Why Traveling Solo Reinvigorates
There’s an adrenaline rush you experience when you travel to new environments - especially while traveling solo. For many of my travels, I’ve gone solo and while many may say that’s a risky move to make - I’ve found it to be one of the most reinvigorating and exhilarating feelings!
Here's a few reasons why you should travel solo (accompanied with few photos from my visit to LA):
1. Peace of mind.
There’s something to be said about peace and tranquility. For many people, the highest level of peace and tranquility is found when you remove yourself from your everyday, familiar environment - and sometimes familiar people too. For me, immersing myself into a completely new experience allows me the opportunity to disconnect from the stress of everyday happenings, work, and sometimes people, too. Being many miles away from home means it’s just you and your new destination - no people, emails, or anything else to intrude. Also, let’s be honest, we’ve all gone on trips before with people who’ve made what should have been a peaceful getaway, a stressful mess. What better way to not have to deal with the complainers, non-compromisers, and overall annoying accompanied guest? By not having anyone at your side at all!
2. More apt to engage with locals.
Just as they say you shouldn't attend a networking event with a friend because you're more likely to stay joined at the hip and not do much networking, it's the same concept when traveling. When you're traveling alone, there's no one at your side for random chitter-chatter, so you become a lot more likely to strike up a conversation with a local or either a local will feel more welcomed to engage in conversation first and not feel like they're intruding. Often times, through conversation will a local, so many gems will be shared in terms of must-see, must-do things that Google couldn't provide you.
Additionally, when I travel, I like to truly optimize my time by meeting up for coffee/lunch with a professional contact(s) that may be living in the visiting destination. Even if I'm on vacation, I do this because it's the perfect opportunity to break away from email communication and meet face-to-face in efforts to continue to foster and nurture a genuine relationship. While in LA, I had a chance to meet up with Clinton (pictured) for coffee and then I received a superb, local-led tour of the city!
3. Increased self-reflection.
This is a huge one! When traveling alone, there are no distractions - its just you and your new destination. Every place you visit, every sight you see, every person you meet - all of these experiences are absorbed on a deeper level because you are 100% present in the moment with no distractions. Being a solo traveler, it's only inevitable to truly soak in the moment and reflect. Throughout my travels, I can remember exactly how I felt when I visited a certain location, I can remember exactly what I vowed internally to myself to provide a sense of hope/inspiration I can draw back to at a time of doubt, I can remember exactly the range of emotions felt during each experience associated with my travel. For many, it is during solitude where the most impactful self-reflection happens - add a new destination to the equation and the feeling is incredible.
4. Sharpens your “survival skills”.
Being in a new location all alone can cause much anxiety to arise, but this is the perfect opportunity to practice tackling life head on, despite the many anxieties each and every human will feel till the day we die. Traveling to a new destination solo means you have to find your way around on your own, you have to learn to navigate public transportation on your own, you have to learn the culture (dos and donts) in which you're visiting, and yes, you may even have to ask a stranger or two to take your photo for your Instagram "Vacation Photo Post". Tackling these things head on will help you in many other areas of life believe it not. The tenacity and critical thinking that it takes to explore something new and learn the ins-and-outs of how something works are transferrable skills that can be applied to work life and personal life. Even something as simple as asking a stranger to take a photo for you exercises the transferrable skills of collaboration (seeking the assistance of others), fearlessness (not being afraid to engage with a stranger or foreign concept/technology), and communication (being able to simply initiate human interaction). These, too, are skills that can be applied to both, work and personal life.