In her latest guest post, Janice Waugh, author of The Solo Traveler’s Handbook, tells us of how you learn important things when travelling solo. Janice speaks regularly on solo travel and has been the go-to person on the subject for CNN, the Oprah Blog, the LA Times and more. To keep up to date with Janice make sure to follow her on Twitter and like the Solo Travel Society on Facebook.
Ah yes, travel is an education. And travel helps put your formal education in context. You learn about countries and cultures afar. And, as you do, you learn about your own country as well.
Travel solo, and you also learn about yourself. Here are just five personal discoveries awaiting you on a solo trip.
1. Discover who you are when no one’s looking
At home, people have expectations of you. They expect you to act in a certain way. Subtly, they control your language, likes and dislikes, laughs and reactions. This is not necessarily a bad thing but what would happen if they disappeared? Or, more likely, if you left their influence for a bit. By traveling solo you can find this out. You get to experience the world your own way, discover who you are and settle into being more solidly you.
2. Uncover your real interests
Traveling solo, there is no need to compromise so you can do what you want. You can go where you want, when you want. Doing so, you’ll uncover your real interests. Do you have an unrequited passion for something? Maybe it’s cooking, museums, flea markets, watching football…? With no one in your way you can explore your real interests.
3. Learn self-confidence
Self-confidence cannot be taught but it can be learned through experience. As you navigate a new city alone, go to a restaurant and eat alone and/or connect with people at a hostel and spend the day together… as you explore the world solo and discover how capable you are you gain self-confidence.
4. Realise your resilience
Traveling solo, you alone, are responsible for handling all the challenges that come your way. Like self-confidence, as you face these challenges you learn that you are capable of handling them – that you can figure your way out of situations, whether it is by asking for help or asserting your needs. Traveling solo, you’ll learn how resilient you are.
5. Know that you are in charge of your destiny
As you travel solo and you get to know yourself better, grow in confidence and understand your resilience, you will soon realize that you are in charge of you. Because you’re capable, your destiny is in your hands. Seize it.
Yes, with every trip you’ll discover more about yourself. Traveling solo, you’ll grow as a person.
Give it a try.