There are many ways that solo travel helps make life better.
We have explored the benefits of traveling alone already on this site. But our focus has typically been on the benefits to the travel experience.
Now, I want to look at how solo travel can affect your whole life for the better.
The experience encourages you to stretch and grow as a person in many ways. Below is quite an extensive list of the ways the solo travel makes life better.
Table of Contents
Grow Your Confidence Traveling Solo
- You gain confidence. When was the last time you were responsible for everything for more than a few days? Take on full responsibility for every decision, large or small, for a week or more in an unfamiliar setting, and you cannot help but gain confidence.
- You learn to take smart risks. Risk-taking can be good and it can be bad. Traveling solo, you will take the occasional risk but it will/should be calculated. As you do so, you develop your confidence to take the occasional risk and your ability to take one safely. This can lead to a more exciting life.
- You learn problem-solving skills. At home, we deal with problems based on previous experience because we are in our own milieu. Travel solo to a foreign destination and you are challenged to problem solve in a new way, integrating information about the country, its infrastructure and culture. This is something very different from what you would normally have to consider. Getting outside your normal sphere stretches your problem-solving muscle and introduces new ways of doing things that may be helpful at home.
Travel Solo for Personal Growth
- You get to understand yourself better. Traveling solo reveals your strengths, weaknesses, interests, passions and dislikes. It reveals your natural daily rhythm because that rhythm is not under the influence of others. This knowledge can inform your life at home.
- You'll learn to depend on yourself rather than others. Community is very important but, sometimes, our community, family, and friends stifle us and even fail us. It is critical in life that we be capable of self-reliance. Traveling solo we learn that we can depend on ourselves.
- You become more flexible. Not everything on a trip will go according to plan. When this happens, you, alone, must come up with the flexible solution. Practised flexibility can be useful at work and among friends.
- You learn to stay calm in difficult situations. Losing your cool gains you nothing when trying to address a problem. When you travel with a friend, sometimes it's one or the other of you that will stay calm and deal with the difficult situation. Travel alone, and you're the one to stay calm every time.
- You learn to trust your gut. This is one of the most basic lessons that comes from solo travel. Without anyone else involved in decision-making, with all safety up to you, you learn to trust your gut.
- You become more decisive. Whether it's problem solving or making things happen, when you're alone, you have to come up with a decision. It's great practice for everyday life.
- You learn patience. When you land in a new place it can take time to figure it out and get comfortable. The more often this happens, the more you realize you have to be patient with yourself. Being patient with yourself is an act of kindness towards yourself.
- Your independent experience opens entrepreneurial opportunities. Solo travel is an independent activity. Side hustles, freelance work, and small businesses are all started by people who are confident in their ability to act independently.
- You become a more interesting employee. There are so many ways that this works. Here are two. Combine your ability to travel independently with past employment experience as a team player and you become a person who can play on a team or be a leader. The problem solving that you need to do as a solo traveler can be very valuable to an employer.
- You become a more interesting person. All of this adds up to you becoming a broader, more informed person. How can you not be after all the experience you have as a solo traveler?
Develop New Interests
- You discover how to make things happen. As you take control of your trip, you are also taking control of life. You make things happen on the road and you can make things happen at home.
- You'll try new activities. Going on a day trip or participating in a new activity are ways of finding the social side of solo travel. Traveling alone is an opportunity to try something new.
- Your palate will expand. It is such joy to discover different foods as we travel. It makes us more experimental eaters when at home.
- You learn that being lost is just the beginning of something new. Getting a bit lost as you travel solo is not a serious problem. In fact, there are occasions when I do so intentionally (safely) and often discover something unexpected and exciting. There are times in life when we all feel a little lost. Having that experience when traveling solo can give you the patience and confidence that something new is about to begin.
Become a Better Global Citizen
There is no better way to become a conscientious global citizen than to travel the world and see how life works elsewhere.
- You'll gain an appreciation of different cultures. Traveling solo, you have more time to sit and watch how a city, a community and a culture work. We gain new appreciation for different value systems, economic challenges, and political roadblocks. You'll bring home valuable ideas, language, and understanding that you can share.
- Your compassionate side grows. The fact that you can afford to travel (no matter how cheaply you do so) means that you are more privileged than most in this world. As you travel, you'll understand other people's positions, restrictions, and perspectives better and gain compassion.
- Minimalism will become more natural. Traveling solo, you have to carry everything. I only own a carry-on bag. Packing as little as possible and living within those limitations for a few weeks truly shows you the potential of minimalism. Minimalism, less consumption, is good for the planet.
- You are seen differently by friends and colleagues. There's nothing like traveling solo to cause people to look at you as adventurous, capable, independent, knowledgeable, and so much more. Use this status to share your compassionate understanding of the world.
You might also enjoy these posts: A Journey of Self-Discovery: Be Good at Being You and Travel Beyond Your Comfort Zone to an Enriched Life.