When I tell people I want to travel or go on a vacation by myself I always get a similar response: "Why?" or "That's scary!". At first, I thought to myself, "They're right...I could never do that." But why not?
As a 20-something-year-old, I think it's good to do things on your own. That's how we learn and grow and become our own independent person. We need to do things outside of our comfort zones every once in a while. I know too many women who are afraid to even go to dinner alone and just sit with their own company for two hours.
Creating your own adventure, whether it be a ferry ride away or across an entire ocean, is an incredible experience and does take a lot of courage. There are plenty of reasons why you should do it and why you should do it now! So, pack your bags and leave your fears behind.
Here's 6 reasons why you should definitely travel alone this summer:
1. Conquer your fears
First and foremost, traveling alone will not only help you to overcome fears, but basically forces you to become a badass. Your going to have to step outside your comfort zone and do this thing on your own. Everything from research, booking, transportation, and planning things to do, you will be doing by yourself. It can be scary, but you won't regret it. Fear is just an emotion, and it's up to you to be able to control that.
2. Make friends
Travelling by yourself doesn't necessarily mean being isolated the entire time. It's great to spend some quality time alone - that's the whole point. But you should also make connections and talk to people for both your own sanity and to learn a couple things about yourself. Test your limits and make conversation in a coffee shop with a cute stranger you would normally be too timid to talk to at home. Or, join a tour of some kind and you might find that everyone else is just as scared to talk to you as you are to them. Before you know it, you'll have friends all over the world who would be more than happy to have you surf their couch for a couple nights some day.
3. Soul search
For me, this is the most important aspect of solo travel. Soul searching is more than doing yoga at a retreat in Bali - it's being open to new experiences. Focus on yourself for once and eat, pray, love a little. Constantly seeing other people post pictures with their significant others doing amazingly fun things makes me a bit jealous, sure. But I know that right now maybe it's in my best interest to not have to check with anyone before deciding what to do and just fvcking do it!
4. Learn about yourself
This leads me to this next point: LEARN. We get one body, one personality, one unique, cool (mostly awkward) self, so let's see who that is exactly. Put yourself in uncomfortable positions, sleep in a hostel with 10 really weird humans, get really drunk and do something stupid, then sit in a hammock for four hours on a beach and contemplate life. Whatever it is you gotta do to get yourself out of bed in the morning and make the most of your time on this earth, do it. You'll always learn something useful. And if you don't, then you're bound to come across the same problem again in the future and have to learn it all over again.
Being independent takes time. Although paying your own rent, having a big girl job, and doing your own grocery shopping and laundry are all important parts of growing up, it's not as easy as it sounds. We all make mistakes sometimes and it's hard to be an adult all the time. But at the end of the day, you are responsible for yourself and you have to take care of yourself. It isn't until you force yourself to do everything on your own that you may realize how non-adultly or un-independent you actually are. Take the plunge, it's empowering.
You know those people you know who are always travelling to awesome places all the damn time? Well, that could easily be you. It's funny how you'll realize how little you actually need. There are plenty of places to go where all you need is a backpack, a tent, and a good book. Sure, you might feel lonely at times and wonder why you did it, but in the end I think you'll look back and be glad you did. And trust me, you won't want to keep your feet in one place again.
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