RRI woke up on a new year morning and the first thought I had was “How about travelling solo in 2016”? “Haven't you been wanting to do this for a long time”?
“But hey, who will click my pictures if I go solo”? Alright inner voices, clam down, is all I could say it to myself!
I won't deny that I am petrified at the idea of packing my bags and travelling alone, but as said “If you like to travel with yourself, you are never alone”.
I have questioned myself so many times whether will I learn something by travelling alone and it won't be a lie if I say that the answer is yes.
So why I feel that solo travel is the way to go. Here's take:
1. Spend time with yourself:
In this busy life, we do not have time for ourselves and we are usually lost in following our daily chores. I do not think I have paid attention to my thoughts except when I am alone. There comes a time when we need to figure out trivial things that define us. For me, ‘Travelling’ works as a rescue operation and the idea of travelling “solo” just adds up to my happiness.
Solo travelling gives time to spend with own self - my time, my adventure and my little solo world.
2. Follow your interests:
When you are travelling in a group you are constantly exploring places which “everybody” wants. Out all places, some of the places may not interest you but you ‘HAVE’ to see and stick to your group and see those places too.
I have gradually learnt that I am not a museum enthusiast and I have been visiting museums all these years wondering why am I here? I would prefer to spend my time in nature’s magnificence rather than staring at art pieces which fail to appeal me.
On a solo trip, you are the boss and you choose the place which you think will make you stop during your journey, resulting in your happiness.
The joy of travelling alone is that I can explore a destination at my pace. I can leisurely spend my time may be even at a cafe without anyone hurrying me up for next museum visit.
3. Combat your fear:
It's kind of easy to get entangled in a sphere of your fear. This is the thing that keeps many people away from travelling. It has kept me away too!
The constant fear of being uncertain, alone and other emotions may hound you. However, I have realised that my desire to explore new places alone has now started fighting against my fear and I so want to win this battle! “Everything you want is on the other side of Fear - Jack Canfield”
You will realise how far can you walk? What are your limits? How an uncomfortable situation will calm you.
4. Bonding with new people:
Travelling with friends or a significant other is lot of fun. However, usually if we are in a group or with a partner, we tend to prefer to be around familiar faces? While, you are on a solo trip, you are much more open to meet new people, interact and make travel buddies. Meeting new people exposes you to new horizon. Chances are, other people you meet travelling alone are going to incredibly INTERESTING people!
5. Familiarise with unfamiliarity:
I constantly think as to how will it feel to be in an unfamiliar surroundings, unfamiliar people? I paused and thought that as a kid did we not attend our first day in the school with the sense of unfamiliarity? Gradually, we coped up and started enjoying every bit of it. If we could do that as a kid i.e. to learn to embrace unfamiliarity then as an adult how can we miss it?
Moreover, with only backpack for your company on your trip, aren't you challenging yourself? Facing challenges make you stronger and responsible.
6. Sense of complete freedom and independence:
The most important thing for me will be that I will learn to use maps! If you are like me, I am constantly dependent on other when it comes to navigating trips or showing directions. But, when when you are travelling alone, you have to be observant about your surroundings, learn to use maps, public transportation. Basically, you will have to be on your own. No matter how whacky it may be, you give yourself permission to introspect yourself and do what you wish to.
This afresh freedom and independence comes with confidence of knowing that you are responsible and as it is known, with freedom comes great responsibility.
7. Be new you:
Nobody has changed by doing same things every day for year to years. One has to learn new skills, do new things, take risks and evolve in life. Experience things that has never happened to you and transform yourself in to “new” you. The beauty of solo travel is that there will a constant discovery of one’s self that one may not be able to recognise during a group travel.
In the end, I truly believe that being alone is not equivalent to being lonely. I love my “me” time and I truly value it. Life is too short to hold off on doing things that matter to you.
Travelling alone is the single best gift you can give it to yourself.
I am ready to take the plunge this year, are you?