Oh, to be completely confident and happy. I wonder when or if it will happen to me.
Don't get me wrong. I am both confident and happy. But, completely? That's another thing.
The Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, said that “change is the only constant in life.”
I believe it is all that change that destabilizes life and makes building confidence an ongoing process. Solo travel can be an effective part of that process. Every time I travel solo, navigating and negotiating my every need by myself, my confidence soars. And because change is a constant, it is something I need over and over again.
Solo travel does not offer a one-trip-fix-all solution but, if practiced often, your confidence can keep pace with all the change in and around you.
Travel Solo to Build Confidence
Confidence comes from really knowing yourself and your own strength. Solo travel can certainly help with this. It presents the opportunity and freedom to:
- Take care of yourself without backup
- Push yourself beyond your comfort zone
- Make decisions decisively.
As you travel solo, being totally responsible for yourself, it’s inevitable that you will discover just how capable you are. As you push your boundaries, whether it’s by going to a restaurant alone for the first time or navigating a country where you don’t know the language, you will gain confidence. As you make every decision about your trip, your day, and your meals, your confidence in your ability to make good decisions will also grow.
Traveling solo isn't about what others see in you, it’s about what you see in you. And what you see will build your confidence.
Solo Travel for Personal Growth
We all have our own definition of, and goals for, personal growth. The key is to be deeply aware of them and have the confidence to pursue them. Solo travel gives you the opportunity and freedom to:
- Travel for your goals exclusively
- Be spontaneous and pursue unique opportunities as they arise
- Enjoy your own company.
There is something eminently safe about traveling solo to pursue a goal that friends and family at home don't understand. Whether it's finally reading that stack of books on your bedside table, learning a language that you'll have little use for, or researching the soil of Hawaii (as my niece did on her recent solo trip there), solo travel frees you to pursue your unique definition of personal growth. Unencumbered by another person's schedule and preferences, you can take a deep dive into what interests you most.
Caught in the Act of Becoming
A dear friend whose children were a bit older than mine and who was also a school principal once said, “catch them in the act of doing something good.” Being seen, really being seen as capable, hard-working, or talented in the act of doing something good, is a special experience and that builds confidence.
As you travel, catch yourself in the act of doing something good. Take note. Whether it’s a hiking adventure or an urban one, take pride in your accomplishments. You'll be catching yourself in the act of becoming a more confident you.
For more on this subject, see Great Advice for Solo Travel Confidence: You’ll Be Okay and Travel to Learn: What Solo Travel Can Teach Us.