Things you learn about yourself when traveling alone

Some people don’t dare, others swear by it. What have you experienced while traveling alone? Did you find it easy meeting people with whom you clicked, or did you perhaps prefer to discover new places and cultures on your own? I’ve met some of my best friends while traveling alone, how about you?

Personally, I’ve had some of the best experiences traveling alone but I also find it a bit intimidating at first. You sort of have to get into it, and then you’ll learn oh so much about yourself, for example:

How long you can really be by yourself without talking to someone
In the beginning you feel on top of the world: “I’m doing whatever I want whenever I want”, you think to yourself. Feels great, doesn’t it? But after a certain amount of time (probably differs from person to person, for me it’s around 3-6 days) without meeting someone in your hostel or on your sightseeing or on the bus, there’s a real chance you start getting desperate, and then you’ll:

Lose your shyness/sense of when or where it’s ‘appropriate’ to approach strangers

Even if you’re finding it super difficult to build up the nerve to talk to strangers you will, trust me! When you’ve reached your magical number of days on your own, you’ll let go of your inhibitions in search of a somewhat meaningful conversation. And speaking of meaningful conversations, you will:

Find out it’s sometimes nicer to hang out with people you find somewhat annoying than to be alone

In order to avoid a Wilson situation (or, just plan talking to yourself without even having a volleyball to talk to) you might find yourself hanging with people you wouldn’t normally get along with. And you might not get along with them now, but there comes a time when any company is better than no company at all, but after a while you probably:

Get a heightened Bullshit Radar

It’s just not fascinating listening to the same run-of-the-mill backpacker stories again and again and again, wherever you are. Going off the beaten track is not really happening – one backpacker tells the next where he/she went and it’s sooooo cool and you HAVE to go because it’s the best thing ever. Everyone ends up going the same places, and everyone has an opinion on the country, the locals, the whatever. You’ve heard it all before, it’s not very inspired or original, it’s sometimes even prejudice, shallow or narrowminded, which makes you appreciate that you can:

Actually be comfortable in your own company 😉

 

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