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13 Things Only Solo Travelers Will Understand

13 Things Only Solo Travelers Will Understand

Solo travel is the best way to break out of your shell and enjoy complete freedom. Solo travelers see the world in a different manner because they experience life from an angle not so many others get to see.

Many people love the idea of traveling the world, yet they never gather up the courage to just go. Because they don’t have friends who share their acute desire to go out and see the world, they exile travel to some other seemingly more appropriate time of their lives. Whenever the prospect of solo travel crosses their mind, however, they can’t help but imagine it as a lonely journey. In fact, they couldn’t be more wrong! Here are 13 awesome facts only solo travelers will understand.

1. They know that it’s never the perfect time to solo travel

Solo travel anytime

    The one epiphany that changed the course of my life is realizing that if I don’t go now, I probably never will. Circumstances will always be in the way, there will always be bills to be paid, there will never be enough money or enough planning done. There will always be just enough excuses stopping me from doing what I most desire in this life, which is a world trip.

    2. They never blame others for unfortunate situations

    I’ve messed up booking flight dates many times: sometimes going to the airport just to find out I am a week, if not a month, earlier than my actual flight! Other times, I’ve lost all my money after a robbery or a scam, but with no one to blame in such bad situations you have to take responsibility for your own mistakes. You learn from them and go on with your life — your awesome, unexpected life.

    3. They are free as birds

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    Free as a bird when solo travel

      You are the captain of the boat, you are your own guide, your own boss. Every decision you make is somewhere between dumb and genius. Either way it won’t matter, because it wont be judged. You are driving the car and all the paths are open. There are endless possibilities and countless chances to create leadership qualities in yourself. Isn’t that why you chose to be free in the first place?

      4. They don’t ask for security, they ask for adventure

      adventure dive in solo travel

        Your friends know you. When you’re in their company you’re supposed to behave in a certain way. However, as soon as you’re in a foreign land, you’re free from that box that you lived your whole life inside. You get out of your comfort zone, you try new things now, and you contemplate how magical your new life is because in the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.

        5. They appreciate moments more

        enjoy food with cute asian

          When you’re in front of an exquisite scene — be it a mountain peak, a tropical beach, or even someone so cute you just had to meet them — knowing you will be miles away in sooner than a week means you have no choice but to live that moment fully.

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          6. They turn into awesome storytellers

          la tour eiffel on fireworks solo travelers

            The skill of storytelling is not given to everyone, but with the practice solo travelers get from narrating their tales over and over again, they learn that details are what makes all the difference. Therefore, their note apps are usually their best friend on the road. To the introverts out there, this will boost your confidence speaking in public, which will improve your social life big time!

            7. They make the road fun

            fun road trip

              When you’ve already been traveling for a couple of months, you will start noticing that if you don’t entertain yourself, no one will. The road only gets lonely if you don’t make any effort bonding with locals or other travelers, and you’ll end up getting bored while missing out on a lot of fun times.

              8. They feel weird about homesickness

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              when solo travelers get home sick

                when solo travelers get home

                  Solo travelers usually never want to go back home and put an end to their long trip. But when they do get home, they want to leave right away, so they immediately start planning their next big trip.

                  9. They have a home in every corner of the world

                  solo travelers have a home everywhere

                    The thought of being able to travel anytime and anywhere you desire and still have a free place to stay is what you call amazing! Couchsurfing the globe makes it sweeter, and building international friendships makes it fascinating.

                    10. They know how to dodge every scam out there

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                    laurence don't argue

                      The hard-learned lessons turn out to be the best advice solo travelers can give to other people on the road or their friends back home. How to avoid the traps they fell for before and how to make the best out of such bad situations also make traveling easier and easier for them as time goes on.

                      11. They know that the destination does not matter

                      pick a place to travel

                        It’s all about the journey, the laughs, the memories, the food, the ups and downs, the spontaneous decision to derail from your plans: that’s what so addictive about solo travel.

                        12. They discover an entirely new meaning of time

                        freeze in time

                          “The whole point of long-term travel is having the time to move deliberately through the world. Vagabonding is about not merely reallotting a portion of your life for travel but rediscovering the entire concept of time.” — Rolf Potts. A wise traveler is always flexible with dates, never setting limits to a trip and missing out on potential adventures. A wise solo traveler will always recommend that you slow down.

                          13. They constantly find themselves in situations like these

                          when I just got into my hotel room 2 min ago and can't find my iphone
                            Me when I just got into my hotel room two minutes ago and can’t find my iPhone
                            trying to catch a flight after your alam didnt wake you up in time
                              Trying to catch a flight after your alarm didn’t wake you up in time
                              what my mom wants me to feel like
                                How my mom wants me to feel
                                When I have to catch an early flight
                                  When I have to catch an early flight
                                  Packing when I'm hungover
                                    Packing when I’m hungover
                                    awkward handshake
                                      When you don’t know the proper greeting in a different country so you try everything

                                      One last note

                                      Travel may take several forms and each person has their favorite. Whether solo, duo, or in a group; by planes, by car, by trains, by bike, or on foot; either backpacking, doing extreme sports, or luxurious sightseeing; or whether it be for a weekend city escape, a month-long vacation, or a year around the world. Whatever it is, it will do you wonders. Little by little, as this addiction to travel grows, you will grow with it to become the person you always dreamed you’d be.

                                      Featured photo credit: Caleb George Morris via unsplash.com

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                                      Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                                      How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                                      How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                                      Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                                      Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

                                      I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                                      You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                                      Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                                      When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                                      I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                                      Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                                      Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                                      Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                                      1. The Inner Critic

                                      This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

                                      • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                                      • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                                      • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                                      • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                                      The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                                      Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                                      2. The Worrier

                                      This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                                      The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

                                      3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                                      This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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                                      This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                                      The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                                      4. The Sleep Depriver

                                      This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                                      The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

                                      • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                                      • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                                      • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                                      • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                                      How can you control these squatters?

                                      How to Master Your Mind

                                      You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                                      Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                                      There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                                      • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                                      • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                                      This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                                      The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                                      Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                                      For the Inner Critic

                                      When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                                      You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                                      For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

                                      You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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                                      “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                                      If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                                      • They rile up the Worrier.
                                      • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                                      • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                                      • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                                      • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

                                      Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                                      Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                                      For the Worrier

                                      Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                                      Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                                      You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                                      • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                                      • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                                      • Muscles tense

                                      Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                                      If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                                      Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                                      “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                                      Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                                      If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                                      Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

                                      Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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                                      For example:

                                      If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                                      “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                                      Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                                      “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                                      Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                                      For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                                      Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                                      The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                                      • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                                      • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                                      • Muscles tension

                                      I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                                      Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                                      Breathe in through your nose:

                                      • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                                      • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                                      • Focus on your belly rising.

                                      Breathe out through your nose:

                                      • Feel your lungs emptying.
                                      • Focus on your belly falling.
                                      • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                                      Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                                      Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

                                      One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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                                      Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                                      For the Sleep Depriver

                                      (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                                      I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                                      Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                                      1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                                      2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                                      When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                                      From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                                      For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                                      If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                                      You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                                      • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                                      • Shut down your thinking.
                                      • Calm your feelings.
                                      • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                                      The Bottom Line

                                      Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                                      You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                                      Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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                                      Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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