I remember some random day about this time of the year about 2 years ago when solo traveling came into my mind. I don’t remember where I got the idea but it struck me all of sudden. Nine months later, at one cold night, I found myself standing outside London St. Pancras Station, all alone after 30 hours journey with my 20 kilos suitcase and looking forward to spend a whole month visiting beautiful places all by myself.
Solo travel might sounds scary and intimidating. But at the end of the day, the experience you got is more than worth it. Here’s some of the things that made me a better person after going places on my own.
Being alone thousand miles from home is not easy. You are forced to stop depending on anybody else but you. You need to master the maps and navigation, you need to figure out how the public transports operate, you need to be able to speak (at least) English, and in the same time you need to be aware of your surroundings because nobody’s got your back. Once you get back home safe and sound, you’ll realise you can take care of yourself and be more independent than ever.
Capable To Make Decision
Traveling alone means you need to make all decisions by yourself. Small decisions such as where to eat, where to go next, what time you need to wake up, should you take metro or bus or walk, and other simple things like that need to be decided. After some time doing that, you’ll find yourself capable to make decisions faster and responsible for any decisions you made.
Boost Your Confident
In my experience, the worst thing that happened was falling down the stairs at Sacré Cœur on my first day in Paris and taken to hospital by ambulance. The paramedics couldn’t speak English and the only French word I know was “bonjour”! But I kept in mind that everything’s gonna be okay and it turned out so!
Not every journey will be as smooth as silk. Sometimes shit happens and when it happens you need to be ready and face it in a smart way. The key is to have a positive mind in every situation. After facing some obstacles along the way, solved every single problem, and control the situations, you’ll find yourself to have more confident, because you know you can rely on yourself.
Make New Friends from Around The World
Traveling solo doesn’t necessarily mean that you are completely alone the whole time. Just be open and you’ll meet a lot people from across the globe.
In a month traveling, I made friends with American lady; 2 boys from New Zealand who took their roommates to “coffee shop” which apparently the place to smoke weed in Amsterdam (Sorry mum! I swear I didn’t try that, but I wish I did! LOL!). I met a lot of Brazilian boys (one of them still keep a small gift from me on his bedside table in Brazil!); some Korean, Thailand, and Canadian girls; Venezuelan girl and Brazilian boy who travelled with their mums; French people whose name I can’t even pronounced; also some fellow Indonesians!
The best part about traveling isn’t just about the places but also the people you met along the way.
I find myself to be more grateful when I travel solo. Just because I’m on my own, I appreciate every little things people do for me more than I usually do. A simple greeting or small talk after several days without talking to anybody felt like water in the desert. A pair of hands that helped me lift my luggage without being asked, somebody who gave up their seat for me on a metro, an Austrian police officer who tried so hard giving direction in English so I could find the Sound of Music Tour, a French dad who went down and up both 300 stairs to call a help when I fell down at Sacré Cœur. They all made me grateful for those little things they did. It’s true that people seems to be more kind and helpful when you’re on your own.
Last but not least, the best thing about solo travel is you only need to do whatever you want to do! You don’t need anybody’s permission to do something you desire. In my case it includes having breakfast at Speedy Cafe (Sherlock Serial) and eat some cupcakes from my favourite YouTuber’s bakery in London; Ride a brake-less bicycle and see loads of tulips in Amsterdam; Go to Disney Castle and watch a Bayern München game in Germany; Choose to visit Florence rather than Venice because I like “Inferno” by Dan Brown; Eat a lot of churros in Spain, gelatos in Italy, and crepes in France; Climbing up the Eiffel Tower in Paris and La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.
Everybody has their personal obsessions, things they like, things they wanna see and try and it’s easier to accomplish all of it if you’re going all alone. You can take as long as you want to be in places that you love without fear to bore your partner or you can just go back to your hotel to take a nap without feeling guilty that you’re wasting somebody’s time.
In my opinion, everybody should travel solo at least once in their life. If you’re like me, always want to learn and see new things, dare to challenge yourself to the limit, curious about what’s going on in the other side of the planet, and willing to go outside your comfort zone, then by all mean go for it and you won’t regret it!
But for some people who may feel uncomfortable even for just sitting alone in a cafe, taking a solo trip must be a completely crazy frightening idea for you. A deep research and solid knowledge about your destinations will help you along the way. Imagine if you accomplish such a scary thing like that, you must be able to handle your life better, face your fears, and life to the fullest.
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