By Sarah Kaminksi
There are very few things in life as fulfilling as travel. But have you ever dared to go on an adventure all by yourself?
For a lot of people, solo travel is still a scary concept. Many associate it with loneliness, danger, or even boredom. But these couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, it’s a practice that’s not only greatly fulfilling, but even more importantly, seeing the world on your own can be a gateway to self-discovery and self-knowledge.
It can also be a healing experience – a chance to come to terms with the thoughts or problems that have been bothering you.
If you, like many others, are in need of some soul-healing after the COVID-19 pandemic, here are the top reasons why you should consider celebrating the re-opening of the world’s borders by heading out on a solo adventure.
A chance to reflect
While being surrounded by friends and family is comforting, there’s a lot to gain from solitude. One of the greatest benefits of being alone is the opportunity to banish all social distractions and allow yourself to explore deep thoughts you don’t often get the chance to address.
Reflection has been shown to improve both creativity and productivity through freeing up mental space. Even more, it can be a gateway to new discoveries that can have profound and impactful effects on your daily routines, habits, or relationships.
Traveling is the perfect opportunity to set time aside for reflection. Whether you decide to meditate on a sandy beach at sunrise, or just sit down on a park bench is entirely up to you. But you’re guaranteed to feel energized and in touch with your inner-self afterward.
Connect with places
When you’re on your own, you’re not only more likely to pay attention to yourself but your surroundings as well. Solo travel lets you shift focus from inwards to outwards, without becoming distracted, allowing you to find creative ways to care for your soul.
Even if you’re currently unable to plan an adventure overseas, you can head to your nearest trail and do a little bit of hiking. Not only is it good for your physical health, but even more importantly it can ease stress and anxiety, and may even help combat depression, all due to the fact that it’s an activity done in nature.
If you feel more at home in urban spaces, head to an exciting new city, get a table for one at a coffee shop, order a drink, and watch the locals as they go about their day-to-day lives. It can be a great way to get a feeling of a place, and it will allow you to take it in at your own pace, internalizing it and making it into a part of yourself.
Widen your horizons
Decide to see the world on your own, and you’ll be bound to experience things you never have before. Solo travel is the perfect opportunity to widen your horizons by meeting new people and trying new things. Who knows, maybe you’ll develop a friendship that will last a lifetime, or find a hobby that’s both exciting and fulfilling.
Dare to try new things you wouldn’t have considered before. Go for those salsa lessons. Be brave and rent a SUP, and do a full yoga session on the water. Strike up a conversation at a local watering hole or your hostel’s common spaces.
Acquiring knowledge is a great way to deepen the understanding we have of ourselves. And self-consciousness is a pre-requisite for coming to terms with all our shortcomings. After all, it’s only through seeing the things we might be doing wrong that we can make room for ourselves to grow.
Spend time doing what you love
Perhaps one of the most valuable opportunities solo travel offers is the chance to spend time doing the things that bring us fulfillment. For some, that’s reading. For others, it’s making music or drawing. Some people will take this time to write journal entries, working through their thought processes and past traumas.
Art therapy is not only scientifically proven to help improve mental health, but it can also offer you the chance to deal with overpowering thoughts without losing touch with reality. It’s both an emotional release and a form of stress relief, and it can be practiced anywhere.
So why not take a solo trip to someplace inspiring, and spend a few days or weeks focusing on creativity? You might just find it’s what you’ve needed all this time.
Don’t be afraid to venture into the unknown
The idea of solo travel can be intimidating. But think about all the possibilities it offers. Learn about the world, learn about yourself. Use this time to discover and heal, and come back from your trip enlightened and inspired. Yes, you’ll come back different, but the changes you make through self-discovery can only be for the better.