If you have the opportunity to pack your bags and go travelling: DO IT. Many people don’t do it because they are scared of going alone. There is nothing wrong with travelling alone. In fact sometimes is better as there are many people doing the same things and it is very likely you will make good friendships along the way.
Travel simply makes you grow and makes you be a better person. Here is why.
1. Learning to be alone.
“If you make friends with yourself you will never be alone.” -Maxwell Maltz.
As a society, we tend to look at being alone as something sad. Everything is about balance. It’s only when we’re fully comfortable being alone that we’re able to be comfortable with other people.
Have lunch with yourself. Sit with your thoughts and be okay with it. recharge your batteries, work on your passions, discover new insights. Maybe being alone doesn’t have to be the consequence of having no plans, but rather a plan to enjoy your own company.
2. Relying on the kindness of strangers.
It is very likely you will get lost. This is a good thing. It is also very likely that you will receive help and random acts of kindness from strangers. Accept them and appreciate them.
3. Learning to live with less.
This does not mean claiming hardship. Recognise your fortunes of being in another place and be humbled.
Living simply is letting go of stuff, obligations, expectations, people. It’s removing all the noise from your life, making space in your brain and your life for exactly and only what you need. It is returning to a way of living that most of us can vaguely remember: Enjoy the pleasures that can’t be bought in stores. This makes us (believe it or not) feel good, alive and optimistic because we can relax. We are able to rest in peace and with a quiet mind, thus giving us time to sit still, read a book, look around and fully enjoy your surroundings.
4. Learning that plans change and you can and will have to adapt.
“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” Albert Einstein
Itineraries are guidelines, not rigid measurements of experience. The best experiences are often not scheduled or anticipated. Expect the unexpected. A the end you won’t even care about it.
5. Enjoying the moment.
When we’re doing something new, we’re very focused and “in the moment.” Time seems to stand still because we’re not thinking about the past or the future. We are truly living in the present.
How often are we truly present in our lives? It’s hard, isn’t it? We have so many things to do, places to be, people to see. While travelling forget the missed bus and enjoy the culture that can be experienced in one hour waiting at a bus stop. Stay in the present.
6. Forces you out of your comfort zone.
The important thing to remember is that trips present you with opportunities; it’s just whether or not you’re willing to take them up on it.
It’s easy to sit back and only take in the things that are comfortable to you, but its always good to experience things that require a little discomfort. Often, those things which present worry or discomfort also bring out your better qualities. They may even give you a sense of clarity, a feeling of enlightenment, or maybe they just satisfy your thoughts for that specific moment. Practice speaking that language you learned. Make new friends. Try new foods. See new places out of the cities.
7. Learning to be patient.
Let go of all expectations. Stop worrying about what’s going to happen in the future because it is very likely you will end up frustrated.
Don’t rush through the museum. Don’t rush through your meal. Don’t roll your eyes. Don’t yell at anyone for reading the map wrong and getting lost. Don’t worry, you’ll get there. LIVE THE PRESENT MOMENT. Nothing happens if the scheduled is delayed or not fulfilled. You are travelling and there is no right or wrong. Enjoy.
8. Learning you can’t assume.
Try looking at things a different way. Ask questions. Let this open up a new realm of thought and possibility. At the end of the day everything is new and you don’t know how thins work.
9. Missing home.
Appreciate family, friends, and loved ones. Appreciate the comfort of mundane routines. Miss home. Miss your own bed. Find a new found respect for the life you often wish to escape.
10. Goodbye is not forever, life has endless possibilities.
Family becomes more than just blood. Never say goodbye to the people you meet and the places you see. Cherish the new families and homes you’ve gained. Keep in touch and look back with fond memories from time to time.