I am a full-time traveling registered nurse, fitness enthusiast, and nutrition expert. Every morning I wake up intending to bring awareness of the importance of health and spiritual wellness, especially to the traveling community. At Messy Bun Traveler, we promote travel that allows the traveler to either kick-start, maintain, or enhance a healthy lifestyle. So whether you're someone who travels for business, travels for pleasure, or new to travel and looking for health advice while on the road, this blog is for you!
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Ever since I returned from my trip to Aruba last month, I’ve gotten so many questions about taking a solo trip abroad. I always answer with the same “it’s worth it” and “it did wonders for my mental health” but people still are so intrigued by the thought of hopping on a plane and landing in a totally different country – alone.
I will admit, gathering the guts to even book your first solo trip can bring on immense feelings of anxiety and insecurity. In the beginning, I know it did for me. The whole process of booking my flight and travel planning was fun and exciting! But, as soon as I went through airport security ALONE, I found myself with pit stains on my shirt and my heart thumping out of my chest.
After all, wandering solo completely goes against the grain of human nature, and it ultimately feels more comforting traveling with a companion.
I shared my travel anxiety with my audience on Instagram because I would be lying if I said traveling solo was all smooth sailing. But, once I took that first step off that plane in Aruba and ventured out on my own, the feeling of empowerment and self-confidence swept over me and carried me throughout my time on that island.
Solo travel has many positive benefits for our own mental health, mindfulness, and wellness. It will show you your strengths and weaknesses and ultimately help you grow as a person. But it unmistakably has its ups and downs. So, before you book your solo trip, prepare yourself for what lies ahead.
You probably weren’t expecting to see this as my first point on what you should know about solo travel, but it’s true. When traveling solo majority of the time you’ll be on your own, venturing off into the unknown.
I never said loneliness is a bad thing, though. When you spend majority of your time alone, it gives you more time to self-reflect and evaluate your life and personal growth.
For example, I took my first solo trip when I was going through a devastating break up and needed to hit the restart button. I took my second solo trip when I was feeling overwhelmed with my new role in entrepreneurship and needed a mental break.
Sometimes the experiences with the most revelation happen when you’re alone. It’s okay to embrace loneliness and use that precious time to evaluate what means most to you in your life.
In contrast, solo travel can be the best way to meet new people. When you’re traveling solo, it’s much easier to strike up a conversation with other random travelers vs when you’re with your partner or friend.
I’m someone who has always struggled with social anxiety and throughout my life, I’ve always found it difficult to make friends. When I’m traveling solo, however, I find it much easier to talk to strangers because I know I’ll be chatting with someone who shares the same passion for travel as me.
Unless I want to befriend a coconut like Tom Hanks in Castaway, traveling solo forces me to interact with new people.
Similarly, as a solo female traveler, I’m much more approachable to others. When you’re traveling solo and you’re a female, people are intrigued by your journey and will approach you with a million and one questions!
With no one else pitching in their two cents, you’ve got full control over your agenda. Checking off bucket list items is easy when you have no one that has a bucket list they need to check themselves. You’ll have no one to worry about but yourself.
When I traveled to Aruba, I chose the days I wanted to sleep late and the days I wanted to wake up at the crack of dawn to watch the sunrise. I chose the days I wanted to run myself ragged, seeing as much as possible, and chose the days when I wanted to just lounge around on the beach all day. When traveling solo, the possibilities are endless.
There’s no one there pressuring you or demanding you for your attention. You have no one to please but yourself and your own desires. Don’t be afraid of what you should do or what you’re supposed to do, but instead embrace only the activities you genuinely want to do.
Nothing is more satisfying than successfully wrapping up a solo trip. It’ll be such a proud accomplishment to say you navigated a new country on your own, made your own travel plans and transportation arrangements, and solved all your own problems!
As a solo travel graduate, you’ve lived to prove to yourself and to the world that you can handle whatever situation comes your way. And with that, comes positive self-esteem and confidence in yourself and your abilities.
There are so many ways in which solo travel changes you, an entire article could be dedicated to it! Even if having some alone time isn’t your thing, I encourage you to try solo travel at least once for these simple reasons:
When you learn to travel solo, you learn to embrace discomfort and the value self-dependency.
Even with my social anxiety, solo travel has proven that I am an interesting enough person to travel independently. It showed I don’t need the safety net of a friend or travel partner to have a fun time.
I’ve been pushed out of my shell to connect with some fun, like-minded people. And traveling solo has helped me take that new boost of confidence into my own daily life.
Health and wellness is an important topic I discuss a lot about in this blog. With all the positive attributes solo travel provides, such as confidence, social skills, mindfulness, and independence; you’re nourishing your own mental health and wellbeing.
I hope you found this article informative and uplifting. Solo travel can evolve your life for the better because it has done that for me. Are you interested in taking a solo trip, but don’t know where to start? Please reach out to me! And thank you for reading 🙂
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