The 4 Most Important Things I’ve Learned from Traveling Solo

I got my first taste of travel when my parents basically forced me onto a plane to study abroad for a year in Australia. It was my senior year of undergrad, I wanted to spend it with my friends. But fate was on my side because despite my reservations, I went. As soon as I landed, I called my parents and said, “why didn’t you send me here sooner?” That was more than a decade ago and now I can’t stop trotting the globe.

For about ten years (non-continguous) I traveled by myself to Europe, Africa, Brasil, Argentina, Mexico, New Zealand, Hong Kong, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Australia, and throughout the USA – about 25 countries.

women standing with Queenstown, New Zealand in the background

What I learned:

People are People
We all eat, sleep, dream, hope, love, smile, and laugh. In a world where many people are focused on ‘their own kind’ and what divides us, I have learned that there’s much much more that binds all humans together.

Opportunity to Challenge Yourself
Traveling alone is a great way to challenge yourself and experience new things. I discovered I love ‘air athletics’ – sky diving, canyon swings, ziplining, paragliding, parasailing etc.

I talked to people from all over the world and from varying walks of life, with varying hobbies, careers and interests. And being by yourself means you have to take more initiative.

IMG_2644.JPG

Life Skills
Traveling by yourself, means taking care of yourself – which translates to life skills – money and time management, staying safe, determining whom to trust, taking care of your health, being an effective communicator, living in harmony with others at hostels, and listening and observing. When I came back from a year abroad, I’d grown more than my 3 years of undergrad combined.

Brasil 237.jpg
Foz do Iguacu, Brasil

Solo-female-traveler-passport-wanderlust-brasil-international-travel-backpacker.jpg
Respecting Other Cultures and Viewpoints
The more I learned about other cultures and perspectives on everything from living life to political issues, the more thoughtful I became about my own viewpoints and beliefs. And I spend less time talking and instead listen and ask questions more. I have found this invaluable in my career and personal relationships.

 

IMG_0410.JPG
After ziplining, Arenal, Costa Rica

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s