The Ultimate Guide to Travel Alone

Learn how to travel alone and you’ll open the door to one of life’s most enriching experiences.

The majority of our readers are either Millennials or 50+. In both cases, they are living through life stages that involve making choices. They tend to be more independent than those in their middle adult years and less central to meeting the needs of others. This puts them in a position to truly explore who they are and make decisions about who they want to be.

But there are so many benefits of solo travel that affect your whole life. The experience encourages you to stretch and grow as a person. Here’s how.

  1. You gain confidence. When was the last time you were responsible for everything for more than a few days? Take on full responsibility for a week or more in an unfamiliar destination and you cannot help but gain confidence.
  2. You learn problem-solving skills. At home, we deal with problems based on previous experience because we are in our own milieu. Travel solo to a foreign destination and you are challenged to problem solve in a new way. You have to start with what you absolutely know. This is called first principles analysis. Watch here for how Elon Musk describes this type of problem solving.
  3. You become a better global citizen. There is no better way to become a conscientious global citizen than to travel the world and see how life works elsewhere. You’ll gain a new appreciation for different value systems, economic challenges, and political roadblocks. You’ll bring home valuable language, ideas, and understandings that you can share.
  4. Your compassionate side grows. The mere fact that you can afford to travel means that you are privileged. Living in a privileged bubble automatically limits understanding of others outside the bubble and constricts compassion. As you travel, you’ll understand other people’s positions and perspectives better and gain compassion.
  5. You learn to take smart risks. Risk-taking can be good and it can be bad. Traveling solo, you will take the occasional risk but it will/should be calculated. As you do so, you develop your confidence to take the occasional risk and your ability to take one safely.
  6. You are seen differently by friends and colleagues. There’s nothing like traveling solo to cause people to look at you as adventurous, capable, independent, knowledgeable, and so much more.
  7. You understand yourself better. Strengths, weaknesses, interests, passions: these all become clear as you travel alone.
  8. You become a more interesting prospective employee. There are so many ways that this works. Here are two. Combine your ability to travel independently with past employment experience as a team player and you become a person who can play on a team or be a leader. The problem-solving that you need to do as a solo traveler can be very valuable to an employer.
  9. Your independent experience opens entrepreneurial opportunities. Side hustles, freelance work, and small businesses are all started by people who are confident in their ability to act independently.
  10. You’ll learn to depend on yourself rather than others. Community is very important but, sometimes, our community, family, and friends fail us or they really need us to step up. They need us to be strong. It is critical in life that we can depend on ourselves for what we need.

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