Written by Dawn Wood
Have you ever sat across from a person sipping a glass of red? You notice they’re alone and wonder if they’re running away from something. How about spotting someone by themselves at the cinema or travelling alone on an aeroplane? It used to be that going out solo to do anything social or for leisure was questionable. But fast forward to 2018 and opinions have changed for the better… thank goodness. Do a simple Google search and you’ll find plenty of articles boasting the benefits of travelling solo.
Life is full of excitement and challenges, epic highs and not-so-nice lows that have any sane person wanting to get away from it all every so often. We’re only human. So once in a while, we travel. Why? Because travelling is good for the soul.
Maybe you’re itching to embark on a journey of self discovery but the timing isn’t right, or perhaps you’re one of those free spirit types not quite ready for the whole marriage and kids chapter yet. You might have the luxury of owning your own business and love nothing more than relocating somewhere new with the booking of a plane ticket – a place where you can grow your solo biz venture and discover the pros of personal growth in the process.
Wherever you’re at in life right now, travelling alone offers many benefits that you may not have known existed without a change of scenery now and then.
If 2017 taught us anything about life enrichment, it’s that we must switch things up and challenge what we’re used to. So if you’re currently toying with the idea of travelling solo, but you’re still on the fence weighing up reasons why you shouldn’t, let’s look at some of the reasons why you should escape your comfort zone and see the world this year…
TAKE TIME OFF FOR YOURSELF
If you’re worrying about how you might enjoy a stint of uninterrupted alone time in foreign lands, here’s the thing. Consider how often you truly get time to just ‘be’, and be yourself at that. Those few precious moments where you can relax, bask in your own company and savour freedom to enjoy the little things. It’s perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed by the roller coaster of experiences and emotions life brings. With the constant demands of family, relationships, finances, careers, health, and the unattainable happiness many convince themselves is almost impossible to find, is it any wonder we need space to breathe and reboot?
DISCONNECT AND RECONNECT
In today’s tech-driven society, it’s all too easy to become addicted to having everything at our fingertips. In fact, according to a relevant article on The Huffington Post, people who are constantly accessible via smartphones are most likely to report mental health issues. And because there is thought to be a link between technology and its depressive effect on the brain, all the more reason to take regular breaks away from our screens, yes? Travelling presents the perfect opportunity to unplug and switch off from the outside world.
Be mindful that you’re NOT being selfish if you decide to disconnect from the outside world and go off-the-grid. In Eat, Pray, Love, when Julia Roberts’ character Elizabeth Gilbert journeyed to Italy, India then Bali to find herself, she said “to travel is worth any cost of sacrifice.” Once you try a digital detox and reconnect your mind and body, you’ll be far better prepared for anything that comes your way upon the return trip home.
MEET INTERESTING PEOPLE, DISCOVER NEW THINGS
The beauty of travelling somewhere different is that nine times out of ten, you’ll wind up meeting interesting people from all walks of life. From fellow tourists and backpackers, to friendly international residents, travelling solo lets you wander into the unknown and expand your social circle at the same time.
The take-home message? Live life on your own terms without distractions, and get reacquainted with your own fantastic self.
Do you enjoy travelling alone? We’d love to hear about your experiences. Tweet your comments to: @wommagazineuk