Lessons Learned from Solo Travel

Greetings and thank you for stopping by for a visit with me. I truly appreciate every single one of you who chooses to invest some of your time here in my little corner of the world. After all, time is our most valuable thing any of us has to offer each other. Once your moments are spent? They are spent. It is my sincere hope that your investment of time today is worth your while. You are appreciated.

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I have been single, by choice, for a long while, actually pushing two decades! One of my passions is to travel. I can go anywhere, for any reason and I absolutely love traveling to locations for the first time. I don’t care what the vehicle is. A plane, a train, a road trip in a car, a bus…..whatever. I have learned not to wait until someone can go with me. I just go. Which means I have traveled to many places on my own.

Keep in mind, I am not wealthy. I work hard for my money and most of my travels are well planned out and extremely budgeted. I have become a master at cheap travel and yes, a specific post dedicated to just that will be upcoming. I have learned that yes, you CAN go. You can go far, with a passport even, without credit cards and an endless supply of money. With careful planning and an open mind to consider going anywhere, this is very possible. Believe me – it is!

Now, solo travel isn’t for everyone, and I realize that. But as I think back and look over all of my various collected memories, I become aware of just how much I have learned from traveling solo. I personally feel every human deserves and should go on a trip solo at least once in your lifetime. There are just some lessons that are learned so well with this experience. The lessons aren’t learned from a book, or from another person, or from a blog post. The lessons you will learn will come from within and you will be more in touch with the person you are. I guarantee it. Here is a short list of what solo travel has taught me.

I Have Learned How To Leave My Comfort Zone

Oh that good ole comfort zone. That place where you are surrounded with what and who you know, in a language you understand, with currency that is comfortable, with menus you can read and familiar food. Street signs you can comprehend and people you can ask.

There is something exhilarating when absolutely none of the above is in place for you. City transport you are not sure of. Menus you can’t read and have no clue what you will end up getting on the plate on its way over to you from a person you can’t understand. When I am in a situation like this, every single thing is new. Everything.

I am a fan of leaving the comfortable. Stepping off of that comfortable sidewalk and taking that dirt road. If you truly need some guidance or help, someone is always available to help you. Even in a foreign language, basic humanity, compassion, friendship and genuine good intention, is a universal language.

I have had makeshift maps drawn for me when I have been lost when neither of us spoke the others language. Have just pointed at a menu item having no clue what I just ordered. Gotten into a plane that didn’t look bigger than a toy.

Just stop saying “no” and “I can’t”.

Yes. And you CAN!

I Have Learned How it Feels to be the Foreigner

I touched on this above,  but I have definitely felt like a foreigner. Where the language is not understood, the money is foreign, you can’t read the street signs and you just aren’t sure about anything. I definitely felt this way in Wales (my goodness! That LANGUAGE!!), in  Budapest (the money was the “Forint” and was most confusing, couldn’t understand the street signs and was not too English friendly.

But? Food is an international language and a familiar thing to commune around no matter what language you speak or what money you spend. People are basically friendly and willing to help you the best they can, and feeling a little uncomfortable isn’t all THAT terrible!

This has taught me to be more sensitive to those foreigners that cross my path in my own country. A little kindness goes a long way no matter the communication gap. Kindness is a universal and well understood language.

I Have Learned to Trust myself and F#*k Fear

Fear is the proverbial stop sign to experiences. Far too often we just….don’t. Out of fear. Fear means “F*#k Everything And Run. So sometimes? You just gotta…… you gotta stay. Say yes. Just go for it.

If I didn’t I would have never witnessed that mountaintop sunrise. Stood beneath a giant sequoia. Experienced a charming English village just because I hopped on a train. Flew over a snow capped volcano in a single prop plane……

Experiences Trump Posessions

I don’t own a lot. My material possessions have come and gone over the years. I have learned you can lose everything in a matter of minutes. But the moments…… the experiences…….the people……..they are irreplaceable. They are yours alone. Forever.

Experiences. Moments. Memories. People. Trump anything and everything you could ever own.

I Have Learned to Love My Own Company

I get asked a lot – don’t you ever get lonely?

The answer. Absolutely not. Lonely for me is just another word for needy. Sometimes I can feel “alone”. Solitary. But certainly not “lonely”.

It’s then that I hang out with me. I’ve learned to embrace silence. Appreciate music. Love books. And understand that every stranger is simply a friend you haven’t met yet. You learn to be very thankful and very creative when you’re alone. I highly recommend.

I Have Learned to be Flexible and Spontaneous

I love a plan. But I love to go off course if something strikes my fancy. A plan is safe and steady. But being spontaneous? Gets you to places, to experience things you just might have missed. Don’t be afraid to take that unmarked road.

Blaze your own trail sometimes. It can be amazing.

I Have Learned How to Detox from Technology

Taking a break from phones and laptops and instagram and Facebook and Snapchat and and and is a very good thing. It’s pretty amazing to unplug and just go. When you do? It’s amazing when you realize just how much time your face is in front of a screen.

Don’t be afraid to unplug. Everything’s going to be waiting for you. I promise.

I Have Learned That We are More Alike Than Different

Wherever I have gone. Near. Far. I have come to realize we are all more similar than different. Our clothing may be different. We may have different shades of skin color. Use different money. Speak different languages. Some have plenty. Some not enough.

But we all bleed red. We all have same basic needs. To feel valued. Important. Loved. And we all respond to Gratitude. Human touch. And kindness.

All of the above? Does not depend on social status, skin color, language spoken, where you live.

Kindness.

I Have Learned That Home is Where you are

My answer to the common questions”where are you from” or “where do you live” is the same.

I’m professionally homeless.

Home is relative I have learned. Home to me is where I am. The people I love. My kids. My siblings. The Rents.

Home is where I am. For now? It’s an Eskimo village in Alaska……

I hope I have shared a thing or two that you can take away with you and tuck away in your back pocket. Save for later. Apply today. Or simply to consider possibilities.

I so thank you for stopping by!

Until next time……..be kind…….always,

Polley93

7 thoughts on “Lessons Learned from Solo Travel

Add yours

  1. Life is all about learning and growing form them. Polly, you’ve learn’t a lot of valuable lessons. What stood out to me the most is- experiences, moments, memories and people are the only things you can cherish and relish (not literally) with you when you start a new journey to the next life. Being whole in my own company is also something I’m learning on a daily basis in London. So far, it’s going great! I’ve done things I couldn’t have had someone been there with me as a company.

    Liked by 1 person

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