Sometimes people have a hard time finding the difference between being alone and feeling loneliness. Being an introverted person, being alone often has not made me feel lonely, but makes me feel rejuvenated, happy, and calm. Because of my tendency to crave solitude, I knew when coming to New Zealand, I wanted to take advantage of my love for aloneness, and travel solo at least once. After my experience doing so, I thoroughly believe that every individual studying abroad should take some time, be it a day or a week, one time or multiple, and bask in the experience of traveling alone. Hopefully the difference between feeling loneliness and being in solitude will be felt along the way.
Why should one travel alone in the big and scary world? Here is my list of why everyone should take advantage of the independence of solitude in your travels!
- You find how strong and capable you truly are. The day before going on my solo trip I had feelings of anxiety (for different reasons than the trip), clinging to my body and being. I began to question if I was capable of going on a trip alone in this state. Although I had these feelings trying to hold me back, I knew this was something I had to do having only a week left until I leave New Zealand. And so, I got on the bus that took me 8 hours away, stayed in a hostel alone, navigated my way through a town, summited a mountain, and basked in my solitude. My anxieties began to decrease, and I began to feel proud that I was able to conquer and thrive in my solitude, despite feeling like an anxious ball of nerves before hand. Leading to how:
- You get to truly test yourself when traveling alone. Traveling alone tests your confidence, your courage, and your belief in yourself. These are all qualities that as they grow, you grow as an individual as well. Leaving this trip I felt incredibly capable to travel alone again some time, which I might not have felt if I had not tested myself this way. Not even leaving this solo trip, but leaving New Zealand, I feel so much more confident in my ability to make my dreams a reality, to travel more than halfway across the planet, to climb mountains, to explore new cities, to explore into myself. And traveling alone only enhanced and solidified these feelings.
- You get to do what you want, when you want. That’s right, you want to wake up at 5 am to climb a mountain before all the other tourists do? Be my guest! You want to eat Indian food for dinner and Subway for lunch? That’s allowed too! Want to lay on the lakeshore for 4 hours? Nobody is stopping you. Because you're alone. Traveling alone gives you the independence to allow yourself the experiences and moments you want and need. Before traveling alone I have felt the need to always make other people happy when traveling with them; what do they want to do?, where do they want to go?, when should we wake up?; those questions constantly escaping my lips when traveling with others. Being alone, I was able to make all the decisions on my own and I was able to do what I felt would most benefit me and my experience. It was absolutely lovely.
If the above reasons aren’t enough to get you out and exploring on a trip by yourself and you still have doubts in your abilities, that's okay! Start small; explore the city you're residing in alone, take a local bus an hour away, build up the confidence you need to feel comfortable to be a solo traveler. If that still isn't enough, that is also okay too. Because even when traveling alone, there are moments when you stare out at a beautiful glistening lake, a mountain looming high above the clouds, or even a quaint little town, and during these moments you realize how truly important it is to share happiness with others as well as yourself. But from personal experience, in order to find happiness with others, you must first find it within yourself, and that is something that going on a solo adventure begins to help you find.
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<p>Hello all! My name is Bella. I am 21 years old, and am a lover of the outdoors, yoga, hula hooping, and music. I believe that life is about enjoyment, happiness, and exploration, and I hope to share my everyday findings of happiness and life with you all!</p>