‘The man who goes alone can start today, but he who travels with another must wait until that other is ready’
~ Henry David Thoreau
This summer I ticked off another item from my bucket list; to go on holiday on my own. It is something that I have often thought about doing, but have never had the courage to do. It wasn’t that I had no other options for a holiday, there were plenty of alternatives, I just decided that I wanted to try it out this experience.
I went to Slovenia for 9 nights and I had an amazing time. I learnt a lot of things and I think next time I go alone it will be even better as during the holiday I learnt many hints and tips of how to maximize the benefit of travelling solo.
These are some of the things I learnt:
1) You can do anything you set your mind to
You might start off feeling anxious about the experience of travelling on your own, but once you’ve done it, you’ll realize that you’re capable of tackling any challenge. You might face various problems, decisions and even risks on your own and all these situations will without doubt make you feel braver and more confident. Being alone on the road can be a challenge and we know that facing challenges makes us stronger. After a while, it becomes much less daunting and you can get great satisfaction feeling like you are conquering the world on your own!
2) Feel comfortable spending time on your own
For anyone that struggles to spend time alone, going on a solo holiday can make you feel more comfortable with alone time. There is the opportunity of course to meet new people, but inevitably you will find yourself spending some time without others around you. This can give you the opportunity to begin to enjoy your own company and feel at ease spending time alone.
3) Confidence to make decisions
If there is a group of you, you might find yourself wanting to ensure everyone else is having a good time and try to accommodate others by doing what you think they would want to do. You can also delegate decision making to someone else in the group if you don’t feel like taking charge of it. When you are alone, it’s all up to you. This means you are in the driving seat, you are responsible for all decisions and this is a skill that’s worth practicing.
4) Meet new people
When you’re on holiday with friends or family, you will quite possibly find yourself spending time just with them. When you’re alone, it becomes much easier to meet people, if you want to. Often you can meet a really interesting crowd from different walks of life and this allows you to spend time with people that you wouldn’t normally hang out with. This helps with both the skill of meeting new people and also enables you to have a more enriched travelling experience.
How you spend your time is 100% up to you. If you want to have a lie in, you can, if you want to go to bed early you can, if you want to party the night away, you can. You can literally do whatever you want without having to worry what others think about it. This freedom can be very liberating. It is something to be embraced when you are travelling on your own.
6) Time to think
In our everyday busy, distracted lives we can find ourselves with little time to ourselves. Time spent travelling alone can give us a chance to learn about ourselves, reflecting on our lives and what we want. It can be a great opportunity to review our current situation, day dream, make plans, decide on any changes we want in our life. It’s a great time for reflection. You might find that you come home feeling rejuvenated with grand ideas on changes you want to make.
7) Be delightfully selfish
You don’t have to please anyone else, you can do exactly what you want, when you want, without worrying what anyone else will think. It can be a great opportunity to do as you please without having to think about anyone else and whether you’re making them happy. Choose to do exactly what you want to do and indulge in the experience.
If you have never travelled alone, I highly recommend you give it a go. Even just do a weekend away if you will struggle to get a week alone. Everyone can learn something from the experience and it’s great to have some time for yourself now and again. I am now slightly worried I enjoyed it a bit too much and need to adjust to get used to travelling with others again!
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.