|My solo trip to the U.A.E.|
During this static-filled conversation she asked me a really interesting question: People speak so highly of traveling alone, and they make it look so easy. How do you get over the fear?
|Meditating with some llamas at Machu Picchu|
When I first decided to travel alone I didn't think about it. I just did it, and I think that was the best thing I could have done for myself. My need to experience something new and different from my current situation was an override to any fear that would have kept me from getting on the plane. Not everyone just jumps without looking though. My conversation got me to thinking about why I am such a proponent of traveling alone and why I think everyone should do it at least once.
|After a long hike in Tanzania|
2. Independence- Traveling solo allows you to be completely free: mind, body, spirit. No one is telling you where to go, what to do, what to eat. The place is yours to explore and enjoy.
3. Everything is on your own time. If you want to spend 2 hours sitting in front of the Sydney Opera House, no one is pressing you to move on. If you want to spend your entire afternoon sitting in a travel agency learning about Istanbul and drinking coffee, that's fine too. Solo travel allows you to linger in places where your soul is satisfied and move on from all the others.
|Enjoying a brew with new friends in Turkey|
4. Connections- You may think that if you are alone you will be lonely. That can't be further from the truth. I find that when I am alone I am more apt to start a conversation with a random person or talk to other travelers. Lone travelers tend to be more approachable as well. Some of my best travel memories are with strangers who I will never see again and friendships that were forged on some of my longer trips.
|Learning about agriculture in Honduras|
5. Looking inward allows you to appreciate your surroundings. You notice details, and you will be able to listen to the sounds and observe the sites around you without having to carry on a conversation with someone. Because of this you are able to learn more about your new environment and culture.
Even now when I travel with others I always find time to get away and explore things on my own, have a drink alone or take some time to write even if I have to get up before the roosters. To me, these are some of the best moments. There is no secret to how to do it. You just get out there and do it. Join a day tour, ask someone a question, and just be in the moment. The thrill of being completely reliant on yourself will help propel you along.
"If we would only see that all limitations are self-imposed and chosen out of fear, we would leap at once." ~Adyashanti