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Benefits Of Solo Travel

Written by: Mieke Vander Heyden, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Mieke Vander Heyden

In Europe, its summer, and this can be noticed by an increase of tourists and locals enjoying a drink at the outside bars or families with playing children in parks. Facebook groups are advertising an enormous number of retreats, and travel buddy groups are booming. I also figured that almost all my friends have no time to meet up with me because of their yearly holiday time.

woman at the airport traveling solo with her luggage

However, not everyone has a partner, friends, or family members to share an amazing holiday with, for whatever reason.

Don’t mourn, solo travel can be your solution! As a solo traveler for more than 8 years, I can confidently say that it has helped me grow at a fast pace, bring more value to my life, and add to my self-esteem.

Is it an easy step? For most people, it is not, and I was one of them. Watch my personal story here and find out what I needed to overcome while traveling on my own for the first time.

I remember that at the start I was very scared to make this big leap of faith when I took a sabbatical while traveling to my dream destinations, and one year later I felt there was no way back. I gave up my place to stay and bought a one-way ticket to Colombia. Now, 8+ years later I still haven’t settled in one place. I am happier than ever before. In the meantime, I created my own job as an online psychotherapist & coach, working with many other nomads, expats, or long-term travelers.

I’m convinced by my own experience, talking to fellow travelers and clients, that solo travel can offer numerous advantages and opportunities for personal growth, self-discovery, and mental health.


10 advantages of solo travel

1. Independence

Solo travel allows you to make all the decisions and plan your itinerary according to your preferences, providing a sense of freedom and independence.

2. Self-Discovery

Traveling alone provides an opportunity for self-reflection and introspection. You can learn more about yourself, your strengths, and your limitations while gaining a deeper understanding of your own desires and aspirations.

3. Flexibility

When traveling alone, you have the flexibility to change plans spontaneously, explore off-the-beaten-path destinations, and adapt to unforeseen circumstances without needing to accommodate others' preferences.

4. Empowerment

Solo travel can boost your confidence and self-esteem. Navigating new places and overcoming challenges on your own can make you feel empowered and capable of handling various situations.

5. Personal Growth

Stepping outside your comfort zone and facing new experiences can foster personal growth. Solo travel exposes you to different cultures, customs, and perspectives, broadening your horizons and expanding your knowledge.

6. Increased Social Interactions

Traveling alone often encourages interactions with locals and fellow travelers. It can be easier to meet new people, make friends from diverse backgrounds, and engage in meaningful conversations when you're on your own.


7. Self-Reliance

Solo travel teaches you to rely on yourself, make decisions independently, and solve problems on your own. This can enhance your problem-solving skills and resourcefulness.


8. Authentic Experiences

Traveling solo allows you to immerse yourself fully in the local culture and experience a destination from a more authentic perspective. You can engage with locals, try local cuisine, and participate in unique activities without compromising on your preferences.


9. Personal Reflection and Relaxation

Solo travel offers an opportunity for solitude and personal reflection. You can take the time to relax, unwind, and rejuvenate while enjoying your own company and disconnecting from daily routines.


10. Empathy and Open-Mindedness

Solo travel often fosters empathy and open-mindedness. Experiencing different cultures firsthand and interacting with people from diverse backgrounds can cultivate a greater understanding and appreciation for global diversity.

These advantages of solo travel can contribute to personal growth, self-confidence, and a deeper appreciation for the world around you. However, it's important to prioritize safety, be aware of local customs and regulations, and take necessary precautions while traveling alone.


Challenges of solo travel

Obviously, solo travel is a part of life, you travel with yourself and are susceptible to experiencing certain circumstances and emotions. For example, you can be more easily triggered because you may feel more vulnerable while traveling by yourself. Read here how you can recognize a trigger and what you can do if this happens to you.

You might experience culture shock, feel lonely at times, or feel a little bit lost… Realize that this is all part of the experience. Don’t expect too much from yourself. There is no such thing as the perfect solo travel. There is no certain way how it should be. Holiday also means throwing these mental images overboard, letting life experiences come to you, and being open with curiosity for this unique adventure!

Besides, a bad moment can be expected, this also happens when you are at home, right? This is even something that you can prepare for: take a good book with you, ask if you can call a good friend in these cases, or plan a session with your coach or therapist if you have one.

Also, a night by yourself in your hotel room without any plans doesn’t need to be a lost night. Instead, treat yourself and get some delicious goodies, listen to your favorite playlist, grab your journal, and consciously enjoy this quality time with yourself. Congratulate yourself: it started with an idea, you acted, and now you are in your chosen place to be! You are spending time by yourself because you had the courage to do this! Many people would love to be in your position right now.


If you are still doubtful if solo travel would be something for you, perhaps this freebie can help you in your decision-making process.


Have an amazing holiday and if this article has inspired you, please send me a picture from your solo travel adventure!


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and visit my website for more info on how I coach people!

Mieke Vander Heyden Brainz Magazine
 

Mieke Vander Heyden, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Mieke Vander Heyden, a leader in Integrative & Creative Art Therapies. It’s her passion to support people to find inner peace & freedom, the key to happiness and harmony all-around. She has helped loads of people over the globe, to reconnect with themselves, support them through difficult life-crisis’s and make the needed adjustments to get on track again, dancing the waves of life. Mieke is the CEO of Moving Hearts Therapy, offering transformational & inner journeys, through Therapy & Coaching, Workshops & Team building, Creative Healing Retreats & Training. Through her own life experience, she is a go-to for nomads, expats, travelers, or people with an alternative lifestyle.

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