Most people think traveling solo is scary, lonely and nerve wracking. But think about it. Why would I (and all these other girls) want to travel on my own if all I’d feel is scared, lonely, and nervous?
So if you’re getting what I’m putting down, that’s not how I (or all these other girls) feel when traveling by myself AKA when I’m exploring new lands, going on cultural adventures, connecting with people I just met and reflecting on what I want in life.
I TRAVEL SOLO BECAUSE IT MAKES ME FEEL ALIVE
Just last night I overheard someone on a bus in Nicaragua say, “Traveling like this is addicting.” What they’re talking about is the feeling. The amazing mix of feelings you have when traveling alone and being the master of yourself. It is hard to replicate. It makes you glow, then want more.
Traveling solo has given me so many experiences and stories but what I love (and what is most impactful) is how it makes me feel.
IT MAKES ME FEEL COURAGEOUS
Every new country I visit puts me outside my comfort zone. I don’t know how transportation works, what the cultural nuances are and I’m a little nervous, but I don’t let it stop me. Instead, I figure it out through trial and error. I use my nerves as a tool, like a gauge, and push through the fear. I do the same thing when I’m traveling between countries, doing a particularly adventurous excursion or anything slightly scary to me. On top of pushing through and feeling brave, I learn to not hold myself back from anything.
IT MAKES ME FEEL STRONG AND CONFIDENT
What comes with being courageous is feeling damn strong. I’ve hiked up to a village by myself because I wanted to see it, had to figure out how to get from Costa Rica to Nicaragua by local transportation, and negotiated with locals in street markets. After all that, I feel like I can handle anything. I can do or fix whatever I put my focus on. There’s an air of confidence after doing things like this on your own.
IT MAKES ME FEEL FREE
There’s no other way to put it. Traveling solo is like a break from life. It is completely liberating. I can do whatever I want when I want. I can go explore, stay in and read, go out, go to sleep early, leave a city early or stay extra days. Through this I learn more about what I like, what I can tolerate and what I can’t deal with. Without anyone to answer to, I’m free to be me.
IT MAKES ME FEEL CONNECTED
When I’m not with friends, I’m more of a people watcher. My eyes are open to whats going on around me and my spirit is open to striking up conversations. I feel present and appreciative. That positive energy always ends up attracting spontaneous conversations, which I love because there are no strings attached. I may never see that person again, so the conversation is honest and without filters. I’ve talked about love, loss, heartbreak, politics, and sexuality; and this is with people I’ve known a few hours or days! Traveling paves a way for deeper, meaningful connections and it’s so human. It’s like humanity in raw form.
IT MAKES ME FEEL WISE
After so many random, special, meaningful experiences with others and myself, I can’t help but feel grateful. I feel grateful for learning my limits, pushing them, and knowing what makes me happy. I feel appreciative for what I have back home. And I remember what’s important to me— family, friends and a meaningful, passionate, purpose-filled life.
That’s why I love solo travel.
I love it for how it makes me feel. I love that it continues to influence my life long after my trip is over. And I really love its power to transform girls; to encourage them to live confident, adventurous and courageous lives. I hope you chose to travel solo some day soon and feel what it’s like.