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How Solo Travel Empowers Resilience

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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.

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                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 November 18, 2021

                10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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                10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

                We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

                A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

                So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

                • honest
                • reliable
                • competent
                • kind and compassionate
                • capable of taking the blame
                • able to persevere
                • modest and humble
                • pacific and can control anger.

                The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

                1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

                All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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                But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

                2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

                How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

                I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

                “The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

                Abigail Van Buren

                3. How does this person take the blame?

                Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

                4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

                You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

                5. Read their emails.

                Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

                • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
                • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
                • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
                • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
                • Too many question marks can show anger
                • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

                6. Watch out for the show offs.

                Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

                7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

                A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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                Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

                8. Their empathy score is high.

                Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

                People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

                9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

                We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

                “One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

                Stendhal

                 10. Avoid toxic people.

                These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

                • Envy or jealousy
                • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
                • Complaining about their own lack of success
                • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
                • Obsession with themselves and their problems

                Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

                Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

                Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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