“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” — Mary Anne Radmacher

You might have heard a lot of people talking about solo travel and the positive impact it brings to one’s life. I was never a fan of it until I took my first solo trip. I wanted to see how it feels to go crazy alone. The results were mind blowing.

So, I recently took a short solo trip to a city in India. I was prepared in my mind and booked the air tickets a month before my travel. I hate air travel, and I was scared. Since I was made up my mind to do it, I didn’t quit. Believe me; this journey taught me some amazing things about life. I would love to share some enriching facts about solo travel and why you should go for it.

Why Take a Solo Trip?

Travel companions are cool. You get to have a lot of interesting conversation along. But there are more things that will hold you back from doing what you want to do when you travel with companions. And you end up making a lot of compromises with your trip. So, you know who the best travel companion is? It is YOU. Sooner or later, it is good to know that most of the time in your life, you are going to be alone.

“The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.” — Henry David Thoreau

You have to learn how to survive — when and what to trust, how to make buddies, how to find your way around alone. That’s the biggest reward of solo travel.

Solo trip is something that reminds all your senses that you are the leader of your journey. Live the present moment. It teaches you things that you wouldn’t have learned if traveled in a group or with a friend. Also, solo travel fits anyone, whether you’re single, in a relationship, extroverted, or introverted, and here are five excellent reasons why you should take it.

Getting out of the comfort zone

“One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.” — Abraham Maslow

​You should know why you are taking this solo trip and always have a goal attached to it. Solo travel is not only to get out of the routine and as a refreshment. Getting out of comfort zone is one of the goals I see many people take a solo trip. But people might have different reasons to take such trips. For me, it was getting out of comfort zone and overcome the fear of flying (airplane journey). After my solo trip, I am more confident about life and the way I look at things. You need to take the first step and think positive. It is not easy for the first time but quitting is not an option. So, you need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and this is the way to learn life. Hence the English proverb, when going gets tough; the tough gets going.

Taking the full responsibility of your life

​Taking care of yourself in the distress times is crucial, and you can improve it by taking your first solo trip. Since it is going to be you on the way of your journey, all your senses get alerted. And you assume full responsibility for your life. It helps you understand and celebrate life in many ways. You will become more responsible for the decisions and choices you make in your life. And this lets you realize that whatever happens to you in life is because of your decisions and choices. So you need to choose them carefully. Self-awareness is important in life.

Learning through people

You meet wonderful people on your way to the solo trip. And making new friends from different places and ethnicity will broaden your knowledge. You will know how big the life is and wealth of learning in the universe. You will get to know about your interpersonal skills. How good your communication skills are, and it will let you know if you lack something, and how you can improve it. It helps in your professional life too. Meet new people, eat different food, see diverse cultures, trekking, and all other adventures are real blessings for solo travelers.

Knowing yourself

In a solo trip, day by day, you will start understanding yourself better. You will know your likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. Most of the times you will be busy with your daily job and routine, you won’t get enough time to know yourself better. Taking a solo trip will give your ‘me time,’. And you will get the answers you were looking for in your life, Well, at least to some of them.

Making some new memories and stories

​“Fill your life with experiences, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.”

Going on a solo trip today will be a well-captured memory tomorrow. You will have a great story to tell people, and you will cherish it forever. Many people live life, a normal one. But what makes a difference is taking time for yourself to make some wonderful memories so that you can share them with your grandchildren. 

Waiting for others to do the same thing at the same time would mean that you would never see your dreams come true. Take a solo trip and plan it today. After all, it’s not as scary as you think. Just do it!

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Originally published at medium.com