Have you ever thought about going on a solo trip? I did and one month ago, I finally made it happen. I have heard many times about the benefits for personal growth and as a self-proclaimed personal growth junkie, I thought I had to give this a go. WOW was I excited when I finally booked the flight tickets (the kind of excitement where you’re happy and scared at the same time).
It was something I have been wanting to do for a longer time because I wanted to challenge and push myself out of my own comfort zone. Traveling alone and having to deal with every obstacle coming my way by myself seemed like the perfect thing to do.
If something makes you feel excited and scared at the same time, you should probably do it.
I had travelled a lot before (to about 30 countries) and have lived in foreign countries like Australia, Thailand or Finland. However, I realized that this was nothing like solo traveling because I was never on my own and didn’t have to deal with upcoming issues alone.
Getting out of your comfort zone
Solo traveling, just like everything else that is outside of your comfort zone, will feel uncomfortable at first.
In order to enjoy the benefits of solo traveling, you will have to get out of your comfort zone. The uneasy feeling in the beginning is totally normal and actually a good thing. Most people think that following your purpose and growing as a person always has to always feel good for it to be the “right thing” but actually the opposite is the case. When you change your habits and your self-image it will always feel a little uncomfortable in the beginning.
Looking beyond the surface
One amazing advantage of solo traveling is that it makes you look at the things you usually wouldn’t look at. Since you’re by yourself, you have all the time in the world to think and feel into everything that is going on inside of you (something we tend to neglect in our everyday-lives). We’re often too distracted to spend time with ourselves and sit with our feelings. In fact, we’re often using external things (eating, shopping, etc.) in order not to feel as much.
I think everyone knows the internal struggle between being your highest self that makes things happen and serves the world and your lazy self that just wants to relax all day and not do anything.
So I made it happen. I had just landed in Sevilla, Spain…
When I walked out of the airport, I was still super happy and excited. I arrived at my Airbnb in a really beautiful part of the city and met my host. After he explained everything, I went to explore the city. It was such a beautiful feeling because the sun was shining (something that rarely happens in German winter) and I could finally speak Spanish again with the people around me. I studied Spanish at university and love the language. After some time and especially during my first dinner alone in the city, things started to feel a bit uncomfortable.
As I told you before, I had never really travelled alone and even though I’m an introvert and have been to restaurants and cafés alone many times before, it felt a bit off. However, I tried to focus on gratitude and how amazing it is to have all the time to myself – That I can decide what to do, when to do it and how to do it. Changing plans to go visit another sight? No problem. You planned to have tapas but now you have paella cravings? No worries! When you’re alone, any change of plans is not a problem. A great benefit of solo travelling is your independence and that you don’t have to rely on anyone else when it comes to decision making. I always loved traveling with my boyfriend but as soon as there were more than two people, I didn’t like the lack of flexibility. That’s probably also the reason why most school trips that I had to take as a kid felt awful.
Solo Traveling and Inner Peace…
Everything changed after the first two days of feeling uncomfortable. Once I got used to traveling alone (which luckily just took one to two days), things started to change. I started to feel so good about the trip, people, the world and myself (sounds a little dramatic, I know) that I could suddenly feel the love literally burst outside of my heart. From then on, I experienced a kind of inner peace that I hadn’t felt in a long time. Solo traveling began to feel like the most pleasant, peaceful and natural thing to do. I started to enjoy, love and appreciate everything about traveling by myself. I especially appreciated those moments in which there wasn’t any form of distraction. Just myself and all the stillness around me.
I also remember walking at least 20 km a day because I just loved to explore everything around me. Life gets really beautiful when you’re grateful and see everything around you as a beautiful miracle and a gift that is waiting for you. The second city I visited was Granada. I remember how I sat down on one of my last evenings at a monument called “El Mirador de San Nicolas” looking at the beautiful illuminated Alhambra. I felt an incredible amount of love and inner peace, felt tears of joy and gratitude streaming down my face and thought to myself “What a beautiful gift it is to be alive”.
These are some of the many things I loved about solo travelling:
- The confidence I developed and the inner peace I felt literally every minute of the day (after a short period of feeling uncomfortable)
- The excitement of exploring things on my own
- The feeling of unbelievable joy and freedom
- The kindness of the people I got to know
- The feeling of being the real “me” again. By the real me, I mean the best version of myself who enjoys life to the fullest, is kind, bubbly, open-minded and positive.
So let’s start with the 5 Amazing Benefits of Solo Traveling for Personal Growth.
Pssssst, after reading about the benefits of solo traveling you might want to start packing your bags and go on your own solo adventure.
5 Amazing Benefits of Solo Traveling for Personal Growth
1.Solo Traveling Will Make You Realize What’s Really Important
One thing that traveling by myself has definitely shown me is how important self-love is and that it’s the requirement for everything else. I realized that in order for me to be happy, it doesn’t need much more than being my own best friend and speaking kindly to myself. Even if solo traveling feels a bit uncomfortable at first, it made me feel so happy and free after a couple of days like I haven’t felt in a very long time. It’s all about your inner world. If you feel at whole and at peace with yourself, you also attract good things and you will be much more receptive to all the beautiful things that are surrounding you. Something I loved was just sitting down somewhere in a park or on the grass, looking at nature, the sky, people passing by..it was just beautiful
2. Solo Traveling Will Make You More Independent
Solo traveling definitely makes you a more independent person. Usually, there are always people around you who would help you if you were in need. However, when traveling alone you don’t know anyone and this can really push you out of your comfort zone is various situations. Your flight is late or has been cancelled? You have to take charge of it yourself. Your phone dies and you can’t find your AirBnB? It’s also all on you. I mean these might be more extreme situations but they do happen sometimes. They are actually a great opportunity for becoming more independent because once you solve these issues yourself, you will get a feeling of “No matter what life will throw at me, I will be able to handle everything AND come out even stronger on the other end.” Let me tell you, It’s a great feeling and you will discover how capable you actually are.
3. Solo Traveling Will Make You Open-minded and Confident
One of the best benefits of solo traveling is that you will become a more open-minded and confident person. When you travel alone, it kind of forces you to approach people in different situations. You might have to ask for the way, for a menu or whatever you need in the moment. Once you have done it a couple of times, you feel more confident and will also have an easier time approaching strangers which definitely is an advantage. Don’t worry if you’re an introvert like me and talking to strangers in another country seems like a daunting task. You will be fine and might even come to love it. I overcame this fear when I was 16 and staying with a host family in another country for the first time. When I then decided to become an Au Pair when I was 18 and travel to Australia, it was already no big deal for me anymore and I even enjoyed it. Just give it a shot and you will probably surprise yourself.
4. Solo Traveling Will Make You Love Your Alone Time
I know that for some people the thought of spending a lot of time with themselves is very daunting. If you didn’t already love spending time with yourself before your solo trip, you definitely will afterwards. Going to a restaurant by yourself, strolling through a city or walking in nature alone, these things tend to be outside of people’s comfort zones. However, once you get used to it (warning: it’s a bit uncomfortable but that’s totally normal), you will start enjoying it so much. It also made me do everything more mindfully. While you could grab your phone while eating alone, I just tried to stay present in the moment and ate as mindfully as possible. You will realize just how important it is to spend enough time alone, also in your everyday life.
5. Solo Traveling Will Bring You Closer To What You Want + Who You Actually Are
It is counterintuitive but traveling and getting out of your comfort zone/ regular environment will get your closer to your authentic self. By “authentic self” I mean the version of yourself where you don’t wear any masks to please others and instead just BE, exactly as you are. Learning to embrace the real YOU is easier when you’re not with your family and friends. They already have a certain image of you and our self-image as well as others perceive us is so powerful that we’re reluctant to change. When you’re by yourself, you also have more time to reflect on what you really want in life. Do you want to work a 9-5 job or is your true heart’s desire to start your own business? Does what you’re doing right now feel right to you or are you doing it to please other people? When asking yourself these deeper questions, you will most likely have some powerful revelations.
So, what’s stopping you from heading out alone and conquering the world? and from experiencing all the benefits of solo traveling for yourself? The world is waiting to be explored by you and you don’t have to wait for anyone to come along. Solo traveling has so many benefits on your personal growth – So let go of what is still holding you back and set yourself free. It will feel so liberating and when I’m now thinking back to my journey, it always makes me smile and each time I’m glad that I made the decision to leave my comfort zone. Once, you take the leap and travel solo, you will understand all the beautiful things it will do for your mind and your soul.
I’m sending you much love,
Q: If you went on a solo adventure, where in the world would you want to go?