Solo travel is one of the most transformative experiences for the over-hustled soul. It's multisensory therapy that effectively grounds every person who dares to leave their significant other or best friends on the other side of the world. If you can't shake the deep-rooted feeling of lacking something in your life — whether that be fulfillment, happiness, or direction — these are the 10 ways solo travel squashed that and made me more confident and ready for life.
1. I Learned to Trust in All My Relationships
Trust issues often originate from the fear of something or someone being taken away from you. When you put thousands of miles between yourself and your most meaningful relationships, it's quickly discovered that they can survive abysmal WiFi connections, weeks without contact, and missed birthdays. Not only do the ones worth nurturing survive, but they often grow stronger with distance.
2. It Brought Perspective to Problems (Both Big and Small)
The anxieties that you feel in your day-to-day environment suddenly aren't monumental when you're standing next to a new ocean watching the waves crash against the shore. People who bring toxic energy to your life suddenly have no effect on you when you realize your emotional strength should be invested in making a child in an impoverished village feel full again. Making money doesn't seem as tricky when you witness a culture living in complete happiness despite the absence of it. Solo travel teaches you that your problems aren't always big, they're simply out of perspective.
3. Independence Has Nothing to Do With Relationship Status
Independence is a gift that we should maintain and demand respect for our entire life, as personal dreams (not only shared ones) are what keeps the world progressing. Whether you're single or married to the love of your life, the right relationship will foster an environment for personal growth and solo travel shouldn't be off the itinerary. Scheduling regular solo escapes to both new and beloved destinations should be a ritual and will give you the solo time you need to reconnect with your priorities.
4. A Diverse Social Circle Is the Strongest
Even if your idea of a good night is to curl up with a bowl of popcorn and a new episode of Game of Thrones (which I promise, you'll still want to do abroad), you will make friends and forge lifelong connections in places you never expected. Being able to connect with people across different cultural, socioeconomic, and geographical backgrounds will not only make you feel immeasurably more confident in your social skills, but will enrich your life in ways you never fathomed.
5. Out of Comfort Zone Is the Best Zone
Diving into a situation, experience, or destination that is beyond our comfort zone has the amazing ability to serve as an unapologetic reflection of our true characters. The strengths you possess while traveling solo will awe you. The flaws and prejudices you harbored without realizing will shock you and instantly ignite a flame for becoming a better version of yourself.
6. Beauty Can Be Found Everywhere
The experiences which involve the least amount of luxury transform our relationship with what we deem beautiful. I once stayed in a hotel on an island where power outages were more common than not. The first time my air conditioner gave out, I was so focused on how uncomfortable it was. When I slowed down my thoughts, however, I realized there was a heavenly ocean breeze rustling the palms outside. I opened my window, and it was the best night of sleep I ever had.
7. The World Is Big, and We Need to Be a Big Part of It
When you realize how vast the world is, you'll want to be a bigger part of it. Whether that means volunteering abroad and giving back to the global community or simply booking a one-way flight to Italy to live out your own Tuscan life, there is no guilt to be had when realizing you want to experience and give back to the world in a way that goes beyond your own backyard.
8. You Can Make It Everywhere, and It Doesn't Need to Involve a Desk Job
Once you see the world, you realize that life isn't quite as vibrant when it's tied to one place. In today's ever-so-increasingly remote workplace, skills and experience can easily be applied abroad. Millennials are masters of the side hustle and that trend isn't going anywhere. Be creative with how you make money and don't fall for the notion that professional dreams must be nurtured in a corporate atmosphere — entrepreneurship is a beautiful thing.
9. Self-Made Decisions Are the Best Decisions
Decisions are hard (especially when it comes to dinner), but when you have to choose between a dozens of different literal and figurative routes every day, you learn to trust your instincts. Even when your choices lead to a less-than-spectacular experience, trusting your gut is always the scenic route to building character.
10. You'll Discover What You Want to Give to the World (and What You Don't)
Traveling grounds you. It teaches you who you are and, if that's not the person you want to be, delivers you with a fire to make change. Experiencing your character in the backdrops of different global landscapes will ignite dreams and passions you never knew you had — and once your wanderlust takes over, you'll have the confidence to transform those discoveries into the life of your dreams.
For more travel inspiration, be sure to visit The Modern Jetsetter, a luxury travel website dedicated to inspiring wanderlust for Italy and New York City.