Friday, August 19, 2016

Travel Alone

I think travelling alone at least once should be on everyones bucket list. I have been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to travel alone a few times, often because of diabetes conferences.   While travelling alone can seem daunting to some, I think it's important to do at least once (or more!) and here is why:

1. You learn more about yourself and your capabilities 

Trust me when I say that when I was younger I did not want to leave my mother's side [Ask Mom!] I was constantly checking to see where she was and I am pretty sure she was about ready to seek me some professional help if I didn't grow out of my attachment issues.  Obviously, I have and [phew!] but my mom always notes how crazy it is that I went from her shadow to the globe-trotter I am now. When you are on your own and especially in a foreign place, you learn what you're comfortable doing and most importantly how far you're able to push out of your comfort zone.  It's all up to you, there is no one pushing you to take the scenic route, zip line alone though the rain forest, or take a sketchy train through Compton, that's your choice and when you choose to do something with your full power, it gives you a better understanding of yourself and your capabilities.

2. You have no other choice but to hang out with yourself or make new friends 

San Diego 2016
We all know that when we travel with friends and family we tend to hang around friends and family 24/7 during the trip, maybe not all as a group but rarely do we break off and do our own thing for a long period of time. When you travel alone you're kind of forced to either sit alone or make new friends.   Personally, I tend to sit alone, and take the time to really connect with myself - meaning that I give myself time to write, take in the scenery, tour around the city I am in or really listen to what I need. You will find you're chatting to more people around you, the waitress, the bar tender, the lady lounging by the pool,  you make friends along the way, even if only for a short period.

3. You grow up a little 

I am 26, so clearly, I've over the whole "when I grow up" but travelling keeps you humble and encourages growth and education.   I believe regardless if you're travelling alone or travelling with a friend/family member you grow and learn, but there is something different about travelling alone. Having experienced both, quite a few times, each time I come back from a trip alone, I feel like I have a better grip of reality, something that comes only from exploring alone.

Hopefully you add 'travel alone' to your bucket-list after reading this.  Of course I understand people's concerns with travelling alone - in particular safety. I have put myself in some-what [could have been] dangerous situations travelling alone, so that is a real fear, but at the same time, living in fear can be incredibly limiting.  I choose to fear less but be aware of my surroundings and learn from my mistakes [i.e don't walk around at night alone, know where you're going and your surroundings and have access to a cell phone etc.]

Would love to hear from others who have travelled alone before!


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