It is possible to come to understanding oneself through traveling. To travel alone can be a daunting idea for many people. The very thought, while intriguing, raises questions and concerns.
Understanding Oneself Through Traveling
Thoughts about loneliness, safety, competence hit you from all sides as you begin the process of deciding if the solo adventure is your cup of tea. Give this trip a careful consideration. This may be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for your entire life, regardless of your age, to find out who you really are and what you are able to accomplish on your own. Are you up to the challenge? Can you manage, coordinate, decide, console, care for, be a companion to yourself? Traveling alone is a sure way to answer all those questions and learn a lot more about who you really are.
Uncover your own strengths and weaknesses
A trip like this will not only teach you about the rest of the world, but will also uncover your own strengths and weaknesses you may never have known you possessed. When you travel solo, your opportunities both to reach beyond your comfort zone and to more closely observe your own inner workings are intensified. The experiences of doing the planning are revealing in themselves. Taking the time to evaluate different carriers and alternate destinations, determining and waiting for the best time to take off on your adventure all showcase your patience and clear thinking. Research in advance of your trip will have worthwhile payoffs and can easily be done through booksellers like Barnes and Noble, where you will find a wide selection of offerings that deal with both the countries you may visit and also your interest in learning more about yourself, your abilities and your challenges. By combining the resources with the promo codes and coupons available online, you will add more value to your travels.
One thing you will soon test, no doubt, is your ability to be patient. Waiting hours for an overdue flight can almost be a party when you’re with friends. On your own, it’s a challenge to your patience, your ability to entertain yourself and maintain a state of calm. In dealing with strangers while a lonely traveler, you may find yourself exercising patience in your responses, remembering nobody “has your back.” You are now “the alien.” In any event, you will be enduring it alone unless you can reach out and connect with strangers. This could be the first step for a retiring individual to start opening up to the world around him.
One offshoot of being patient is recognizing priorities. You’ll no doubt become more skillful at recognizing whether something really matters right now. Knowing what is truly important versus what just seems crucial at the moment will give you wisdom that will enhance your patience and your decision-making. Learning to identify those things that can be let go, or set aside is a valuable experience to grow you as a person.
Perhaps you’re someone who has often second-guessed your choices. This sense of insecurity, of lack of confidence in your abilities, will begin to disappear as you build a resume of decisions you’ve made on your travels. As you review the compilation, you’ll recognize that, on your own, without consulting with friends or companions, you have made many good, effective choices. You’ve traveled in lands with different languages, different cultures, different attitudes. Most of all, you’ve done it successfully, and any mishaps along the way have become stepping stones for enhancing your self-confidence.
Another freeing aspect of this kind of travel is the changes you will find yourself exhibiting as you determine just how much of your “stuff” you actually need in order to live comfortably. Putting everything in your backpack, not having a buddy to help you hoist a crammed suitcase to an upper rack, not having enough hands to grab all your carry-ons at once will bring you to a point of no return. You will have to sit down and evaluate – yes, ascribe relative value to – all the things you believed you couldn’t survive without. Then shed the many things you’ll find yourself suddenly able to leave behind with little remorse. Such sorting can become a money-saving lifelong routine.
As you make daily choices, both large and small, you may see the real you emerging. Now absent group – think during your solo journey, your own true preferences will become more apparent. You will truly become your own person, possibly for the first time ever. As you define yourself, you could be watching the rest of your life change. Thinking for yourself, by yourself, and of yourself (it’s okay) will open you to new experiences and feelings. Perhaps the previously chatty you will become a better listener as you are intent on learning how things work in strange places. If you were the quiet, shy type you will now be forced to step forward, ask for directions, make your needs known. Whatever the case, you are not at all likely to return from solo travel exactly the same person you were before you undertook the adventure.
Be warned, however, that a weekend in the Bahamas with its compatible culture and familiar language isn’t going to be a life-changing event. All the growth in your path to self-discovery will be incremental. Finding your inner self doesn’t happen overnight and it may require repeated travels on your own, longer times spent on the road or in an unfamiliar location to peel back the layers under which “you” have been hiding.
Learning to adjust
And don’t embark gaily on a trek across the Himalayas without the sobering realization that it isn’t all going to be smooth sailing. Despite your plans, your forethought, your hopes and dreams, adversity does arise. That’s what this is all about, isn’t it? Not just enjoying the sunny, carefree days, but being able to weather the storms that living inevitably seems to stir up. It is knowing these things are bound to happen and believing in your ability to deal confidently with whatever you encounter that encourages the emergence of the you that is stronger and functionally smarter.
It is widely stated that travel is broadening. While that is absolutely true, the more important truth is that travel should be deepening. Traveling alone should take you into the depths of yourself, learning who you are, understanding who you want to be, and picking up the tools to make that happen.