The most amazing thing about travelling and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is how it changes you as a person. Are you longing for a new experience after 2 + years of Covid restrictions. Have you got too comfortable at home? Do you now feel fear at the thought of travelling to a foreign country and getting ill?
It may sound like it will take work to change up your routine and embrace the unfamiliar, but being willing to leave your comfort zone will allow you to expand your thinking. We often tend to see aspects of our culture as the right way because we are used to this way of thinking and acting. But travelling opens your mind to the concept that your own day to day routine is only one option – it’s one perspective among many.
In order to open up to these differences, you have to leave your comfort zone which includes opening up to other values, behaviours and customs, and taking the unbeaten path. The more we act outside of our comfort zone, the stronger our self-confidence becomes, because we constantly have to learn new stuff. And learning new stuff is often the key to strengthening our self-confidence.
Travel is, at its very essence, a tool – nothing more… nothing less. Broken down to its very core, it becomes an instrument to fulfil our desires, attain new experiences and to discover a difference that is at least a step away from our normal surroundings. One thing that we can often forget is that travel also has the added benefit of helping us build a pretty solid amount of confidence, something that we all stand to benefit from in the long-term, in our own personal development.
I am off to Sri Lanka on Friday so I thought I would share 9 reasons why I think solo travel can boost your self confidence and expand your horizons.
1. You will face challenges and learn to overcome them on your own.
Travelling solo will throw up many obstacles which you will need to overcome by yourself. How will you get to the airport, will you arrive on time, will the flight be delayed and many many other challenges which you will have to negotiate by yourself. However, none of these are insurmountable and the fact that you are willing and able to overcome these by yourself shows great fortitude. This constant need to “figure things out” will help boost your self confidence later on. You’ll remember the time you nearly missed your flight or got stuck somewhere and resolved the situation and it will act as a catalyst to a can-do attitude in other aspects of your life.
2. You will make all of your own decisions.
By it’s very nature solo travel necessiates you making a whole host of decisions by yourself and this can be a real boost for your self confidence. From actually booking the fight/holiday to deciding where to go and what to eat, solo travel requires that you step out of your comfort zone just to survive. You simply cannot stay in your hotel room and order room service for the full 2 weeks!. You have to get out there, communicate with your fellow humans and make stuff happen.
3. You will learn to depend purely on yourself.
Sometimes we don’t realise how much people can influence us in our every day life, whether it’s our family, friends, partner, collogues or social surroundings. Do you put too much emphasis on other people’s opinions of what you should or shouldn’t do? Solo travel allows you to depend completly on yourself without feeling bad about it or having to explain why. We learn so much more about our own strenghts and weaknesses when we are forced to be accountable for our own choices.
4. You will be forced to come out of your shell and make new friends. We are social creatures and we need to communicate to achieve our goals and get stuff done. I think it would impossible to experience any form of solo travel without speaking to anybody. Solo travel will force you to become more friendly and approachable. Therefore, when you travel alone you are more open to meeting new people, and you can find other lone wolves having their own adventures. Those people might come from absolutely different cultures or distinct backgrounds, and they can introduce you to a new perspective of opinions and beliefs.
Stay open to random people appearing and disappearing during your journey. They can bring you wisdom, or they can cheer you up. Travelling alone teaches you to discover new opinions and views on life you’ve never considered. Be open to everyone and listen to what they have to say.
Meeting new people can also introduce you to new travelling destinations you never thought about. You can visit each other in your home countries and explore parts of the globe you wouldn’t have known existed if you hadn’t taken the time to meet them.
5. You will be proud of yourself and all that you’ve accomplished - how is that good.
Solo travel is a great way to boost your self confidence as your self esteem rises and you go and do new stuff. Our brains need new experiences and stimulation and we thrive on being curious creatures. As we experience new and different environments it fires up our prefrontal cortex and makes us feel more alive and connected. The prefrontal cortex is a part of the brain located at the front of the frontal lobe. It is implicated in a variety of complex behaviours, including planning, and greatly contributes to personality development.
Travelling alone teaches you how to be fearless and brave. You won’t have any of the comforts of sharing the travel responsibilities. No-one holds the map for you, no-one asks strangers for the directions. When you get lost there is no-one to find the way back for you. When your first plan screw-ups nobody comes up with an alternative. Yes, you will be scared, and you will face your fears when browsing the world alone. Later you’ll understand that the fear is only in your head. You’ll overcome the anxiety and will never be afraid of anything again.
6. Solo Travel Will Make You More Paitent Of Others
Travelling solo will make you realise how little you can control so why stress? You can’t control flight delays, overbooked accommodation, or people waking you up in a hostel or hotel. If you accept that travel will never go as planned and that’s half the adventure, you’ll be a lot happier. The more forgiving you are of others, the kinder you become to yourself. Amen to that right?
7. Solo Travel Can Change Your Mindset
My favourite part of traveling is that it gives you a new perspective. It provides a new way to perceive life, who you are, and how you spend your time. When you travel, you meet new people, cultures, experience new things, embark on all sorts of adventures (good and bad), and perhaps even redefine your meaning of life. Because you are learning and gaining information from new places and people, travel can also shape you into a better, more well rounded person. There’s so much to see and do in this world. I dare you to go out there and gain a new perspective, even if it’s just taking a road trip with some girlfriends.
8. Solo Travel Let’s You Be Yourself
As soon as you step off the plane you're instantly excited, happy, carefree and lighthearted. You have left all your worries behind and become present in the moment as you navigate the novelty of your new environment. Removing the stress from your life completely changes your mood and in order to do that, you usually have to do something that removes you from the stress.
So why not take book that trip? Hop on a plane, and go and have an adventure. Go on I dare you!
love Zoe x