Travel Tuesday - Traveling Solo

by - September 05, 2017

Costa Rica

Welcome back from the long weekend.  I hope you all enjoyed yourselves, I know I did.  On Monday my husband and I updated our front yard a little, making room for autumn decor and plants.  We also spent a good amount of time talking about future home projects and how to balance the budget so that we can still travel at the same time.  It's tough that's for sure.  The whole conversation got me thinking about the time in my life when I traveled alone quit often.  In my twenties I traveled solo a lot because I could not find friends who had an interest in traveling or the budget for it and I did not want that to hold me back.  I've always been independent and I love being alone so I started with small trips to places within the United States.  I went to Florida several times, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia before I decide to go overseas.  My first overseas trip was to Argentina and the second was to Mexico.  I don't have a lot of photos from any of my earlier trips because smart phones were not around yet and in Argentina I lost my camera in a club, of course.  But I have the memories and the life lessons that will always be a part of me.  I highly suggest traveling alone sometime within the many years we have on this earth, even the small, quick trips taught me a lot about life, people and myself, things that I might not have learned if I had traveled with someone else.  Here's a couple of things that traveling solo has taught me:

1. Problem Solving and Self Reliance
When all you have is yourself to rely on in an unknown place it can be challenging.  Simple problems like getting around or finding a place to get food becomes solely your responsibility with no one to bounce ideas off of.  And large problems can really test your strength and patience, like what to do if you've missed a connection or if you loose your wallet.  Over coming these challenges has helped me in my day to day life and has given me the confidence to know that will make it through any life challenges ahead.  That leads me to number two...


2. Self Confidence
Traveling alone has given me the confidence to like myself.  I learned this lesson for the first time on a solo trip I took to Florida one winter.  I stayed at a nice hotel and went to the beach and pool almost every day.  At first I was lonely and spent the first two nights of my vacation in my room alone and bored.  I was beginning to regret the trip when somehow I started to met people and then I was making plans to met up with them later and do things like go out dancing or have dinner.  It was great, I realized that all I had to do was say hi and start a conversation.  It was so simple but life changing at the same time, like wow, these strangers think I'm nice, funny and interesting, they like me, I'm likable.  

3. Make New Friends
Remember when we were kids and making friends was as simple as being in the same class at school, I miss that.  Making friends as an adult takes a lot more effort than those classroom days.  If you want to met new people and make new friends you have to put yourself out there and open yourself up to rejection.  Making new friends also requires you to be a good listener and conversationalist, it's a great test of social skills to strike up a conversation with a stranger and really ry to get to know them.  Making new friends has also made me appreciate the many different types of people in this world.  Just because we are different or come from different circumstances doesn't mean that we can't be friends.  In my travels I have met and kept in touch with new friends who seemingly don't have anything in common with me but we made the conscious effort to get to know each other and formed a travel bond. 


4. Gratitude
Traveling in general has really opened my eyes to how much I have to be grateful for.  But traveling alone has showed me how lucky I am to have so many amazing people in my life.  Many times while traveling alone I've felt lonely and it was comforting to pick up the phone and call my family or friends and chat a little.  Even a quick text helped to alleviate the feeling of loneliness.  My family especially has always been super supportive of my travel journeys and always there when I really needed them.  And my friends have always been very excited to hear about my travels and listen to my stories.  It's an wonderful feeling to come home from vacation and see friends and family that are excited to see you and to realize how much you missed them because they really are wonderful people.

Thank you for reading and have a great day!

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