While packing, I found myself wondering what it would be like to travel by myself in two foreign countries. Maybe the trip was all a big mistake. Did I really know what I was doing? Was I prepared to do all of this alone?
What happened next was wonderful: I discovered the beauty in solo travel.
Open Itineraries & Doing What YOU Want
One of the most obvious and wonderful parts of solo travel is you can do whatever you want. No compromising. You go where you want, eat when and what you want and only go the museums you’re interested in. You can travel with new people you meet, or choose to make your own path. The trip is about YOU!
Solo travel means you’ll meet more people, have random conversations, and learn new things you could have never expected. Who are you when no one you know is looking?
Relying On Yourself
When traveling with friends we may rely on them for things we suck at. Maybe our travel partner has better navigation skills, perhaps they can speak a little of the local language, or they can quickly do currency conversions to tell us how much that would really cost.
I can openly admit I’m not so great with directions. When traveling alone I take extra precautions to always have the addresses of the places I am going. This way when I stop to ask for directions once, twice, or maybe 10 times I can show someone the address without worrying about language barriers. Know what you’re good at, and try to best prepare for your weak points.
Solo travel leaves room for you to be whoever you want to be. Maybe you need the time to yourself, perhaps you want to have conversations with as many people as possible or you might not know what it will be until you begin your travels. Put yourself into a new environment, surround yourself with people you just met and see how it feels. I promise you’ll learn new things about yourself. By the time you make it home, you’ll have a collection of new stories and experiences that will have changed you and maybe even your view of the world.
About The Author
Katie Maus graduated from the University of Michigan in the summer of 2013 with a Master in Social Work. She will spend the next 27 months working in Namibia as a Community Health Volunteer, focusing on HIV/AIDS, with the Peace Corps. Katie holds her parents responsible for her love of traveling and adventure. Her personal philosophies include taking full advantage of every opportunity, embracing the unknown, and living in the moment. Katie Maus can be reached at maus.katiemarie (at) gmail (dot) com with questions or concerns.