Do you ever travel by yourself? Or does that make you feel really uncomfortable? I LOVE all kinds of travel, but there is something really special about solo travel and every time I do it, I come back a more grounded, more confident and relaxed.
It can be unnerving to travel alone if you aren’t used to it. Often times, as women/mothers/wives, we spend our time with our families, taking care of them, catering to their needs. It can be easy to fall into the habit of not taking care of ourselves.
I have always loved to travel. I like all kinds of trips…family trips, girls trips, couple trips and solo trips. I remember traveling to Paris, France when I was 18 years old, by myself, for spring break to meet my cousin who was studying abroad. Even though I was staying with her, she had school and work and I was left to my own devices for much of the week. It was glorious, and uncomfortable, and lonely and wonderful.
That was a long time ago. Now, 28 years later, married with a teenager, travel can look a lot different. For many of us, self care might look more like a bubble bath or a massage at a spa. But what about taking time for you and traveling…alone. To start, it may look like a night at a local hotel. Then perhaps a weekend away somewhere not too far from home. You can continue to branch out as you feel comfortable.
1. Do What YOU Want to Do
This can be hard to get used to. When you travel alone, YOU decide your itinerary. Want to sleep in? Okay. Want to order room service? Go for it. Tour the museum? Ride a bike? Go for a long walk? Everything is up to what YOU want to do.
That can seem scary at times, even overwhelming. But there is something very freeing about being able to be selfish and not feel guilty and do whatever it is you want to do. It’s a very powerful experience.
2. Meet New People
As an introvert, meeting new people can seem a bit daunting. I don’t find energy surrounded by people and when I am traveling alone, I definitely put my guard up a bit for safety purposes.
But meeting new and interesting people can be such a fun aspect of traveling alone. I find when I travel with my family or friends, we spend our time with each other. Sure, our group might meet others but rarely do I, as an individual, meet other people.
When I travel alone, I find myself getting into an interesting conversation at the hotel or in line for a museum or just waiting at the bar for my glass of wine. I have met people from all walks of life, from all around the world. Everyone has an interesting story.
3. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
It can be scary and uncomfortable to do new things. Traveling alone is no different. But sometimes getting out of your comfort zone can make you grow, feel more powerful and confident.
Whenever I travel alone, people ask “aren’t you uncomfortable?”. Sure sometimes. But that isn’t a bad thing. It can be good to feel weird about dining alone…then taking a book to the restaurant, enjoying a meal, soaking in the surroundings and to have tried something new.
I know I can’t imagine staying in my comfort zone my entire life. I am constantly trying new things, reading new books, listening to podcasts to help me continue to grow and evolve and be the best version of myself.
4. Get Lost in Your Own Thoughts
I will admit, it is weird to have no one to talk to when traveling alone (except all those new people you are meeting from above!). I find myself having conversations with myself and wondering if I am a bit crazy, lol.
It can be refreshing to spend some time thinking, journaling, even talking to yourself. You may find yourself making huge revelations or noodling on big plans or shifts you are ready to undertake.
If spending time lost in your thoughts scares you, traveling might be a great way to break out of your comfort zone.
5. Build Confidence
Trying something new can help you grow in your confidence. I don’t know about you, but after being married for 22 years, raising a teenage daughter, there are times I feel I have lost a bit of me, of my independence. Not that I don’t love my marriage, my family, my life…I most certainly do. But sometimes I don’t feel that same ‘I got this’ attitude I had in my early years.
Traveling alone can give you that confidence. Just the act of boarding the plan, navigating the airports, getting to your lodging is powerful. Meeting new people, seeing the sites YOU want to see, accomplishing a couple days, a week, however long your trip is so freaking powerful. You will come back home feeling more confident as you tackle your day to day routine.
What about you? Do you travel solo? What other benefits have you found? Do you have a story to share? I would love to hear!