I remember when I took my first trip as a lone traveler. I had just started working for Jetblue, my flight benefits kicked in and I was off on my first adventure which just so happened to be New York. I was short on time (and money lol), so it was a short trip 16 hours (yes, I know I’m crazy, judge me later). I flew in on a red-eye, landed at 6 am and hung out in the city until 10 pm then caught the red-eye home. I even went to work that afternoon…Oh to be 20 again…SAVAGE! lol
I didn’t give it much thought when I booked the flight but as I landed at JFK it hit me. I knew not a single person in New York and I was really doing this on my own. I kinda felt I was thrown to the wolves but I’m happy it worked out that way. Traveling solo on this trip and the hundreds that followed taught me so much about myself and the world.
As a now single parent, I took these experiences and am instilling them into Reese. Its been fun watching her grow as a traveler and I can’t wait until she takes her first solo trip. If you’ve never traveled solo, give it a try before you travel solo as a single parent. You’ll appreciate the experience and it will give you an idea of what to expect. This is also a great way to test out a city first before bringing your kids along. I do this a lot and love playing tour guide when I go back with Reese
So why is being a lone traveler so important? Here’s my list of things I’ve learned and experienced along the way.
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Being a Lone Traveller Helps You Discover Yourself
If you’ve yet to discover what your strengths and weaknesses are, traveling alone will for sure bring out the YOU in you. Solo travel helps you learn a lot about who you are and what makes you happy. You also get to focus on yourself and what you truly want without the interference of spouses, kids or friends. Plus it will give you a chance to discover your travel style. Do you like budget travel, luxury travel, adventure travel or is hanging by the pool all day right up your alley? You’ll find all that out when you travel solo.
You Get To Explore At Your Own Pace
Speaking of discovering your travel style. Being a lone traveler gives you total control of your experiences. Nobody is there to control your movements and activities, you are free to visit as many places as you want, sleep as late or as little as you want and eat whenever and whatever your heart desires. You don’t have this much freedom when you’re traveling in a group, with a companion or even with your kids.
You Become More Self-Confident
The feeling of being able to navigate your way through the complex languages, diverse cultures and unconventional traditions of another country successfully can be really exhilarating. It is sure to make you more confident in yourself and your abilities when dealing with life’s little challenges while on the trip and back home.
You Get To Enjoy Great Service And Opportunities
Being a lone traveler has many perks and I honestly feel you’re allowed to experience so much more. Traveling solo has allowed me to be the recipient of several kind gestures such as invitations to dinner parties from locals, seats at some of the hottest (totally booked) restaurants, parties and participation in ceremonies or event from locals. Local hotels also tend to be more compassionate with solo travelers and some even offer room upgrades or discounts.
Traveling Solo Makes You A Better Traveler
You become easily immersed in the language and culture of the people when you’re solo. You learn to be more patient and understanding with people, handle problems independently and pay more attention to your environment than you would if you were with a travel companion. This can make you more aware and actually aid in your safety.
You Learn How To Budget Effectively
This is an important life-skill you will learn while traveling solo. You are solely responsible for your finances and time and can choose to manage it as you like. You won’t have to share expenses with someone who doesn’t share your views on budgeting and spending. You also quickly learn that budgeting poorly can end a trip sooner than it started. You learn to look for deals, curb impulsive spending and start to appreciate and enjoy the free things in life.
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It’s An Invaluable Investment In Your Future
The skills you learn and experience from being a lone traveler can’t be acquired in any book. Experiencing other cultures make you more understanding of people different than you which make you a more compassionate person. You will also learn to think outside of the box and be resourceful when under pressure. All things that come in handy in the non-travel world.
It’s A Great Time To Let Go And Move On
I traveled a lot during and after my divorce. A trip alone gave me the opportunity to heal, process what was going on in my life and reevaluate my goals. Solo travel after a divorce or break up can help you clear your head, inspire your heart and focus on developing new goals. Traveling should never be used as a method of running away from your problems, however, time away to clear your head can sometimes make it easier to make important decisions.
You Get To Work On Your Bucket List
I missed out on a lot of travel with I was married because my ex-husband worked a lot. Even short getaways were hard and extended vacations…forget it. Traveling solo after my divorce was really the only option I had if I wanted to go somewhere. I quickly became my own travel guide and loved every minute of it. I have done some pretty wild things while traveling that many people I know wouldn’t be down to do. I’m thankful I had the courage to go alone and conquer my bucket list.
And Then There’s The Storytelling Experience
Who doesn’t like sharing the escapades of their solo adventures? I know I do…so much so I started a blog about it. Family and friends loved hearing about my travels and I’ve inspired many people to try solo travel for themselves (even the married ones!). If nothing else, you’ll have some killer Instagram pictures to look back on. #memories.