7 Things I learned While Traveling Alone & My Short Trip In New Zealand
(Photos taken in New Zealand during my 3rd solo travel experience)
For many years, I've always admired people who have the courage to follow their dreams such as traveling the world. I might not be as brave as them to leave everything behind and travel country to country for a year or so, but traveling solo has always been something I've always wanted to do for a very long time.
If solo-traveling has been in your mind for a while now, I highly recommend that you read "Is It Worth A Try To Travel Solo?" that I blogged about a while back just to see if it's something you are willing to try.
My Solo Experience
(Taken at Hobbiton-Shire in New Zealand)
As much as I love traveling with friends and family, I have always been curious of how it will be like to go to a new place alone. When I found the opportunity to do so, I took the chance and built my courage to just do it. My first solo travel was domestic. I traveled to Boston and New York for a week. On my second trip, I booked a trip in French Riviera, took the train to Monaco and Milan, then ended my trip in Paris before coming home. Although I was mostly alone on this trip, I did meet a friend in Milan and Paris so I felt like like maybe, it's time to actually experience a trip to the unknown where everyone will be a complete stranger.
So on my third solo trip, I spent a few days in Auckland, New Zealand to visit the nearby cities before heading back home. This trip was different. I experienced and learned so many things just by discovering a new place without anybody to depend on. I learned a different way of looking at the world around me, and I took in a few perspective in life with no other influence but my own. I wanted to share some of the things I learned about myself while traveling solo hoping that it can be a guide on what to expect or look forward to if you ever decide to try it yourself.
7 Things I learned While Traveling Alone
1. I learned to face my fears.
Was it a hard decision to decide to travel alone? Absolutely! The fear of being alone and not having anybody around in case when you need help was my number one fear. Talking to strangers and eating alone are two things I'm very uncomfortable of doing.
So what did I get out of this?
By facing my fears, I became more courageous when it comes to trying new things or taking a risk. Of course, I pick my battles when it comes to deciding whether something is worth to try or not and I always have to weigh the pros and the cons.
When you travel alone, you get to do a full self analyzation with nobody else's opinion but yours. You will focus mainly on your needs, and you will learn that you are capable of so much more.
(Photos taken in Central Business District in Auckland, New Zealand)
2. I learned to take responsibility.
Making decisions for yourself is one way to take responsibility. You can't blame anyone else if something doesn't go as planned. If your flight got cancelled, or a reservation is no where to be found, relax and learned to deal with the problem on your own. Take responsibility and watch yourself grow from the experience. You will be surprise on how much more patient you had become at the end, which is a trait that anybody including yourself can benefit from.
I made the decision to travel solo and explore outside the city alone. It wasn't easy knowing I will be traveling to the unknown, but I've always wanted to see Hobbiton since I was a child and I knew me staying in one spot will not make that dream of mine a reality. I had to do what I had to do, and it was an amazing experience!
(Photos from the Hobbiton-Shire in New Zealand)
3. I learned to enjoy my own company
There will be a night when when you will feel lonely knowing you don't have anybody to share the moment with, but know that it will only teach you to love your own company. I learned that having some alone time is very healthy. It decreases stress and increases self love knowing you are there to attend to your needs and nobody else's. Making time for yourself and learning to love your company is a boost of self-esteem that is beneficial for your well-being.
During my trip, I ate by myself, explored places by myself, and literally just enjoyed every minute by myself. Being alone isn't so bad when you learn to be content and enjoy your own company. We need it sometimes, we can't always depend on people right?
The Waitomo Caves was one of my bucketlist - to see the glowing worms. Photography wasn't allowed inside the cave due to they don't want to put harm into the worms and the caves, so this is all I got.
(Photos taken inside Waitomo Caves in New Zealand)
4. I learned to make friends
At first, I thought I will be one of those people standing on the corner with nobody else to talk to while traveling solo. It's amazing how many people that I still keep in touch with that I met during my trips. I learned to easily build relationships with people and I'm amazed on how many wonderful people are out there coming from different parts of the world.
During my trip to Auckland New Zealand, I met a friend from Portugal. During the tour, I forgot to eat breakfast that morning and she noticed that I was feeling a little uncomfortable. She offered me an apple and because of my dying hunger, I was pleased to accept and said thank you. We started talking and we actually got to know more of each other. All along, I thought I will be exploring Hobbiton and Waitomo Caves alone, but thanks to my hunger, I met a new friend! We hung out the whole entire time and shared a few laughters together. Totally worth a memory to keep and a story to tell for a lifetime. <3
5. I learned to grow my confidence
When you travel alone, you develop as a person and your confidence grow. You prove to yourself that you can take on new challenges and deal with anything when they arise. By making your own plans and caring for yourself, you will see that you are a lot stronger and braver than you were before. You will get better at handling a situation and you will most likely be able to do what you think is best through experiences.
6. I learned to care less
I learned to care less. This is one thing I am so thankful for is to not care much of things that doesn't concern me. I learned that If you treat people with kindness and they have no reason to give you any sign of negativity, just keep moving and mind your own. Your peace of mind is your only key for positivity, contentment, and happiness. Only you have the power to control your emotions and what you let in. Take control of your thoughts and your feelings.
7. I leaned to be more open-minded
Traveling invited you to experience the unknown. To be able to fully enjoy the experience, you have to be open minded. When you travel alone, you challenge your beliefs and you learn to pick your battles. Travel brings awareness to something you once thought never exist.
Traveling alone is one of the best investments you can make for yourself. When you experience traveling solo, you fill your mind with authentic memories because these are memories created by you. You will figure out what matters most and what's more important in life. You will learn to appreciate that things you have in so much more than you imagine. Is this something you would like to see for yourself? I say DO it!
What is stopping you?