Why You Should Try Travelling Alone
It's been three months now since I packed my bag and left safety back home in Sydney. Although I haven't been travelling all alone for all of the three moths I have spent a lot of time by myself. In January I travelled around the North Island of New Zealand alone and stayed as much as I could with friends. In February my boyfriend joined me to explore to South Island and in March we moved on to Bali. I had company for the first week and a half and now I'm by myself until the end of the month.
Although it's nice to have someone with you on the journey, I've can honestly say that I've created some of the happiest travel memories from the times I've been on my own. Travelling alone is a challenge in many ways, but also very rewarding. To put it out in an easy way - every day is a blank canvas that YOU get to paint.
Travelling alone shapes you and forces you to grow as a person on so many levels. I don't think I could fit it all in one blogpost, although I wish I could tell you all about it. I will at least try and scrape the surface of some things and share some of my own travel experiences with you. All in all I don't think you can truly understand what it's really like until you've actually travelled alone.
Firstly I'd like to talk about being comfortable being in your own company. If you are someone who always surrounds themselves with friends this can be quite hard in the beginning. Take all the time you need. I personally crave a lot of alone time and I get exhausted if I constantly hang around other people, so I guess this part is easier for people like me.
See this as your chance to get to know yourself better. Hang out in places you like and do things that you want to do. Start to tear down the walls you've built up around you and your image and truly let yourself explore who you are. It takes time to find what's deep within, but it will slowly make its way to the surface. Maybe try new things that you have never done before. When you challenge yourself you will learn something new about yourself as well.
I do understand why a lot of people go travelling to find themselves. You have a lot of time to think and reflect about yourself. Usually you're so caught up in jut pleasing others that you might not be listening to your inner voice. The only voice you have to listen to now is your own. Please make sure it's a kind voice. You're on holiday and you should be able to enjoy yourself, not being talked down. You have to be your own best friend. And remember that you are the boss now and this is the beauty of travelling by yourself.
You will have to learn to get out of your comfort zone. There will be plenty of situations when you just want to run and hide, but trust me it's better to just face whatever the situation might be. Maybe you don't want to sit alone in a restaurant and have dinner? Just do it. Or maybe you're too scared to sign up for a surfing lesson or a day trip because you'd be attending alone. Just do it. Whatever it is do it.
I've challenged myself a lot of times during my three moths of travels. I've stayed in hostels by myself. I've signed up on day tours not knowing anyone else on the bus, but still ended up enjoying it all. I've picked out places I want to see and made my own way to these destinations. I've carried my own backpack. I've been trying to get the price down whilst buying dresses on markets, which I still hate doing, but I get better each time I try. I think this list could go on for quite a while, but you get the point.
Then there's the part when you actually start noticing other people around you and making conversations with strangers. Sometimes these strangers turn into real friends. I think this part is often left out when you're travelling with someone else because you're so comfortable in the friendship bubble that you will ignore the new faces around you. People who travel are always the most interesting ones I've come to notice. When you open up you'll be able to take part of some amazing life stories.
I have had some beautiful conversations with complete strangers and then said goodbye knowing I won't ever see them again. Yet they have given me something to carry with me for the rest of my life. I've also made some genuine friendships with people I hope to meet again one day.
Give travelling alone a chance. You will return relaxed, tanned (if you go somewhere warm) and as a more grounded person. Yes, there might be some tears on the way, but remember what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and who doesn't want to become a stronger version of themselves?
Now go buy that plane ticket. Things only start happening once you've booked that flight.