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How Solo Travel Empowers Resilience

How Solo Travel Empowers Resilience

“The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.” – Henry David Thoreau

Have you ever thought about traveling solo but then didn’t follow through with a trip?

If you answered yes, chances are you didn’t follow through because you were afraid it would be dangerous, or you were afraid it wouldn’t be fun without a companion.

Once you take your first trip you realize both assumptions are wrong. Solo travel is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. The benefits outweigh the risks and the experience strengthens life skills needed for success in all aspects of life.

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Travel, like life, is about looking at situations, taking in the factors, and predicting an outcome. You learn to act based on your assessment. Sometimes, you assess correctly and sail through without a problem. Other times, you may judge wrong. It is in those times that you learn to reassess and solve immediate problems. This empowers skills needed for resilience.

Solo Travel Helps You To Face Fears

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    The most common fears associated with solo travel are safety and loneliness. Most solo travelers, especially women, report that well-meaning friends and family members scare them with concerns for their safety. The same travelers report once out on the road, they realize those fears were not warranted providing they use common sense and know these tips.

    Solo Travel Strengthens Problem-Solving Skills

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      When you are traveling solo every situation, big or small, can help strengthen problem-solving skills. Missing a connecting flight, or getting lost on a back road with no cell signal can be…well quite scary. Learning how to deal with those types of situations as they happen forces you to focus on solutions instead of dwelling on problems. This improves the ability to assess situations, which in turn strengthens the quality of decisions.

      Solo Travel Boosts Your Confidence

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        Imagine being stranded in a foreign land where you don’t speak the language and all you have is a map and symbols to get around. This is often common for travelers who venture to another country. Something amazing happens when these travelers find their hostel, or they begin to understand bits and pieces of the foreign language.They become more confident in their own abilities. Every time you face a fear, or solve a problem, you build confidence in yourself.

        Solo Travel Teaches That Setbacks are a Part of Life

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          When traveling solo, it is inevitable that you will have setbacks that delay you. You learn to deal with them. Setbacks teach that an obstacle is not the end of a journey, but a road block or detour. The more setbacks you are faced with, the better you are at moving around them without allowing them to derail you. Setbacks are just a part of life and the more experienced you are at handling them the more successful you are in life.

          Solo Travel Teaches Flexibility

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            Solo travel is especially constructive for people who are afraid to be out of control. You only have so much control when traveling alone. You must learn to be flexible. Side trips and unexpected stops can be one of the most rewarding parts of the journey. You can organize and plan a trip down to the minute, but in reality, it will not happen the way you have planned. Flexibility is necessary for solo travel, life and business.

            Solo Travel Strengthens Faith

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              Faith rises from self-confidence, however, life and society suppress both. Solo travel forces you to break out of your comfort zone, believe in yourself, and rely on faith to move through obstacles, fear, and the unfamiliar. Through faith in yourself, and the higher power that guides you, you learn that you are capable of much more than you ever imagined.

              Solo Travel Helps You To View Yourself as a Survivor

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                In solo travel you become strong, self-reliant, confident, smart, and ready to face anything. You become more optimistic, more altruistic, and can more easily understand your purpose in life. Together, all of these strengths empower resilience.

                Once you complete a journey you understand there is much more to life than mediocrity. You become stronger and resilient as the result. Lessons learned on the road will follow you throughout life. People who travel learn more about themselves and the world. As a result, solo travel creates resilient leaders with true grit.

                If you have traveled solo, I would love to hear your story. In the comment section below, please share how solo travel has made you more resilient and ready to take on the world.

                Featured photo credit: By Gulan Ballsay via flickr.com

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                Missy Yost

                Missy is a business owner and writes about everyday lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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                Last Updated on August 6, 2020

                6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

                6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

                We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

                “Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

                Are we speaking the same language?

                My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

                When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

                Am I being lazy?

                When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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                Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

                Early in the relationship:

                “Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

                When the relationship is established:

                “Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

                It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

                Have I actually got anything to say?

                When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

                A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

                When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

                Am I painting an accurate picture?

                One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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                How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

                Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

                What words am I using?

                It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

                Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

                Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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                Is the map really the territory?

                Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

                A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

                I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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