When I embarked on my first ever solo traveling experience, I wasn’t in a good place. I’d just come out of a bad relationship, I’d been working for a company I hated and it was a time when all of my old friends were moving on to exciting pastures new. I was depressed and in need of a change.
I’d never traveled alone before. I’d never really traveled before. But inspired by the experiences of a friend, I decided to take the plunge and head off to explore Australia, a place that had always featured on my bucket list.
Travelling solo I hoped to make new friends and experience a heap of new stuff. I was prepared for the challenge of going it alone. But I wasn’t prepared for the positive way traveling solo would affect my mental health. Here are just some of the reasons why I felt much stronger and happier during and after my trip to Australia:
I Became More Confident of Who I Am
At home, with all of the people I grew up with, I tended to see myself through their eyes. I’d not worked out who I was yet. Travelling alone, I became much more confident in who I am. I met loads of new people and learned that I’m actually pretty good at making new friends. I traveled with a group for a few weeks through Western Australia and found that I was the most organized of the bunch – who’d have thought it! And faced with lots of different perspectives and opinions, I got a much better handle on my own.
I Took a Social Media Detox
Without easy access to my data and social media accounts, I spent the first few days in Australia really missing it. But after that first week, I realized that I wasn’t missing all that much. I’d been spending too much time online, obsessing over the lives of other people as seen through the social media filter. Without social media, I didn’t compare my life to those of others. And when I was climbing the Sydney harbor bridge, or whale watching or just drinking some beers in a cool Melbourne bar, I wasn’t thinking about how it was going to look when I uploaded the pics to Facebook.
It Makes You Stronger
A seasoned traveler is sure to experience his or her share of problems along the way. Along one busy city street, my phone was stolen, I had to rearrange all my travel arrangements when a flight got canceled and I had to share a dorm for four nights with a guy whose snore will stay with me forevermore. I couldn’t complain to anyone about these things. I just had to deal with the consequences and make the best of my situation. Having to do all of this alone, in particular, made me much stronger and much more resilient.
It Took Me Out of My Comfort Zone
Travelling through Australia, I had to go without many of my home comforts. I slept in hostel dorms and in a tent. I also had to plan travel across the country, work out my own itinerary and rely on my own resources like never before. Being challenged in this way left me with less time to sit and think. I was focused on the organizing, having a great time and where I was headed next.
Travelling solo was tough at times. But it was the best experience of my life so far. Now I’m back home, the benefits of my Australia trip have stayed with me. I’m confident of my abilities – adaptability, sociability, organization, and resilience – and sure that good things await me wherever in the world I find myself.
Sarah Kearns is a hardworking mother of three daughters. She is a Senior Communications Manager for BizDb, an online resource with information about businesses in the UK. She loves cooking, reading history books and writing about green living.
I hope you all enjoyed this post!
I know many of you are thinking about traveling alone or already are traveling alone, so I hope everyone could enjoy this post!
Love, Megan Anne
Watch my latest video: