Traveling can be one of the most rewarding experiences a person can have while on this planet. Some of us start traveling early with our families to the beach, camping trips or a mega vacation to Mexico or the Caribbean.
Some of us at a young age get that spark ignited inside of us to travel but the next time with friends and without family. Unfortunately though for those who want to travel with friends, sometimes can never find those, “friends”, to travel with.
As the weeks turn to months and months turn to years, people are still looking for those friends. The time keeps passing by and the window of opportunity closes ever more slightly.
These are my 5 reasons why you should travel by yourself, domestically or internationally.
1. Personal Growth – From the second you walk through the security checkpoint and can no longer see your family and friends waving goodbye, your growth begins. You feel one chapter of your life closing and another opening. You just feel, different.
You say to yourself, “well, it’s just me from here on out”, “it’s all on me”. Doubts and uncertainties begin to creep in your mind like the shadows from the sunset. But do not fret comrade these are all normal feelings.
This is what traveling is all about, going out of your comfort zone to reach new levels within yourself.
If you are with a friend (which I’m not saying is a bad thing) you are not going to reach the same plateau of personal growth.
2. ATTENTION INTROVERTS! – Traveling by yourself forces you to go out of your comfort zone, to go to a place in your mind where you have never been before. Once you reach that place in your mind, congratulations. There is no turning back and only room for growth from here on out.
Once you start to make friends and realize, “Hey! This isn’t so bad after all”, you will have the time of your life.
The BEST and EASIEST way to meet people are staying at hostels. No you will not be tortured or kidnapped. There are plenty of apps and websites you can use to look up hostels. Read reviews, pictures and find the lowest prices. I use Hostelworld and sometimes, Hostelbookers. These websites are reliable and will show you exactly what you are going to get.
You know those friends you were looking for to travel with back at home? By meeting people on your journey or even at hostels, you have now found your travel friends.
With all the people you meet from around the world, you will now have new places to not only visit but if you play your cards right, a couch to sleep on, for free.
3. Get Lost in Your Thoughts – All the time you will spend by yourself will add up to be a lot more then you think. These alone times I speak of are when you are waiting for your connection, sitting on a 7-hour train ride or sleeping at the bus terminal.
It is in these moments that truly define who you are as a human being. You learn to have patience, you learn to control your thoughts and take time to reflect on your experiences.
Smile and laugh about the night before with people you’ve known for four days but feel like you have known them your entire life.
Cry about the good times we are missing at home with our family or loved ones we have lost while abroad.
Both of those feelings are extremely healthy and crucial for the traveler.
4. No Commitments – This made the list for me because everyone has different interests. Ever go to New York City? There's a wide variety of things to do and sights to see but let’s say you only had one day.
What if your fellow traveler wants to see the Freedom Tower but you want to go to a Yankee game. There is a tension that can be only felt by the two in the decision.
Traveling by yourself, you can go see whatever you want, whenever you want and without having to worry about someone else.
You can come and go as you please to any city you want. Want to stay an extra day in Barcelona? Perfect! You can because you don’t have that friend who wants to get on to the next city already.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying traveling with your friends isn’t fun. It is incredible to share those experiences with someone, regardless if you are in a relationship with them or not.
All I’m saying is you won’t be forced to move on to a city that you think can wait, when you’ve already fallen in love with the city you are in.
5. Time – Time waits for no man and neither should you. Don’t wait for your friends to be “ready” to go explore this beautiful planet we call, Earth. Like I said earlier, those weeks turn to years, fast. Once those years start to pass you by you may have missed your opportunity to travel. You may have missed the opportunity to grow and find yourself.
I wouldn’t wish that upon my worst enemy. The truth is, no one is ever 100% “ready” to travel. You have to force yourself to get out there and discover the unknown. The unknown I speak of isn’t just going country to country, 14 cities in 30 days. The other part of the unknown I am talking about is, yourself.
Don’t be afraid to get out there in the World and see what’s happening, hey you never know, you may just find whatever it is you’re looking for.
Thanks for putting your travel life on hold and reading this post. If you disagree, agree or have any sarcastic comments I would absolutely love to hear them.