It’s important to note that Obama talks about this in 2004 and would become the President of the United States just four years later.
9. Robin Roberts reminds us that we each have the courage to overcome challenges
Robin Roberts knows a thing or two about courage. She is a breast cancer survivor and has done battle with a rare blood disease called myelodysplastic syndrome. Her sister once had to donate bone marrow just so Robin could remain alive. She was also ESPN’s first African American broadcaster in the early 1990’s. She’s a woman who works in an industry predominately populated by men. So when Robin Roberts takes the stage at the ESPYs and delivers a short lecture on having courage, we would do well to listen!
10. Martin Luther King Jr. reminds us that some things are more important than success
We all know the story of Martin Luther King Jr. So much so that we have a day of the year to celebrate him as a national holiday here in the United States. Most of us have listening to segments of his famous speech where he told the world about a dream he had. The main message of his famous speech is that racial inequalities needed to end and he was absolutely right. However, he also reminds us that there are things that are more important than success such as equal rights and treating each other with respect and kindness. If you somehow made it through school without watching the famous speech, we’ve got it linked above.
11. Jim Carrey reminds us that even if you keep it safe, you can still fail so you might as well go big
Jim Carrey delivered a commencement speech at Maharishi University recently that went absolutely viral. You may know it as the one minute video that will change your life. They weren’t lying but they weren’t telling the whole truth because the speech was actually 28 minutes long. During the speech, Carrey talks about his father who wanted to be a comedian but decided to take the safe route and become an accountant. As it turns out, his father was laid off and his family ended up poor anyway. With that, Carrey tells us that you can still end up failing even if you play it safe so you might as well swing for the fences and do what you want to do.
12. Bill Murray teaches us that it’s the hard times that determine if someone really loves you
You may have heard the story about Bill Murray crashing someone’s bachelor party and delivering a speech. It turns out the speech was both short and fairly epic. During the speech, Bill Murray challenged the bachelors to travel around the world with the women they love and go to places that are difficult to go to and deal with. He says if you can get back to the United States and you still love each other, then you should get married right then and there. It’s a great message. It’s easy to love one another when times are good but do you still love each other when the times are bad? If so, that’s true love according to Bill Murray.
Inspiration comes from everywhere and from anyone. There are a countless number of speeches and stories that can teach us an incalculable number of life lessons.
All these speeches almost share the same message: Don’t be afraid to fail and keep trying.
If you also want to live your best life like the above successful people, this is what you should start doing: