Solo Travel, You’re More Than Capable
There is a quote that I keep stumbling on that goes “As you travel solo, being totally responsible for yourself, it’s inevitable that you will discover just how capable you are” and although I still haven’t been able to find out who said this, nothing is truer. When you travel on your own you are the only one making decisions, you are making the choices, calling the shots – all of it is up to you. And that is the most empowering feeling in my opinion.
Seven years ago I boarded my first ever flight, from my hometown of Montreal, QC to visit some family in British Columbia. A cross country flight, by myself- was I nervous? Yep absolutely. I hadn’t ever flown before, and here I was going cross country all alone, but something happened the second we lifted off the tarmac. I felt at home. I felt at ease. I was excited; and the rest as they say is history. That one trip was what sparked my love of solo travel. Sure I was visiting family and wasn’t technically by myself for the 2 weeks, but I did make a side trip down to Vancouver, BC for the first time. I took the bus down, I stayed in my first hostel, I got lost a dozen times, and I explored a city that now all those years later I currently call home. So it’s safe to say that solo travel was something I instantly loved.
Here are five ways that solo travel can be empowering:
- You will learn that you can do ANYTHING
This goes back to the quote above. You will discover just how capable you are when you only have yourself to rely on. When we’re kids we rely on our parents to feed us and clothe us and keep up safe. As we grow up and find ourselves in relationships we can sometimes end up relying heavily on another person for our happiness or for affirmation. But, when you are on your own in a foreign country, you only have yourself (for the most part) and the more you explore & the more you try new things you will realize just how possible all of this has always been, and what better confidence boost is there?
- You are you’re own best friend
This is something that I tend to struggle with when I’m not travelling and back in “reality”. For example, I’ve been living in a new city for the last year where I hardly knew a single person when I arrived & I have struggled with making friends here & it makes it hard for me to enjoy my own company sometimes. Although this is something I’m working on, it’s not something I struggle with when I’m traveling. When I’m in a new country I can easily spend a few days on my own getting lost and exploring before I meet new people and be more than okay with it. I can come & go as I please, explore what I want, indulge in all the things I love and in turn love myself more for taking the time to do so.
On the flip side to becoming your own best friend, solo travel gives you the chance to meet people you may have never crossed paths with otherwise and they can change your life. Some of my best friends are people I have met while living in Australia or New Zealand and even now that I’m back in Canada & they’re back in their respective countries (Ireland, England, Australia ect.) we still talk every day. A perfect example of meeting people you’d most likely never meet if you hadn’t travelled; Central America 2014. I had just experienced the worst year of my life & I finally just couldn’t take it so I bought a one way ticket to Costa Rica & within just a few days I was back feeling like my old self again & had met a half dozen people from all over the world that I ended up travelling with for weeks before we all split up. These people were incredible. I was doing things I never would have ever thought possible. I was falling back in love with my life & had those people and that trip to thank for it. Sure I arrived alone but I left 2 months later with a dozen best friends that I still keep in touch with to this day
- The World is your box of chocolates
Or your oyster, which ever fits your taste better. There are endless opportunities to explore the world. Teaching english in Thailand. Volunteering to build a school in Africa. A working holiday visa in New Zealand. A backpacking trip to South America. I’ll stop there. You can literally choose to go anywhere in world. With a little research & a curious spirit you can find yourself visiting places you had never thought possible because of a movie or documentary you watched. Have a well travelled friend? Chances are there’s somewhere they’ve been that you dream of visiting. Have family overseas? You don’t need an excuse to travel; if you dream of going stop. Make it happen. Spin the globe & go!
- If you let it, your life will change
When I talk to other solo travellers one thing that they all seem to agree on is that their lives were changed on that first solo trip & have changed with every trip after that. And it’s something that I agree with tenfold. I have travelled with friends, with a boyfriend, and even with an acquaintance, and solo. As much as I enjoyed traveling with those respective people (for the most part) I didn’t experience nearly as much change in my life as I did when I was on my own. All the times I’ve travelled alone I have returned to Canada with a whole new outlook on life and as a better person. Not to say that these things wouldn’t happen travelling with others, but it’s not something I’ve experienced in my years of travel. If you have an open mind and adventure on the brain you could see your life change the second your foot steps on foreign ground or you could return home after months away to see that home is still the same and it’s us who have changed. And that changes everything
Guest post published by Laura from – shewhowanderstheworld.com