For me, travelling solo is not just a preference. It’s a purpose in and of itself. As I discover the world alone, I am able to expand in ways which are not possible when bounded to the company of others. No matter what your beliefs, there are some ways in which solo travel will change you that combined travel just cannot.
I went through a lot of personal struggles to do with relationships, self-confidence, and general confusion about where to take my life. Solo travelling has helped me a lot to let go of negative experiences and be a purposeful individual. Here I’ve described the main ways in which solo travelling has facilitated my healing.
Like most of us, I would put myself down all the time without realizing it and this would hinder my ability to do things. I would excessively compare myself with others and in turn this would make me feel useless. Over the past couple of years, I’ve slowly come out of the shackles of self-doubt and am learning to trust myself more instead of succumbing to negative self-talk.
When you are travelling alone to unknown places, you have absolutely no one to rely on but yourself. Over time, you learn that you have to make your own decisions and bear the consequences of them. Because you’re so far from your ordinary bubble, there are a lot of situations where you simply cannot take the aid of others (near or far). This makes you resilient as fuck.
Travelling alone exposes you to a wide variety of people and lifestyles. When you are alone, it’s much easier to interact with all these people and properly involve yourself in new experiences. With others, you may skip out on those enlightening conversations, spontaneous detours, or solo ventures. When you allow yourself to expand like this, you gain self-confidence and give less importance to people who actually don’t mean anything.
When you’re alone, you’re spending more time listening to yourself than the conscious or unconscious noise of someone else. It’s forces you to turn yourself inwards and puts you in better touch with your intuition. Because we are so used to having others to talk to in all situations, we actually lose that fundamental connection with our own voice. By going through new experiences alone, you learn to connect with your inner being.
Releasing worry about the future
After I finished college, I decided to take a year off to travel before getting a job. At the time, I was perplexed because I had so many options and none of them felt exactly right. After a year or so, I joined a research company that paid me way above average and looked like my dream on paper. But after two months, I realized I was totally unfulfilled and I quit to continue travelling.
Having travelled for so long already, I was already more connected to my inner feelings about things. All I knew that was, when I was on the road, I was a happier and freer person. I could explore my intrinsic interests in life without enslaving myself to the ideas of someone else, no matter how much they paid me. Solo travelling really dissolved all those fears about what would happen if I let go of my prior ideas and follow my calling.
When you’re travelling alone, you also have the freedom to explore many different things and this expands your horizon. When you interact with other nomads, you see there is lot more to a job than sitting at a desk. It breaks down your preconceived ideas about what you should be doing and what society is telling you is normal.
So after 2.5 years of mostly solo travel, I have completely released my concerns about what I will be doing in ten years. I live for the now and not for societial recommendations. This doesn’t mean you give up on planning and achieving things in life. It means you have the courage to walk the path that is calling you through your inner feelings, even if that path is not actually travelling.