Advertising
Advertising

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

    Advertising

    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.

          Advertising

          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

              Advertising

              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

                    Advertising

                    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

                                      More by this author

                                      hong-kong 20 Reasons Why Hong Kong Is An Awesome Place to Visit looking at home from far away 13 Things Only Solo Travelers Will Understand Bangkok 17 Costly Scams In Asia You Can Easily Avoid If You Read This 3 Books That Will Make You Quit Your Job And Travel The World Sooner Than You Ever Imagined

                                      Trending in Leisure

                                      1 The 5-minute Guide to Meditation: Anywhere, Anytime 2 How to Quit Your Job and Travel the World After 40 3 The 25 Best Self Improvement Books to Read No Matter How Old You Are 4 25 Truly Amazing Places To Visit Before You Die 5 30 Fun Things to Do at Home

                                      Read Next

                                      Advertising
                                      Advertising
                                      Advertising

                                      Last Updated on February 20, 2019

                                      13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with Them and Enjoy the Ride

                                      13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with Them and Enjoy the Ride

                                      Fear. I spend my life talking about fear — fighting fears, fixing fears and understanding fears. And yet I doubt I get 10 calls a year from people saying “Mandie can you help me fix my fear?”

                                      Why is this so critically important to you?

                                      The realization for me is that fear is not the fundamental driving force in your life it’s what regardless of whether I’m talking to a doctor, a teacher, a CEO’s, a senior citizens or teenager – every single one of those conversations has a direct correlation with your world.

                                      Fear can range from the overwhelming desire to look away or stop in your tracks to literally fleeing your country and the life you knew. In this article, I will share you with 13 tips to face your fears and enjoy the ride.

                                      1. Know That Fear Is Real, but Can Be Overcome

                                      Right now around the world people are facing fear — real fear. Fear that I pray my children and I will never experience. Does that lessen my fears or your fears in your relativity safe 21st century life?

                                      When I look at the world we all live in, I find that fear like so many other emotions can mean so many different things to so many different people:

                                      • The child who has to be physically dragged to their first day of school.
                                      • The man facing the judge.
                                      • The woman with her hand poised over the buttons over her phone because she has to walk down a dark corridor late at night alone.
                                      • The man as the surgeon says “count backwards from 10 Mr Smith.”
                                      • The woman that’s told “We are sorry, we can’t help you.”
                                      • The man that faces the empty circle of a gun and prays for his very existence.

                                      These and a million more (Portrayed in every kind of movie, book or song you could imagine) are what make us human. We face fear and somehow move forward or are stopped in our tracks.

                                      Like the rabbit in the headlights of the car that veers off through the field away from the tyres of the car or stays still praying for salvation. Like someone will save them. Sound familiar?

                                      Fear is huge. Fear is everywhere and yet fear can be overcome, controlled and can even be a power for good.

                                      2. Accept Your Fear

                                      Firstly if you aren’t facing the barrel of the gun, atrocities that make the news or impeding death, that’s a good start. However it doesn’t mean your fear is any less real.

                                      We are quick to say “I can’t moan, my life is not as bad as X.” While in theory, that’s honorable your appreciation of Mr. or Mrs. X’s horrific life won’t change anything directly. So accept your fear is relative to you.

                                      And here’s what can be done.

                                      Advertising

                                      3. Get Some Perspective

                                      I found myself asking anyone that would answer “what is your worst fear”. The answer that intrigued me the most came from my daughter (15 years old and she usually has a copy of Fight the Fear – my book – in her school bag so she can help someone else be as positive and confident as her. No matter what life throws up.)

                                      And her fear, surprised me — heights. I pointed out that we live in a sprawling bungalow (one storey) and the highest she goes is two storeys’ at school! She laughed but added, fear isn’t like that Mum. I know it’s not a real fear, but it’s like when you stand on a chair and feel unsafe.

                                      That girl will go far. Because she truly gets fear.

                                      We know something is scary and yet we still do it. Why? Because we have a perspective to the fear. When you lose perspective, it can feel too big, and too scary.

                                      So look around you to get some perspective on your fear:

                                      • Are you really at risk?
                                      • Will this kill you?
                                      • Which leads us on to..
                                      • If the worse was to happen what would it be?

                                      4. Hold a Hand

                                      As a coach, it is my job to holds someone’s metaphorical hand and help them face a fear.

                                      Like the child petrified of the thunder storm or the teen that can’t get back in a car again after failing their test, your job as a parent is to reassure, encourage, enable and motivate someone to face something that ideally they never would choose to again.

                                      We know many of our fears aren’t real. However, it is only when someone guides us with love, respect, lack of judgement and safety are we able to get through fear. And trust me, you can get through your fears. I’ve seen it so many times.

                                      Ask yourself:

                                      • If the worse were to happen, what would that be?
                                      • Could that really happen?
                                      • If the worse did happen, how would you recover?
                                      • If the worse were to happen, what would you need to do next?

                                      By seeing fear as not the end destination but part of being human, you can see through it’s wily evil ways and move forward.

                                      5. Know Whose Hand You Hold Either Physically or Emotionally

                                      This helps with fears for the rest of your life.

                                      Think of someone you can always rely on (and ideally you won’t just answer yourself because that adds a lot of pressure to your existence!) And you will find that you’ve already found a way to get through fear.

                                      Advertising

                                      The beauty of this is that it means that fear becomes part of life not something to be feared and shied away from.

                                      It means you know you can turn to your friend, partner, colleague, parent, sibling and say “Right I need to deal with this, and I’m going to need you to help me.”

                                      For one moment, think about it from the other person’s view point. When we get to help other people we feel valued, loved, respected and lots of other positive emotions and we get a good dose of positive chemicals setting off in our bodies too.

                                      Your fear, and your determination to fight it, helped someone else too. Now that’s cool right?

                                      6. Understand That There Are Some Things Fear Will Never Touch

                                      I like to find role models in life — people who have faced heroism, history changing moments, war, atrocities, miracles, life saving inventions.

                                      Not everyone was looking for greatness, however they all found it. And one of my favourite books to date is written about Alistair Urquhart, the forgotten highlander. If this doesn’t get turned into a film in the future, then no man’s story is likely to.

                                      Alistair went through the most horrific experiences in the 2nd world war. If you think of one of the awful things that happened back then in our world, Alistair went through at least 3 of them! Asked afterwards how did you cope? He talked about how whatever they did to his body, no matter how they starved, tortured, threatened or mocked him, they couldn’t have his mind. In his mind he was free.

                                      Of all the people’s voices I’ve heard in my head over the years, this is one of those statements that reminds me anything is possible if you have faith and hope.

                                      Look for the things in life that fear can’t touch. They will create confidence and faith for the future, whatever you face. And they will give you a sense of why being you is awesome.

                                      Of all the billions of people on this planet, no one will have an answer identical to yours!

                                      7. Process Your Fears to Carry on with Life

                                      Being brave is not about sticking your chest out and smiling regardless of what hell you endure. It is about finding a way to emotionally process your fears to be able to keep going.

                                      I have a tool kit of things I can rely on – tools, strategies, techniques. They include people to hug or talk to, music. hobbies, walks on the beach and even my favourite food. It sounds mad but at the times where I have questioned “how will I get through this?” I’ve found immense joy in doing the most unlikely of thing that makes me smile.

                                      Advertising

                                      It may be a short lived moment of happiness. However, it reminded that nothing stays the same and I can find away.

                                      One client told me that it was crazy when it felt like their world was falling around their ears to run a bath to the brim (you don’t waste water) get the best bath oils, light too many candles, lock the door and drink a glass of bubbly (champagne is only for special occasions.)

                                      Did that moment fix the disaster that my clients life felt? No, however it gave them a moment of calm and the brain is far quicker to find solutions, resolve and motivation to keep going when you do that.

                                      It may feel like madness to do something you love, however it can be a powerful way to help you find solutions to the fears you face in life.

                                      8. Assume the Worse

                                      If you read the statement from the client above. Notice how they assumed it was wrong to fill the bath up to the top? How bubbly is only for special occasions?

                                      Think how naughty they felt to be doing something that was not allowed?

                                      • Think about what age it may have made them feel?
                                      • Think about how they feel about champagne?
                                      • What special moments it’s been a part of in their lives?

                                      And you can see how the assumptions they made about their “right” to have these things was not healthy.

                                      When I drag the assumptions out of people’s words for them to see, they are often struck by how negative the words make them feel.

                                      Don’t assume your words aren’t impacting on you. You can go through fear and actually enjoy the ride when you take the time to understand how you are letting words get to you.

                                      9. Take a Fear That Feels Insurmountable Right Now.

                                      If you were to repeat it to me out loud, what would you say?

                                      Would you have blame on yourself in there? Would you assume others can do it and it’s just you? Would you feel small, unsuccessful, useless, unworthy?

                                      Usually, when you do this exercise, you are able to spot the untruths that run wild in your head convincing you that you are doomed. And rarely when we are faced with our assumptions is there is a lot of evidence to them.

                                      Advertising

                                      10. You Are Not Defined by Your Fear

                                      One fear does not define your life – be mindful of that. It is likely to lead you to thinking of all the times you’ve succeeded and bring a moment of calm, confidence and faith back to you.

                                      11. Go with Fear

                                      When you learn to go with fear, you could find yourself actually having fun, no seriously – having fun.

                                      I have a few amazing clients I’m working with right now who would describe themselves as life long worriers, or pessimists. In the past that has served them well, enabling them to keep safe, steer clear of risks and even develop strategies in the event of disasters. However, now they find it’s becoming hard to break the cycle and they really want to because it’s holding them back.

                                      Notice how they’ve found their hidden fears and want to face them?

                                      One client said “I knew this was going to be tough, and I knew I couldn’t fight it alone and I knew you would be the one to help me.” Before I sat an incredibly successful, confident, capable business owner with a family and a social life to die for.

                                      However, I’ve learned that the most successful looking lives can hide things that impact on life, success, love, happiness and business.

                                      We didn’t start with the fear that they felt was holding them back, we broke the fear down, and found lots of little obstacles that had been deemed as “life” and “unchangeable” and “that’s just the way it is” by developing awareness to the little steps on the road to their obstacles to happiness and success they were able to tackle them in a different way.

                                      12. Discover Great Skills in Your Scary Moments

                                      And in that clients words “I came here to work with you to grow my company, and my own personal skills. I didn’t expect to get the children to be cleaning up after themselves and my partner being more attentive! It all feels a little magic.”

                                      The moral is that out of the scariest of moments, we can find great skills we didn’t know we had. Find better, healthier, happier ways to live and find ways to enjoy life more. (And have a bit of magic!)

                                      What a great place to be in ready for the next fear that thinks it’s going to get in the way of you, right?

                                      13. Own Your Fear

                                      Think back over these tips and come up with at least one example for each one. Write them down. Put them on your phone. Turn them into a piece of art. Turn them into a poem. Frame them. Go for a fast walk across the fields, beach, down town and repeat these things in your head to the sound of your feet on the ground.

                                      We rarely take the time to appreciate how far we have come, how much we can achieve or what we are capable of – by really owning the tips in this article you will have given your brain a big fat dose of “Damn right I can do this!” and the motivation and accountability to say “Let’s find a way” through any fear.

                                      You can’t help but feel good when you see that can you? And fear doesn’t stand a chance, does it?

                                      More Resources About Fighting Fear

                                      Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

                                      Read Next