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10 Reasons Why Everyone Should Travel Alone At Least Once In A Lifetime

10 Reasons Why Everyone Should Travel Alone At Least Once In A Lifetime

What if changing your life, and discovering who you truly are, is as simple as getting on a plane?

If you knew only three steps separated you from finding your true love or your true calling, would you risk taking the first step?

For many, traveling alone is that first step and the Internet is teeming with stories that bear witness to the life-changing power of traveling the road solo.

Here’s why you should experience solo traveling at least once in your lifetime.

1. You will be inspired to live a story worth telling.

Most people settle for far too little adventure in their life, and they choose existing over truly living. But as Anna Quindlen says, “The life you’ve had doesn’t have to be the only life you have.”

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Nothing can remind you that you’re part of a much larger story than going solo.

2. You will learn there’s no Us and Them. There’s only We.

Everyone everywhere is essentially the same. We hope for the same things. We fear the same things. We want to love and be loved.

When you meet people you once viewed as “them” you realize that the differences between us are insignificant compared to what connects us.

3. You will expand your soul.

Most of our daily experience is confined to a finite, predictable pattern of places, people, and things. Pushing beyond our norm reveals a world is far more wonderful and unexpected than we realize.

Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone.

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4. You will own your experience for yourself.

No one can discover the world for you. You can read about other places, cultures, and people all you want, but you’re simply learning facts.

Truly experiencing life requires taking the ride yourself, firsthand. No one can live your life for you, and no else is to blame if you die unfulfilled.

5. You will learn to be more present.

The mind’s autopilot switches off when confronted with new situations and environments. The world comes into sharper focus when you have to pay attention.

Solo travel forces you to be aware and see the world around you, and not simply look at it passively.

6. You will gain new perspective.

We’re all accustomed to seeing only one side of any story: ours. Traveling alone opens you to experiencing daily life through another set of eyes.

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There is no better way to learn about your own culture than to see it from someone else’s view.

7. You will turn your new perspective into a new way of living.

Many solo travelers return home with a new paradigm of the world and the role they play in it. They can’t un-see or un-learn what they experienced, which changes not only how they see the world but how they live in it.

If you want to be ruined for the status quo forever, the shortest path is a solo trip.

8. You will find freedom.

Our culture attempts to define what is acceptable as a “normal” or “successful” life. Most people live the life they think is expected of them.

Traveling alone reminds you that you have a say in the matter, and that the prison of expectations you’re standing in is locked from the inside…and the key is in your pocket.

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9. You will learn to trust your intuition.

Modern technology puts a bottomless reservoir of data, facts, and figures at our fingertips. But it’s easy to use technology as a crutch.

Life isn’t about facts. It’s about knowing through direct experience and the most powerful tool that’s served man for over 10,000 years is instinct.

As you travel, you’ll sharpen your ability to read between the lines of situations and act with confidence.

10. You will realize that home can be anywhere.

Home isn’t a place, it’s a way of being fearlessly connected with yourself and others. It’s a moment when you’re willing to open your heart so others can truly see you.

And that can happen anywhere and everywhere.

Featured photo credit: hipster modern stylish blonde man on rails in daily life via shutterstock.com

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1 19 Golden Pieces of Relationship Advice From the Experts 2 Signs Of Low Self-Esteem And The Root Causes You Might Not Know 3 How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship 4 How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future 5 This Is What Happens When You Move Out Of the Comfort Zone

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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