By Kalina Davis
If you had the chance to travel on your own, would you take it?
When I studied abroad in Rome, I was presented with an opportunity to travel by myself to Munich. It was an idea that scared me, one that was definitely outside of my comfort zone. My family back in America discouraged me to go, arguing that it would be unsafe for a young woman to be traveling on her own in Europe, especially during tense times. On the other hand, my fellow study abroad students encouraged me to go, saying that it was an opportunity everyone should experience once. It was a long battle between staying comfortable and exploring the unknown, but in the end, my longing for adventure won. I decided to go to Munich.
As someone who still struggles with distinguishing right from left, I was used to relying on fellow travelers to know how to get around from one place to another. Going to Munich on my own meant riding on a tram, switching to a train, finding my gate at the airport, taking the right train into Munich, and finally locating my hostel. All on my own.
That scared me.
There was potential for so much to go wrong. I’m not gonna lie, the whole day of traveling to Munich really stressed me out. But despite all of my worries, I made it to my hostel without any glitches. The fact that I had done it all on my own gave me a huge confidence boost. The experience took me out of my comfort zone, but it was good for me.
Traveling on my own taught me a lot. As I was traveling, I did not have the distractions of friends, which left me to my own thoughts. Traveling became a reflective experience. Without those distractions, I was able to make my own observations of the people and places I encountered. My eyes were opened in ways that they never had been when I traveled with other people. Everything moved at a much slower pace, and I was able to take each moment in.
Traveling by yourself is intimidating, but it can be a wonderful experience for learning and growing. It is useful for building your confidence and helping you become more resourceful. Traveling on your own can be more of a reflective and eye-opening experience, allowing you to see things you might not when you have the distraction of traveling with friends and family. You might even realize that traveling solo is your preference. You might find that you enjoy the slow pace and the introspective experience it brings. Even if you prefer to be around people, traveling on your own may push you to meet new people you encounter along the way.
Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, traveling solo can be a great experience. Don’t hold back from taking an opportunity to travel on your own. You never know what adventures may be waiting for you.
Go Travel, and Travel Fearless.
Andi Brown, Once in a Lifetime Travel
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