Every one of us is dreaming of traveling places before we turn 30. We all have that travel bug itching us to wander foreign cities and experience their culture. In fact, it is one of the common things that people do when they have free time or off from work in this generation. It is like it is a must do on everyone’s list especially to single people like me. But what about trying to travel S-O-L-O? That’s right solo, with no one with you but just you, yourself and only you.
And last few months I had an opportunity to plunge in that idea. I had the chance to travel for the first time outside of my country. Yes, you heard that right first time to travel internationally and I’m completely alone. Though I did stay at My Aunt’s place but I traveled cities alone like legit S-O-L-O. I got to voyage not within the Asian continents but to my “ultimate dream” place to visit, the Europe. I know it was so thrilling and I’m still on cloud nine while writing this.
Paris, Brussels, South Holland were the 3 places I got to visit last month. But the catch to explore these places was I totally traveled them alone. It was exciting and scary for me for it was my first time to be outside the country I have been in the last 26 years and I will be traveling alone and only rely on my best friend google maps. But I thought if I don’t take this opportunity and will regret in the future of course. So, I pushed back all my fears and doubts to take the trip and applied for my Schengen Visa.
It was a realization for me that I don’t want to live in the future thinking about the what-ifs or the things I could have done. I just thought I can do it and God will be there for me to make me safe along with my journey.
Traveling alone taught me few things in life and here are some indispensable lessons that I have learned from wandering solo:
YOU LEARN TO LISTEN TO YOUR INSTINCT
When I traveled those cities alone, the only person I can rely on is me, myself and I. I got to learn to trust my instinct and divert my instinct where to go, what street to take, what hotel to book, where to eat and what to see or do.
Traveling alone requires a built-in navigation system in your body that you can never find in google maps. It’s a wise instinct trusting your body where to go and explore places.
YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT TO DO
Traveling with someone can take your time on exploring places for you have to both agree on places to see. You have to take turns on taking the shower and remind your buddy to move his/her ass for your going to be late for your flight. And the perks of traveling solo were the opposite of everything I just said above.
You got to follow your own personalized itinerary and you can pick what to see first without arguing with someone what is better. I have booked some free city tours during my trip but I always end up to ditch them, for the moment the tour will start I was all done snapping pictures and exploring places they are just about to go to. I end up sitting in a café enjoying a coffee and observing the foreign faces around me.
I’m not an anti-social; I just like doing things my own way.
YOU GET TO MEET YOURSELF
Oh, what a great feeling to have long walks and just enjoy the picturesque scene of Paris. With the cold wind touching your skin, with your earphones on playing your favorite song, you got to meet yourself along the way.
Traveling solo gave me an amazing opportunity to be away from all the noise and drama for a while. To be someone that nobody knows, to be a stranger in a foreign place and to find yourself from the other side of the world. I got to reconnect with myself, it flamed my passion for writing while I'm enjoying the sight of Eiffel Tower. It let me breathe from all the pressures in life and enjoy who I am for the moment.
YOU GAIN CONFIDENCE
Traveling solo gives you the opportunity to prove yourself that you can do things alone. It was all about gaining experiences by stepping outside of your comfort zone. It also helps you to show people that you can be awesomely independent and confident in your own skin.
Figuring out the metro system or learning to order even though you can’t understand what was written on the menu gives you to increase your trust to yourself to make decisions. It’s about putting yourself out there and let yourself gain knowledge and wisdom in unfamiliar ways. Travelling made me believe that I have the ability to navigate life within God’s guiding hands.
YOU GET TO EXPERIENCE A NEW WAY OF BEING
How exciting it was for an Asian girl coming from a tropical country to experience a cold weather in a European city. Of course, it was a huge excitement for me for I got to wear coats, turtleneck sweaters, and winter boots. At first, it was really uncomfortable, it felt like I was in a freezer but I got used to it after few days.
Travelling opens you to experience a new way of living even just for a while. It gives us a chance to experience different weather, different food, culture and different transportation system. And that makes us understand that there are so much to see and explore in this world.
YOU GET TO MEET NEW PEOPLE
Traveling solo doesn’t mean you will be alone forever. Rather, it is a great way to meet new people along the journey or people coming from your own hometown. When I traveled Paris and Brussels I got to meet fellow Asian who showed me around Brussels and my old friend Pearl and her French boyfriend who showed me around Paris for a day. Also, I got to meet fellow Filipinos too, there were some group of grandmothers who are traveling Brussels like lost teenagers, a couple who are currently living in Paris and two Titas of Manila who was exploring Paris too.
DISTANCE MAKES YOU APPRECIATE YOUR FAMILY MORE
They say distance makes your heart ponder and even though I was just away for just a month I realized that I want to let my family experience what I was feeling right there when I was having the time of my life. I suddenly want to treat them for a travel too and let them have a chance to enjoy life more.
DISTANCE TEACHES US THAT SOME PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE AREN’T WORTH KEEPING
Travelling taught me how to let go and put yourself out in the wild. It taught me that being away from some people in my life are not worth keeping. Distance teaches us to learn to move on and stop holding back on something that doesn’t make you feel good or as a better person. Travelling is like an awakening that you can do so much better in life and you don’t need people that make you feel crap.
Traveling solo has transformed me into a better version of myself. I have started seeing life in a different angle and in an interesting lens. I have realized that there is so much to see and experience on this Earth. God truly is an amazing Creator and He always surprises us with unexpected blessings. So, if your soul is asking you to travel alone listen to it and book that trip and have the journey of your life. You will never regret that you did. Travelling does not just give us opportunities to see amazing places that are Instagram-worthy but it also teaches us to see the world in a new perspective and to trust yourself that you are capable of walking life alone passionately.
Published by Tina Maria