As 2018 draws near, the last week of the year is always a reflective period for most. Some look back at their goals they set for 2017 and blew them out of the water, some reflect and want to turn over a new leaf and some never want to look back at the past year at all!
But, if it’s one thing that we all have in common is that we all want a fresh start. We all want to push the reset button and come into the New Year with a confident and positive attitude. It’s the time when goals and targets are set, determination is high and those 365 blank pages are a world of possibility.
For me, I started travelling solo when I came back from my first long term backpacking trip and found that there was no one else to go with. I had this big bucket list to tick off, so many countries I wanted to explore and experiences I lusted after. So, instead of waiting for the perfect opportunity, I decided to grab my free time with both hands and book my first trip abroad solo.
I flew into Morocco a little scared and more than a little dubious but I ending up having the BEST time. It was liberating and inspirational. It was creative and exciting. I met so many new friends and experienced so much. I almost, as cheesy as it sounds, felt reborn.
I could see the world solo and it gave me a whole new perspective on life.
Many people I know or I speak to couldn’t face the thought of travelling solo. They think they will be bored, scared, lonely.
But, allowing yourself some time to spend with yourself is something everyone should do at least once in their life.
After all, we’re all turning a new chapter this 2018, aren’t we?
1. You can be completely selfish
When was the last time that you took some time out and did something just for yourself?
You can control the steering wheel, decide how the story goes and there is no one else to compromise for. It’s quite an amazing opportunity that you should grab with both hands!
You can wake up when you want to, decide what you would like to do and enjoy, eat what food you like. It’s all down to you. In this process you may find what sets your heart on fire as well.
Do you like to take pictures? Go for it. Do you like to spend a day gazing at art? You have time. Want to get lost in a city you’re unfamiliar with? That’s allowed.
Never underestimate how good it feels to have everything your way for once.
2. You can learn and accept more about yourself
A lot of people get scared at the thought of spending time with just themselves. Sometimes we go about our daily lives and don’t even have time to think about who we are, what we crave, what we fear and our raw desires. Well, when you travel solo a lot of those come to the surface without you even realising.
Before I travelled solo, I didn’t realise how much I hated planning everything. I much prefer to go with the flow and see where the day will take me. I like to organise a list of things I want to do but I don’t like following an itinerary or a fixed schedule.
Travelling solo allows you to face your fears and what’s great is that there’s no one else to see it. If you make mistakes, you’re the only one who sees and learns from it.
I never been a fan of the term ‘I’m going to find myself’, I much prefer ‘I’m learning to accept myself’.
3. You’ll have the opportunity to meet new people
I don’t know what it is but you meet so many more people when you’re travelling solo. Maybe it’s because you’re more approachable as you’re alone, maybe it’s the universe putting people in your path or maybe it’s because you’re having a great time and look like a fun person to talk to. Either way, you will definitely meet people.
I always find that coming with an open heart and mind allows this to happen.
Of course, it helps if you find places to meet people to. I usually stay in hostels or go on a group tour to be around people if I feel like it.
That’s why I say when you travel solo, you’re never really ‘alone’. You’ll always find your travel tribe wherever you go!
4. You’ll face your deepest fears
I’ve never really had a problem being alone so that wasn’t a primary fear for me. When I was 13, I’d take long distance train journey’s by myself to see friends in the North of UK with no trouble.
But, I would care a lot about my appearance and what people thought of me. Now, I’m taking pictures of myself with a tripod in the middle of a busy street and I couldn’t give AF. I’m never going to see them again, so why should I care so much? That person is going to forget me in less than 10 minutes, so why should I care if I get my picture?
Whether it’s hating the thought of being alone, being scared of flying, eating at restaurants by yourself, having anxiety or even phobias. Travelling solo can make you face them head on and kick their ass!
5. You can achieve your goals
Ever wanted to go skydiving? How about surfing or scuba diving? Go on a yoga retreat? Wanted to go on a cookery course and learn how to make macaroons? Well, now you can! If you have some goals or bucket list items that you have been meaning to tick off your list for a few years, this is your time.
6. You’ll make amazing memories
If nothing else, you come back with a mind full of fantastic memories. I always take some time to reflect on my journey after I come back. Without a doubt, I will have a memory card full of pictures and a heart full of good energy that I took home with me.
I always add pictures of my trips to my travel collage which I made on my bedroom wall. It’s a place to remind me of the times I spent abroad and my achievements.
When you look back on the next year, don’t allow it to be average. Make it one to remember!
7. You’ll start a fresh chapter
Doesn’t the notion of starting a fresh new chapter in your book excite you? It certainly does for me. It’s a blank page waiting to be filled with new stories, friendships and experiences. But, the great thing is that you control what’s written in those pages.
There will be no arguments, no compromise, no one holding you back. Just progress.
When you travel solo, I can guarantee that the next chapter will be at least an interesting one in your book.
8. You can create a new identity
Ever wanted to just run away and move to a new country where no one knows your name? I have, especially coming from a small town like Swindon. Travelling solo allows me to escape and recreate myself even if it’s just for week or long weekend.
It’s almost overwhelming the thought of complete freedom through anonymity. The fact that the past is no longer attached to you and you can just move on. Be the best person that you want to be, the change you want to see in the world, challenge your ideals and gain a completely new perspective.
Travelling solo allows you to grow and you can do it without any barriers, limitations or ties from the past.
9. You’ll feel liberated and inspired
Travelling solo is a pretty big step and almost inconceivable for most people. So, it’s pretty bad ass that you’re even considering it!
It will inspire you, liberate you and completely change the way that you think about the world. You’ll regain faith in humanity, you’ll see everything through a different lens, you’ll listen to it’s music and move with the rhythm.
At the end of the day you’re the only one you’ve got and you may as well make yourself good company to be around. So, don’t shy away from the things you most desire.
Book that trip, see the world and never look back.
There will always be places to make money, but there may not always be time. You only have one little life, make it an awesome one and don’t let any one dampen your shine.
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