Opinion: You should travel to the other side of the world. Alone.

Traveller exploring alone.

Travelling alone. Photo by Jenny Cameron

Travelling alone is one of the best things you can do for yourself. The skills and knowledge you’ll learn will become valuable throughout your life.

If you chose to step out of an airport, in a place you’ve never been to, alone, you will show how courageous you are to your friends and family, and, most importantly, to yourself.

Travelling to the other side of the world alone takes a lot of guts. You need to have trust in yourself to get through each day. Unlike at home, you have no people to fully depend on a day-to-day basis. Even walking around a new city requires a fair amount of fearlessness, because you will have to use your own skills to get you from place to place without getting lost. When you do get lost, which is bound to happen, you only have yourself to get you out of the situation. Being able to handle each roadblock during a trip in an appropriate way will quickly come naturally.

You will also gain an enormous amount of confidence if you choose to embark on an adventure to the other side of the world alone. Being able to confidently and independently solve problems that arise while travelling helps you believe in yourself. There may be a booking mistake at a hotel or hostel and you don’t know where to stay for the night. It is up to you to handle the problem by staying calm and searching. The skill of solving problems on your own is a confidence booster that will stay with when you go back home.

This confidence will also help you meet lots of new people. That’s not to say this isn’t possible if you travel with a friend or a group of people, but being alone means you are forced to talk to stranger, unless you want to spend the whole trip in silence. Walking through new cities or sitting in a bar by yourself, will give you the courage to start a conversation with someone. You will quickly learn that if you don’t start talking to people, you will spend the whole day by yourself and miss out on all the fun things you could have done if you just said “hi.”

One of the best reasons to travel alone is that you will be able to do whatever you want, whenever you want. You don’t need to make sure it’s okay with anyone else if you decide to change where you’re going or what you want to do that day. If you want to stay in a cheap hostel to save money, you do not need to check with your travel buddy to make sure it is okay. Your trip will be exactly how you want it, because you’re the only one making the decisions and not worrying about pleasing anyone else.

After you come home from you trip, you will be able to look away from your phone and your group of friends and talk to the strangers surrounding you. It is a lot of fun meeting new people and talking to travellers who are in the same situation as you. Travelling alone will teach you the most valuable lessons while giving you some of the best memories of your life. Having said that, it also makes you appreciate the people that help get you through each day at home.

I know it’s a common fear to be alone, especially if you are on the other side of the world alone and your flight home isn’t for another two months. This fear shouldn’t exist, because in reality there are going to be so many more days where you’re with people than when you’re not. It is an amazing feeling to be in another part of the world, with no one around who knows who you are, and feel like you can conquer anything on your own.

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