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15 Things Only People Who Used To Travel Alone Would Understand

15 Things Only People Who Used To Travel Alone Would Understand

Are you a solo traveler? Travelling alone can be scary, rewarding and fun in equal measures, and it can help you to grow as a person.

Check out 15 things only solo travelers would understand.

1. You Will Never Come Back The Same Person

Traveling the world alone normally means you will arrive home a better person; it will renew your spirit and make you feel energized. You become more self-aware and open with every trip, and you will have more confidence within yourself.

2. You Are In Control Of Your Emotions

Solo travelers experience various levels of stress on a regular basis, from timing flight connections to misplaced hotel rooms. You quickly teach yourself not to get upset or angry easily, and you know how to remain calm even when you are feeling worried.

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3. You Are A Great Negotiator

Any solo traveler understands the importance of negotiation, as it is often necessary to negotiate when you need something or you are being taken advantage of.

Solo travelers can’t rely on their friends to back them up, so instead they teach themselves to become master negotiators – handy!

4. You Can Live In The Moment

Solo travelers know how to live in the moment – you are only in a set place for a limited amount of time, so you know how to seize the day. It doesn’t matter that there is a thunderstorm happening outside, you will make it to that outdoor wine festival!

5. You Will Learn Something From Every Place You Visit

Every location and culture is different to the next, and there is so much to see and learn. When you travel alone you get the chance to truly connect with your location, and you always end up learning something new about the world whenever you go.

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6. You Understand The Importance Of Leaving Your Comfort Zone

If you can travel to an unknown country alone, you are probably pretty good at leaving your comfort zone. You are very happy to push yourself, because know the best experiences happen outside of your comfort zone.

7. You Don’t Have To Commit

One of the best parts of being a solo traveler is not having to commit; you can cancel and change plans without annoying anybody, you can change your destination on the spur of the moment, and if you love a place, you can stay as long as you’d like!

8. Your Perspective Is Always Changing

Being a solo traveler means you really get the chance to speak to strangers and connect with them. Every time you speak to others abroad you see the world through their eyes, and your perspective changes slightly, and can make you more open-minded.

9. You Know How To Ignore Fear

You have dealt with fear before; what if traveling alone is scary? What if I lose my passport while I am away? Despite these worries, you ignored the fear so you could experience traveling alone. Now you can often ignore the fear, because you know you are capable of dealing with anything.

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10. You Are Aware Of Your Strength

You have traveled hundreds of miles alone, paid for out of your own bank account, following a plan that you made yourself. You have learned how to roll with the punches, and you are aware of your how strong and capable you can be.

11. You Trust Yourself

You have to trust yourself if you are planning on travelling solo; no-one else will book your flights and arrange hostels. You know you won’t let yourself down, and if anything bad happens you trust yourself to fix it.

12. You Know How Important Other People Are

As well as trusting yourself, you value others highly. Travelling alone means you have to rely on strangers all the time, from cab drivers to the customer service desk in the airport. You accept that you are not always in control, and you can rely on others to help and assist you.

13. You Know Yourself Well

Spending time alone is the perfect way to really get to know yourself. You love the people in your life, but you also love how travelling solo gives you the opportunity to spend some quality time with yourself.

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14. You Can Fake Confidence

Often there are a few semi-disasters per trip, from losing your room key to getting lost on the way back to the hostel. Solo travelers have to fake confidence regularly to help solve problems, which often helps them to become genuinely confident people later in life.

15. You Want To Travel Solo Again

You’re happy to travel with friends or your partner, but you know at some point you will travel alone again. You get to truly connect with the country you’re visiting, you can do whatever you want and you get to spend some quality time with yourself – perfection.

Featured photo credit: Man Celebrating Freedom In nature With Glacier/Dan Cooper via stokpic.com

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Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on June 24, 2019

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

A study [1] published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression[2] . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

Social Media Could Lead to Depression

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression[3] worse explains[4] the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

• low self-esteem,

• negative self-talk,

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• a low mood,

• irritability,

• a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

• and social withdrawal.

If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study[5] published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

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Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.[6], social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are more likely to compare themselves to others. If you already suffer from low self-esteem, the illusion that everyone has it better off than you will just make you feel worse.

Causing Social Isolation and Other Negative Emotions

Another commonly cited reason for the negative impact of social media on mental health is its link with social isolation. Depressed people are more likely to isolate themselves socially and chose only to interact indirectly through social media platforms. But communication online tends to be superficial and is lacking when compared to real-life interaction explains Panic. What this means is not that social media leads to isolation but the other way around, possibly explaining why we find so many depressed persons on these sites.

Lastly, social media use may generate negative emotions in you like envy, jealousy, dislike, loneliness, and many others and this may worsen your depressive symptoms.

Why We Need to Take This Seriously

Both depression and social media use are on the rise according to epidemiological studies. Since each one has an impact on the other, we have to start thinking of healthier ways to use social media. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative impact of social media on mental health.

Advice on Social Media Use

Although these findings did not provide any cause-effect explanation regarding Facebook and depression[7], they still do prove that social media use may not be a good way to handle depression. For this reason, the leading authors of these studies gave some suggestions as to how clinicians and people can make use of such findings.

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One suggestion is that clinicians should ask patients about their social media habits. Then they can advise them on how to change their outlook on social media use or even suggest limiting their time spent on social media.

Some social media users may also exhibit addictive behavior; they may spend too much time due to compulsive urges. Any compulsive behavior is bound to lead to feelings of guilt which can worsen depressive symptoms.

Having Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

If you feel like your relationship with social media is unhealthy, then consider the advice on healthy social media use provided by psychology experts from Links Psychology[8]:

Avoid negative social comparison – always keep in mind that how people portray themselves and their lives on social media is not a realistic picture, but rather an idealized one. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others because this behavior can lead to negative self-talk.

Remember that social media is not a replacement for real life – Social media is great for staying in touch and having fun, but it should never replace real-world interactions.

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Avoid releasing personal information – For your safety and privacy, make sure to be careful with what you post online.

Report users who bully and harass you – It’s easy to be a bully in the anonymous and distant world of social media. Don’t take such offense personally and report those who abuse social media to harass others.

The bits of advice listed above can help you establish a healthy relationship with social media. Always keep these things in mind to avoid losing an objective perspective of what social media is and how it is different from real life. If you are currently suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Tell your doctor about your social media use and see if they could give you some advice on this topic.

Reference

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