Why Everyone Should Travel Alone At Least Once
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Why Everyone Should Travel Alone At Least Once

How exploring on your own can show you more of yourself and the world

Why Everyone Should Travel Alone At Least Once
Bailey Shafer

As I said goodbye to my family at the airport I tried to not cry, but not because I would miss them. I definitely would, but it wasn't something to cry about. I was terrified. I was about to embark on a week long trip through Scotland, completely alone. I had never done this before. There was always another person with me or a person to call if I needed to. I was on my own this time and I had to take deep breaths to hide the sheer fear filling in my body.

Every single thing you read tells you not to travel alone, especially as a female. To many people it seems far too dangerous. In some instances that is probably true. I was determined to stay safe, so I had some rules for myself. I had chosen my accommodation carefully. I wanted to make it out alive and still have fun. And I did have a ton of fun.

After my week alone, I believe everyone should go on a solo trip at least once. Being alone forces you to take a risk, and it still pays off in a great way. You are able to be a better observer of the place you are in. You don't have another person to distract you from this new place and culture. Being alone let's you meet new people because you aren't isolated in your own little group of people. People were genuinely friendly to me, but I doubt the interactions would have been the same if I was in a group. When with others in London, people could tell I was a foreigner.They told me to my face. Alone though I could blend in. People thought I was from the U.K..

You don't have another person to fall back on, so you must grow yourself. That can be scary, especially when you first get to a new place. By the time I left Edinburgh it felt like a second home.I didn't want to say goodbye. This came in sharp contrast to the fear I had felt on arrival several days prior. It taught me that I can rise to my expectations and am capable of so much more than I think I am. Even when i was dying on the inside, I was able to be strong and find my own strength. It truly was empowering.

Beyond just blending in and meeting people, solo travel is eye opening to who you are as a person. There is no one else to navigate you through a city, decide what to do or take your photo. Admittedly, if I was in a group I wouldn't have done half the things I did on my trip through Scotland. I climbed a mountain, fed a fluffy cow and browsed through art galleries. There was no real schedule or expectation apart from my own and it felt great. Not answering to another person meant every excursion and activity was entirely my own. I could linger for an hour if I felt like it and I definitely did in a few places.

I recommend that everyone try to explore a tiny piece of the world alone. It will push you past your fears and show you what you can truly accomplish. It might be trying a new food that is completely uncharacteristic of you (mine was Haggis) or maybe climbing a mountain that looks really steep. You won't know that you can do it until you do. Solo travel sounds daunting, but it can be incredibly rewarding. The memories you can make when you take a chance will last a and make fantastic stories.

I thought it would be easier than traveling alone turned out to be. I think the fact that I was forced to summon my inner courage made the experience even better. I now have a desire to travel alone again. It certainly won't be like that for every trip I take, but I know just how capable I am now.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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