Lessons are best when they can apply in multiple areas of your life. Discipline, strong communication, and preparing for the worst-case scenario are habits that can come in handy in your professional life, relationships, and virtually every other corner of your being. These solo travelers were ecstatic to find that lessons learned on the road could apply at home.
1. The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men…
Solo travelers know that God laughs hardest not when the devil stubs his toe but when travelers think that their itinerary is written in stone. Train delays, no-show guides, shoddy accommodations, and unanticipated opportunities for fun can make a mockery of the most detailed itinerary.
Going with the flow is a must for travelers and an essential skill for getting through life unscathed.
2. You Don't Need as Much Stuff as You Think
When you've lived out of a suitcase for a month straight or worn the same pair of underwear for a week, the allure of materialism loses its grip on you.
Sure, it would be ideal to have multiple pairs of fresh underwear. We wouldn't throw a walk-in closet out of our home, either. Those wasteful purchases become far less frequent, though, when you begin to value experiences over things.
3. Independence and Autonomy Are Empowering
Those who backpack through Europe inevitably learn independence and autonomy. You got yourself into this nightmarish hostel, and only you can get yourself out.
Once you realize that you can cross multiple boards speaking not a lick of the native language, you feel a sense of ownership in your day-to-day life.
4. Anxiety Is All in Your Head
One traveler broke through their walls of anxiety by traveling solo. Eating on their own in public, approaching strangers for directions, and navigating the other hurdles of travel forced them out of their shells.
Once you've requested a table for one in an Italian Trattoria or walked the halls of the Louvre without any companion to hold your hand, you realize that you won't be judged for doing things on your own.
5. A Good Book and a Quiet Cafe Are the Keys to Happiness
We spend hours of our lives devouring self-help books and podcast episodes, searching for the key to happiness. One traveler found that an attention-grabbing book, a quiet cafe, and no distractions are the recipe for serenity.
Sorry, Buddha, but your teachings have been replaced by books and biscotti.
6. Approach Strangers When You Have the Urge
A random person who happens to be wearing your favorite team's jersey? A bloke sitting next to you at the bar? A beautiful woman across the room?
Because travelers have to speak with strangers in order to get by, they become far more inclined to chat up curious strangers in their daily life. It's an enriching impulse that everyone should act upon more often.
7. Be Wary of “Friends”
That stranger who calls you “my friend” on the street is no more your friend than Ross, Rachel, or Joey. Odds are, they're the furthest thing from your friend, generally trying to separate you from your money.
8. Time > Money
You can always make more money. On the other hand, there are no Federal Reserves printing pallets of time. Travel while you can. Spend time with loved ones while you can. Make good use of your time, and never put money before it.
9. Be Prepared, Always
Several travelers with a lifetime's worth of SkyMiles were shocked when they couldn't find menstrual products or a backup suitcase in a first-world European capital.
Take nothing for granted when traveling, and do the same in your daily life.
10. YOLO, So Do Stuff Solo Dolo
For the adults in the room, “solo dolo” is how the kids say “on one's own.” Because you only live once (YOLO), travel (or do anything else you've been putting off) on your own. We don't always have someone to do fun stuff with, but that shouldn't be a barrier to doing fun stuff.
Whether you've been meaning to skydive, check out the new bar in town, or play a game of pitch and catch (OK, that one's going to be tough), don't be afraid to try it on your own.
12 Travel Hacks That Will Make Your Next Trip a Breeze
Ziplining over an Icelandic river, parasailing over the Gulf of Mexico, and screeching Billie Eilish lyrics at the O2 in London are some traveling festivities I experienced last year.
Of course, growing up with a travel agent mother festered an undying adoration for exploring the globe, but I still like to learn the best tips for navigating this wondrous world. So here are the best travel hacks that favor minimal conflict and maximum enjoyment.
10 Best Travel Hacks for Women Who Are Solo Traveling
Traveling the world can feel exciting, stressful, and gratifying at the same time, especially if you're a woman and you're making the trip by yourself. Fortunately, there are tons of tips and hacks for solo female travelers that will make your trip that much more fun, safe, and adventurous.
The Art of Travel Hacking: 6 Tips to Learn How to Travel For Free
Traveling doesn’t need to break the bank. Traveling can be done free or very cheaply. This is something that is not always explained to people. People are made to believe that travel is expensive. Trust me; I used to think the same way until I discovered travel hacking.
10 Best Airplane Travels Hacks for Traveling With Toddlers
Picture this. You've boarded the plane to your dream destination. While settling into your seat, the rattle of the plane's engine starts to lull you to sleep. You're hovering between the precipice of consciousness and the sweet shroud of sleep; your thoughts begin to wander.
10 Best Responses to the Question: Is It Really This Cheap To Travel?
Believe it or not, traveling on a budget is feasible if you stick to the budget. A popular internet forum asked its user how to travel without spending a fortune. Here is what they had to say.
This thread inspired this post.