“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in an office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.”– Jack Kerouac
What are your spontaneous associations with traveling? Does it change in any way when I say ‘solo traveling’? Well, for me it changes drastically. Solo traveling holds a very different meaning for me – from the experiences to the way we travel. It pulls you out of your comfort zone and throws a platter of exceptionally incomparable experiences at you. Experiences that are way distinctive from all the other journeys – be it with a companion or with a group. It gets you closer to who you truly are as a person forcing you to wade through and confront every weakness and strength that you carry within yourself.
The freedom of traveling alone comes with the responsibility of handling it all – you either drown or just keep swimming. It is during this solo vacation when you’ll surprise yourself the most and learn things about your own capabilities that you have never encountered before. This journey will change you in some way for sure – leaving you with enough and more experiences to know why you shouldn’t quit your job or maybe a definite answer to do you really love what you do. It will not only change your mind but also make you overcome the greatest barriers that has been stopping you from leading the life you truly want. There is a reason why you wanted to quit your job in the first place – pure exhaustion or maybe you needed a career path that is more fulfilling. We call it the ‘calling’. Give solo travel a chance to unite you with your calling – you might unearth the wackiest things about yourself and your purpose.
Here is how solo trip can benefit you in ways never imagined or realized.
Come face to face with the ‘renewed’ you
Exhaustion can be quite misleading. Our day-to-day lives can make us feel physically drained or so we end up believing. However, this overtiredness sets in when we are not mentally gratified in a job or a relationship or other significant aspects of our lives. Solo traveling with no companion to ‘nonsense’ talk with or group of friends to spend all your exquisite energy on – brings a sense of peace and tranquility. The alone time can be very rejuvenating as you start forming newer perspectives of the world you live in and people around you.
Discover your strengths and weaknesses
You keep rolling taking in all the punches and knockdowns you can take. Every step of the way you become more of who you are. You get to uncover your ‘invisible’ strengths and learn to tackle your weaknesses with confidence – at least you learn to fake the confidence well. Fortunately, our corporate world is spinning on this fake confidence strategy. Jokes apart, nothing can make you more fearless or more self-reliant as solo traveling.
Overpowering ‘social’ hangover
There were times I would wonder if solo traveling is only for introverts – all that alone time with no need to recharge the social battery. However, after absorbing all the varied experiences of solo travellers, I realized it is tougher for loners. Solo traveling will make you come across individuals from countless walks of life. There will be times you will need to seek help or forced to interact with strangers to figure things out. You may not become a social nut but definitely master the ‘social’ skills.
You get reminded of what you really need and love
Navigating through unfamiliar territories will make you more and more familiar with your own self. You will have all the time to yourself; you will decide the way and the activities you want to dive in. From an exhilarating jog in the wee hours to just sitting on the beach reading a historical fiction – some things that very promptly kept getting shifted to your procrastination list. This is the trip you might realize it’s about time it came off that stalling list and only to be pursued more aggressively.
You will do what YOU want
Have you ever played peek-a-boo with yourself? I can hear voices in my head ringing – almost everyday! I think it’s about time I stopped. About time you stopped. Soloing means being completely self-reliant – you won’t have a companion to fall back on for decisions nor will you leave your treasurable life in the hands of a stranger. This is a learning that will impact your everyday life when you return to your job rejuvenated and ready to be a winner or taking an entirely extraordinary career path.
Whatever it may be, solo trip will certainly change your mind. Jack hails! Climb that goddamn mountain – alone. Explore the unfamiliar roads and the unexplored you. Take your two wheels or walk it – it doesn’t matter. Be the stranger on the bus – you’ll feel at home.