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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 November 12, 2020

                                      Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (and What to Do About It)

                                      Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (and What to Do About It)

                                      If you find that you’re feeling tired all the time, it’s important to understand that it’s a common problem for many. With all of the demands of daily life, being tired seems to be the new baseline. In fact, two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week.[1]

                                      If you’re tired of feeling exhausted, then I’ve got some great news for you. New research is helping us gain critical insights into the underlying causes of feeling tired all the time.

                                      In this article, we’ll discuss the latest reasons why you’re so tired and practical steps you can take to finally get to the bottom of your fatigue and feel rested.

                                      What Happens When You’re Too Tired

                                      If you sleep just two hours less than the normal eight hours, you could be as impaired as someone who has consumed up to three beers.[2] And you’ve probably experienced the impact yourself.

                                      Here are some common examples of what happens when you’re feeling tired:[3]

                                      • Trouble focusing because memory and learning functions may be impaired.
                                      • Experience mood swings and an inability to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not.
                                      • Dark circles under your eyes and/or your skin make look dull and lackluster in the short term and over time your skin may get wrinkles and show signs of aging because your body didn’t have time to remove toxins during sleep.
                                      • Finding it more difficult to exercise.
                                      • Immune system may weaken, causing you to pick up infections more easily.
                                      • Overeating because not getting enough sleep activates the body’s endocannabinoids, even when you’re not hungry.
                                      • Metabolism slows down, so what you eat is more likely to be stored as belly fat.

                                      Why Are You Feeling Tired All the Time?

                                      Leading experts are starting to recognize that there are three primary reasons people feel tired on a regular basis: sleep deprivation, fatigue, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

                                      Here’s a quick overview of each common cause of fatigue and feeling tired all of the time:

                                      1. Tiredness occurs from sleep deprivation when you don’t get high-quality sleep consistently. It typically can be solved by changing your routine and getting enough deep, restorative sleep.
                                      2. Fatigue occurs from prolonged sleeplessness, which could be triggered by numerous health problems, such as mental health issues, long-term illness, fibromyalgia, obesity, sleep apnea, or stress. It typically can be improved by changing your lifestyle and using sleep aids or treatments, if recommended by your physician.
                                      3. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis that occurs from persistent exhaustion that doesn’t go away with sleep.

                                      The exact cause of CFS is not known, but it may be due to problems with the immune system, a bacterial infection, a hormone imbalance, or emotional trauma. It typically involves working with a doctor to rule out other illnesses before diagnosing and treating CFS.[4]

                                      Always consult a physician to get a personal diagnosis about why you are feeling tired, especially if it is a severe condition.

                                      You can learn more about some causes of fatigue in this video:

                                      Feeling Tired Vs Being Fatigued

                                      If lack of quality sleep doesn’t seem to be the root cause for you, then it’s time to explore fatigue as the reason you are frequently feeling tired.

                                      Until recently, tiredness and fatigue were thought to be interchangeable. Leading experts now realize that tiredness and fatigue are different.

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                                      Tiredness is primarily about lack of sleep. However, fatigue is a perceived feeling of being tired that is much more likely to occur in people who have depression, anxiety, or emotional stress and/or are overweight and physically inactive[5].

                                      Symptoms of fatigue include:

                                      • Difficulty concentrating
                                      • Low stamina
                                      • Difficulty sleeping
                                      • Anxiety
                                      • Low motivation

                                      These symptoms may sound similar to those of tiredness, but they usually last longer and are more intense.

                                      Unfortunately, there is no definitive reason why fatigue occurs because it can be a symptom of an emotional or physical illness. However, there are still a number of steps you can take to reduce difficult symptoms by making a few simple lifestyle changes.

                                      How Much Sleep Is Enough?

                                      The number one reason you may feel tired is because of sleep deprivation, which means you are not getting enough high-quality sleep.

                                      Research suggests that most adults need 7 to 9 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep per night[6]. If you’re sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.

                                      Get the right amount of sleep to stop feeling tired.

                                        The key to quality sleep is being able to get long, uninterrupted sleep cycles throughout the night. It typically takes 90 minutes for you to reach a state of deep REM sleep where your body’s healing crew goes to work.

                                        Ideally, you want to get at least 3 to 4 deep REM sleep cycles in per night. That’s why it’s so important to stay asleep for 7 or more hours.

                                        Research also shows that people who think they can get by on less sleep don’t perform as well as people who get at least seven hours of sleep a night[7]

                                        If you are not getting 7 hours of high-quality sleep regularly, then sleep deprivation is the most likely reason you feel tired all the time. That is actually good news because sleep deprivation is much simpler and easier to address than the other root causes.

                                        It’s also a good idea to rule out sleep deprivation as the reason why you are tired before moving on to the other possibilities, such as fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which may require a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

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                                        4 Simple Changes to Reduce Fatigue

                                        Personally, I’m a big believer in upgrading your lifestyle to uplift your life. I overcame chronic stress and exhaustion by making these four changes to my lifestyle:

                                        1. Eating healthy, home-cooked meals versus microwaving processed foods or eating out
                                        2. Exercising regularly
                                        3. Using stressbusters
                                        4. Creating a bedtime routine to sleep better

                                        After I made the 4 simple changes in my lifestyle, I no longer felt exhausted all of the time.

                                        I was so excited that I wanted to help others replace stress and exhaustion with rest and well-being, too. That’s why I became a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.

                                        Interestingly enough, I discovered that Dr. Sears recommends a somewhat similar L.E.A.N. lifestyle:

                                        • L is for Lifestyle and means living healthy, including getting enough sleep.
                                        • E is for Exercise and means getting at least 20 minutes of physical activity a day, ideally for six days a week.
                                        • A is for Attitude and means thinking positive and reducing stress whenever possible.
                                        • N is for Nutrition and means emphasizing a right-fat diet, not a low-fat diet.

                                        The L.E.A.N. lifestyle is a scientifically-proven way to reduce fatigue, get to the optimal weight, and to achieve overall wellness.[8]

                                        Living Healthy

                                        Getting enough high-quality sleep every day is the surefire way to help you feel less fatigued, more rested, and better overall.

                                        In fact, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body isn’t getting the time it needs to repair itself; meaning that if you are suffering from an illness, it’s far more likely to linger. In fact, long-term sleep deprivation has been linked to an increase in Alzheimer’s later in life[9].

                                        As unlikely as it sounds, though, fatigue can sometimes make it difficult to sleep. That’s why I’d recommend taking a look at your bedtime routine before you go to bed and optimize it based on sleep best practices.

                                        Here are 3 quick and easy tips for creating a pro-sleep bedtime routine:

                                        1. Unplug

                                        Many of us try to unwind by watching TV or doing something on an iPhone or tablet. However, tech can affect your melatonin production due to the blue light that they emit, fooling your body into thinking it’s still daytime. This won’t help you stop feeling tired all the time.

                                        Try to turn off all tech one hour before bed and create a tech-free zone in your bedroom.

                                        2. Unwind

                                        Use the time before bed to do something you find relaxing such as reading a book, listening to soothing music, meditating, or taking an Epsom salt bath.

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                                        3. Get Comfortable

                                        Ensure your bed is comfortable and your room is set up for sleep.

                                        Make sure you room is cool. 60-68 degrees is the ideal temperature for most people to sleep. Also, it’s ideal if your bedroom is dark and there is no noise.

                                        Finally, make sure everything is handled (e.g., laying out tomorrow’s clothes) before you get into your nice, comfy bed. If your mind is still active, write a to-do list to help you fall asleep faster.[10]

                                        This article also offers practical tips to build a bedtime routine: How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier

                                        Exercise

                                        Many people know that exercise is good for them, but they just can’t figure out how to fit it into their busy schedules.

                                        That’s what happened in my case, but when my chronic stress and exhaustion turned into systemic inflammation (which can lead to major diseases like Alzheimer’s), I realized it was time to change my sedentary lifestyle.

                                        I decided to start swimming because it was something I had always loved to do. Find an exercise you love and stick to it to stop feeling tired all the time. Ideally, get a combination of endurance training, strength training, and flexibility training during your daily 20-minute workout.

                                        If you haven’t exercised in a while and have a lot of stress in your life, you may want to give yoga a try as it will increase your flexibility and lower your stress.

                                        Attitude

                                        Stress may be a major reason why you aren’t feeling well all of the time. At least that was the case with me.

                                        When I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive, I felt chronically stressed and exhausted, but there was one thing that always worked to help me feel calmer and less fatigued: Breathing.

                                        But not just any old breathing. It was a special form of deep Yogic breathing called the “Long-Exhale Breathing” or “4-7-8 breathing” (or “Pranayama” in Sanskrit).

                                        Here’s how you do Long-Exhale Breathing:

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                                        1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and your hand on your tummy.
                                        2. Breathe in deeply and slowly from your diaphragm with your mouth closed while you count to 4 (ideally until your stomach feels full of air).
                                        3. Hold your breath while you mentally count to 7 and enjoy the stillness.
                                        4. Breathe out through your mouth with a “ha” sound while you count to 8 (or until your stomach has no more air in it).
                                        5. Pause after you finish your exhale while you notice the sense of wholeness and relaxation from completing one conscious, deep breath.
                                        6. Repeat 3 times, ensuring your exhale is longer than your inhale so you relax your nervous system.

                                        This type of “long-exhale breathing” is scientifically proven to reduce stress.

                                        When your exhale is twice as long as your inhale, it soothes your parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the relaxation response.[11]

                                        Nutrition

                                        Diet is vital for beating fatigue if you’re feeling tired all the time – after all, food is your main source of energy.

                                        If your diet is poor, then it implies you’re not getting the nutrients you need to sustain healthy energy levels, which may lead to daytime sleepiness.

                                        Eating a diet for fatigue doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming though. For most people, it’s just a case of swapping a few unhealthy foods for a few healthier ones, like switching from low-fiber, processed foods to whole, high-fiber foods.

                                        Here’re 9 simple diet swaps you can make today:

                                        1. Replace your morning coffee with Matcha green tea and drink only herbal tea within six hours of bedtime.
                                        2. Add a healthy fat or protein to any carb you eat, especially if you eat before bed.
                                        3. Fill up with fiber, especially green leafy vegetables.
                                        4. Replace refined, processed, low-fiber pastas and grains with zucchini noodles and whole grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, oats, amaranth, millet, teff, brown rice, and corn.
                                        5. Swap natural sweeteners for refined sugars, and try to ensure you don’t get more than 25g of sugar a day if you are a woman and 30g of sugar a day if you are a man.
                                        6. Replace ice cream with low-sugar alternatives.
                                        7. Swap omega-6, partially-hydrogenated oils such as corn, palm, sunflower, safflower, cotton, canola and soybean oil for omega-3 oils such as flax, olive, and nut oils.
                                        8. Replace high-sugar yoghurts with low-sugar, dairy-free yoghurts.
                                        9. Swap your sugar-laden soda for sparkling water with a splash of low-sugar juice.

                                        Also, ensure your diet is giving you enough of the daily essential vitamins and minerals. Most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, Iron, and Magnesium. If you are low on any of the above vitamins and minerals, you may experience fatigue and low energy.

                                        That’s why it’s always worth having your doctor check your levels. If you find any of them are low, then try to eat foods rich in them.

                                        Alternatively, you might consider a high-quality multivitamin or specific supplement.

                                        The Bottom Line

                                        If you are tired of feeling tired all the time, then there is tremendous hope.

                                        If you are tired because you are not getting enough high-quality sleep, then the best remedy is a bedtime routine based on sleep best practices. If you are tired because you have stress and fatigue, then the best remedy are four simple lifestyle changes discussed above.

                                        Overall, adopting a healthier lifestyle is the ideal remedy for feeling more rested and energized.

                                        More Tips to Stop Feeling Tired All the Time

                                        Featured photo credit: Cris Saur via unsplash.com

                                        Reference

                                        [1] YouGov: Two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week
                                        [2] National Safety Council: Is Your Company Confronting Workplace Fatigue?
                                        [3] The New York Times: Why Are We So Freaking Tired?
                                        [4] Mayo Clinic: Chronic fatigue syndrome
                                        [5] Very Well Health: Differences Between Sleepiness and Fatigue
                                        [6] Advanced Sleep Medicine Services: NEW Guidelines: How much sleep do you need?
                                        [7] Mayo Clinic: Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick?
                                        [8] Ask Dr. Sears: The L.E.A.N. Lifestyle
                                        [9] National Institute on Aging: Sleep loss encourages spread of toxic Alzheimer’s protein
                                        [10] American Psychological Association: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
                                        [11] Yoga International: Learning to Exhale: 2-to-1 Breathing

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