My first-ever solo travel experience taught me a lot of valuable lessons that I carry to this day. Here are some of the best ones.
When I first decided to go on a trip to a foreign country on my own, without anyone accompanying me, I didn’t know what to expect. Up until that moment, I have only traveled with a group of friends, family, or at least one person I fairly knew before. I heard a lot of stories about women embarking on solo adventures before and I never really considered doing it myself. Until that one time. That time that everyone experiences at some point in life; when you desperately want to go somewhere, you have the money and time for it, but no one to go with.
Here are the things I learned from my first-ever solo trip.
If You Want Something, Go for It
One of the most important lessons is that if you want something, you just have to do it. Even if it means doing it alone. Just thinking about how many incredible experiences I would have missed out on if I hadn’t decided to travel solo.
If you will keep waiting for someone to join you, you might never get to go because that someone might not want it as much as you. Other people can decline to go because of their reasons, be it work, family, or simply because it is not their favorite choice of travel destination or style of trip. This is something you can’t control. However, you can always embark on a solo adventure and find people to converse with and hang out with while on the road.
Meeting People Is Easier When You Are Alone
I love traveling for the social aspect. You get to meet new people, exchange ideas, and have deep and fun conversations about your different cultures, values, and much more. But only while on my solo trip did I notice that people are more inclined to approach you when you are alone. Especially if you are a solo traveler in a hostel.
Naturally, solo travelers are ought to end up together at some point. When you travel with a group of friends, you tend to engage more with them, and meeting new people becomes less important. At the same time, when you travel solo, you put more effort into meeting new people and starting conversations because it is human nature to be social.
You Can Enjoy Your Own Company
Because of the norms and society in which we live, I used to think that going alone somewhere, watching a movie in the cinema, or eating at a restaurant is a bit embarrassing. You keep thinking about what others will think of you, that you have no friends or that you are a loner. But in reality, doing things alone is empowering and liberating.
You get to do something you want, and you don’t need to compromise. Now whenever I see someone reading a book at a cafe or eating lunch at a restaurant, I think that person just radiates confidence — ‘main character energy’ as TikTok might put it. Because the truth is you have to be comfortable in your skin and mind to be able to easily enjoy your time alone surrounded by couples or groups.
Mindset Is Everything
Something is bound to go wrong at some point when you travel — be it a missed train, getting lost in a new city, or losing your room key. If you are traveling solo, it means that you are your own responsible and it is up to you to manage your trip and solve problems. Sometimes you will feel defeated and might think, “Oh, how I wish there was someone to help,” but those are the moments when you have to take a deep breath and focus on the solution rather than a problem.
Problems and obstacles can feel overwhelming but only the right mindset will help to have an enjoyable and overall great solo travel experience. You need to train your brain to trust the process and to trust yourself to find the right solution to the problem at hand. That will not only save your trip but will also make you feel like the most powerful person on the planet.
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