“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow” -Anita Desai
If you have ever traveled outside of the country before, then you’re familiar with the captivating power that travel can have on your life. The impulse to grab a suitcase, pack your bags and book a flight to a new adventure seems to never leave you. When you travel, you not only get to appreciate a new place, you also gain a new sense of perspective- coming home with a new way of seeing the world.
Traveling solo can seem like a terrifying idea if you’ve never traveled on your own before. You have to rely entirely on yourself as well as your instincts, and you have to be as open as you can to meeting new people and stepping outside of your comfort zone. I’m a shy introverted person so this has always been a challenge for me, but I can say that taking a solo backpacking trip out West was one of the best decisions I ever could have made for myself. Solo traveling can be an amazing experience of self discovery if you have the right mindset, so I’ve made a list of a few things to consider before taking the step to solo travel!
1. You are okay with spending time alone– this may seem silly, but not all people like spending longer periods of time on their own. Think of the last time you had some time on your own and how you felt during it. Were you relaxed, happy, upset? If you can’t think of a time where you were alone and content with it, maybe you should take a bit of time to yourself and see how well you do before going on a solo trip.
2. You’re not afraid to talk to strangers- when you travel solo, you will soon learn that getting lost is just part of the adventure! Getting lost means that you will inevitably have to ask strangers you’ve never met before for help or directions. Most people are often eager to help and really kind, but building up the courage to speak to strangers is something you will definitely have to do!
3. You can handle a few setbacks- Maybe few is a bit of an understatement because believe me, things will not always go according to plan. You might find yourself on a subway heading in the entirely opposite direction, frustrated and on the verge of tears in the middle of a confusing new city. These things happen, but they’re all part of the experience and make your successes that much more gratifying.
4. You’re open to meeting new friends- If you stay at hostels I can guarantee you that you will meet so many interesting people from around the world, but only if you’re open to it. Be outgoing, introduce yourself to fellow travelers, or have breakfast with someone who’s on their own- you never know what might come of it!