When I first started to think about travelling – I heard about my friends friend, that was Backpacking Asia by herself. I remember I said that I would LOVE to travel, but NEVER by myself.
After High School, I ended up going to Australia with 2 girlfriends. After 6 months in Sydney, we ended up wanting different things. I decided to go for what I wanted, which lead me in to travelling by myself. I had met some people in Sydney, who were travelling by themselves, so I thought: ok, if they can, I guess, so can I!?
The first week was scary and I felt lonely. And with a great start of missing my bus didn’t make it any better. I remember I was standing in the middle of the bus station crying – The next bus was not untill the day after, and I had already booked accomondation and paid for a tour going out from the new place, the next day! But, no matter how upset you are, if you are forced to find a solution – you do. I ended up getting on a train, then catching another bus, and arrived at the hostel I had booked super late at night. The other people in the hostel were sitting outside together, drinking beer – I just went straigt to bed, cried a bit more, felt VERY sorry for myself and thought “This decision was just stupid..!”
Today, that decision, is one of the best decisions I have ever made! I got pushed out of my comfortzone, and after I started to get comfortable travelling by myself, it’s one of the things I enjoy the most!!
I think travelling by yourself is one thing EVERYONE should do atleast once in their life. Why? I’ll give you 10 reasons!
(All pictures are from my trip in Australia 2011, when I first started to travel by myself)
1 You become independed
When you travel with other people, it’s very easy to rely on them. Let someone else be in charge and take control.
When I’ve been travelling with friends, there have always been one in charge and in control of the tickets, the time we have to leave to catch the train, where to go, the map ++ To be honest, when I have travelled with others, I have always been the one just “following”, literally walking behind them!
When you’re alone, YOU have to fix it. You have to have control and know what’s going on. You have to have the alarm on and get yourself up in the morning to catch your flight…
After a while when you see that you can do all this yourself, you realise you don’t need other people to do anything you want to do in life – you are capable of anything and you can do it by yourself.
2 You’re the Boss!
You can do exactly what YOU want to do! You can go to a place, and if you like it, you can stay! You don’t have to argue with your friend because he/she wants to keep going. Or if you don’t like it – move on! You’re the master of your trip – In the beginning it’s scary, but after a while it’s FREEDOM. AND you will be very satisfied with your trip in the end.
3 You become good at making decisions
If you’re two or more, you can discuss, and find out together what’s best thing to do. Not only where to go, but what is safe? Should I do this? What hotel/hostel should I choose? Do I choose this location or is the other one better?
When you’re by yourself, You’re the one and only making dicisions. Sometimes you will make wrong decisions, but atleast, it was YOUR dicision – and my experience is that when it was yours, it’s also a bigger chance you learn from it, take the experience with you and it will help you taking better decisions in the future.
4 You will Start to trust yourself
As a results of making decisions yourself, you also start to trust yourself. When I first started to travel alone, I called my mum for help, as I was unsure what to do. Now, I make desitions myself. Because I trust myself and I trust my stomach feeling.
5 You will make new friends
When I travelled in a group with others, we bearly met anyone. We were always sticking together. Why? Because it feels safe! And you don’t have to leave your comfortzone, because, well, you have someone to hang out with anyway!
After I started to travel by myself, I have made SO MANY FRIENDS! I can’t even count them! All over the world! And because of social media, it’s super easy to stay in touch. Some of them have become a huge part and impact in my life, and we have met again in different parts of the world.
(The most awesome thing about knowing people all over the world, is when you are going to travel to a new country, and you happend to know people there! How awesome is it to go around with a local, and get to see and experience things that other tourists don’t? I LOVE IT!)
6 You will Understand people better
I would never have met all the types of people I have, in my age, if it was not for travelling by myself. I’ve been in a few situations that have not been fun at all, but today I’m so grateful! Why? Because I have started to understand the different types of people that are out there, and who I should stay away from. I’m so grateful for these happenings, and that they have happend to me in my early twenties – so I don’t have to waste more time of my life with toxic people, and can spend time with those who are genuine.
7 You will be more open minded
When you travel by yourself, you learn to open up and get a bigger understanding and respect for other people. You understand that your opinion is not necassary right – and when you understand this, you open up for other ideas and thoughts. Sometimes it’s actually a bit scary, because you realise that what once used to be the “truth” for you, was just YOUR perspective on it.
This can ofcourse happend if you’re travelling with a friend aswell, but it’s easier to open up when you don’t have any around you to impact your new thoughts about all the new impressions and happenings around you.
8 You will be more grateful
I’ve been grateful before, but not like I am today. By seing other cultures, seing how other people live and work – have made me really FEEL grateful! To look outside your own “life-bobble” – a busy life with work, family, a nice house, expencive cars, shoes, clothes, your BIG everyday problems, like “what you’re going to buy for your boyfriends birthday?”…+++, and understanding that what you have is not a matter of course around the world – does something with you.
9 YOU time
I have found myself through travelling alone. Not that I havn’t been myself before, but when you’re by yourself, you find out what you like, and what you don’t like – without anyone next to you, and their opinion. I have found my values, and what’s important for me – so now I spend more time on what’s important for me, instead of other things! and because of this, I feel happier then ever and I’m so grateful.
10 YOU WILL BE MORE CONFIDENT
When You gather all of the above, you end up with more self-confidence!
You know better who YOU are, what you like, your boundaries, your values, you trust yourself and become better on making your own decisions based on YOU and what YOU want. You get to know your limits, and you understand that your limits can be pushed if you’re willing to leave your comfortzone!
A big reminder for me, is what I started this post with: I was once scared of travelling alone – now it’s the most peaceful and comfortable thing I know. What does this leave me with?
What I’m scared of today, is just a limit that I have, and that can be pushed if I want to 😉
I have understood and started to trust that I can do whatever I put my mind into – without relying on anyone! This has changed my life.
So in my opinion, that alone is reason enough for you to go out there by yourself and explore the world – Berit