Some parents raise their children to be independent from early childhood onward. Even children who don’t have parents like that develop some independence as they become adults. It’s an inevitable part of growing up.
Developing independence is easy for some people. Others, however, don’t become truly independent until they learn the ability later in life.
It doesn’t matter which group you’re in. But if you avoid learning to be independent as an adult, you may be creating serious problems for yourself. If you can’t stand up for yourself in business or romance or travel, you may be heading for big disappointments.
Traveling Solo Can Help
If you’ve decided to do some long-term traveling, then you may already have developed an independent streak. In fact, friends and family might have told you that you’re too independent for your own good.
Don’t listen to them. The only way you can be too independent is if your independence is at the expense of other people. Independence is self-reliance, not freedom to take advantage of others.
Traveling with a friend is challenging – blaming each other for missed trains, agreeing where to go, and so on. But you might love that you never have to take full responsibility for any mistakes.
But traveling solo takes away your chance to share the blame for wrong decisions. No, you have to take full responsibility for all the experiences that don’t turn out exactly how you’d hoped, but also for everything great that happens.
And you can bet that the wonderful events will far outnumber the unpleasant ones.
Find Out More About Yourself
Some people have the mistaken idea that being vulnerable is the most challenging part of traveling solo. But actually, the seemingly simple decisions about what to do next, where to go next, how long to stay, etc, are the real problems.
Not having to compromise with anyone else on travel decisions can be freeing, but it can also be exhausting. When you have no one to bounce ideas off, you have to dig deep into yourself to understand what your real preference is.
You have to be honest with yourself. If you don’t want to visit the site that everyone says is an absolute must, then you don’t have to go there. But first, you have to acknowledge that you don’t care what everyone else says.
You will end up learning a lot about what you really like and what you don’t. You’ll learn to trust your own judgment.
Personal Development Can Be the Result
There are some people who grew up not really understanding how they fit into society. They felt nervous about pretty much everything. But sometimes something astounding happens to some of these nervous nellies.
Elise, for example, was a shy and nervous kid. She did well in school because she preferred doing schoolwork than socializing with other kids her age. Despite her shyness, she expected that life would eventually open up into something beautiful.
After graduation from college, she got a good job as an accountant in a big firm. If you had asked her friends or family, they would have told you that she was on the right track and right where she belonged.
Beneath the surface, though, Elise had continued to feel like a misfit. Unbeknownst to her friends and family, Elise was dissatisfied with the life she was leading. And her job felt like a noose tightening around her neck.
One day, she decided to save as much money as she could over the next six months, then quit her job, and take off traveling. To her friends and family, the decision seemed very sudden, but actually, Elise had been heading in this direction for quite some time.
No one ever expected Elise would take off traveling solo. But she did and had never regretted it. She was nervous at first, but developed an amazing amount of self-reliance as she came to know herself better and became confident of her decisions.
You Can Be Like Your Favourite Travel Blogger
As you travel solo and make your own decisions, you will learn to trust your own judgment and not to second guess yourself. You’ll develop great strength in deciding for yourself and not relying on anyone else to help make decisions.
When you do this, you build healthy self-esteem, you become a stronger person, and you become the type of person that others look up to. This will carry over into all areas of your life – not just when traveling.
Before you venture out on a solo trip, practice doing things on your own. Eat at a restaurant, visit an art gallery, or attend a movie alone. Don’t be afraid to go anywhere alone!
Take walks alone. Go to the park alone, sit on a bench and read a book. Go to the beach alone and listen to the waves. Make your own life an adventure, independent of anyone else.
On your solo trip, you will get bored sometimes. You will feel lonely. That’s the same thing that happens when you’re not traveling. But those feelings will pass and you’ll do something brave or new and have fun.
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