Makes you more social and better at conversation
When you are out alone traveling, you have two options: sink or swim. You can either make an effort to make friends out of strangers or end up alone. With time, solo traveling makes you more comfortable talking to new people. I have always been kind of an introvert and uncomfortable talking to those I didn’t know. Now, I happily talk to strangers at airports or hostels by striking up a conversation about almost anything. The thing with solo traveling is it makes you better at conversations. You get to know where people are from or where they are going and sometimes have really interesting conversations which gives you a fresh perspective. I recently travelled to Andorra and met another solo traveller who asked me if she could join me for lunch as everyone else was traveling with someone. We spoke about our travel interests and favourite places around the world yada yada yada, but apart from these cliché questions I shared some personal experience I have been going through at work and I got some pretty amazing advice and insight into it from a total stranger. I don’t think only close family and friends are there to listen to us and help us, people may surprise you once you are out there alone connecting with strangers.
Gives you confidence
You’ve travelled the world, wined and dined in Paris, navigated unknown cities and conquered your fear of heights. In short, you have done awesome things! Obviously, you are confident and sure about your abilities. After accomplishing all this, you’re going to be a lot more confident in your ability to achieve whatever you set your mind to. Growing up as a third culture kid, I lived outside my country of origin until the age of 18. After that most of my tourism was academic. I wasn’t much of a traveller until I moved to London for Masters. Since then I organise trips with friends and if I do not find anyone who is keen I pack my bag and embark on an adventure by myself. I have reached a point where I am happy to share an experience with a friend but I do not sit around waiting for anyone and if I really want to visit a place, I do not think twice before going all by myself. The feeling of not depending on anyone else is liberating and gives me the confidence to make my own decisions and navigate all alone.
Makes you more adaptable and adventurous
Living out of a suitcase for weeks and hopping from city to city, hostel to hostel has definitely made me very adaptable. After dealing with missed trains, slow busses, wrong turns, delays, bad food, stolen passport and much, much more, I have learnt how to deal with different situations and adapt my plans to changing situations. In general, such experiences help to make you more easy-going and this reflects in your daily life. For instance, a lot of small mishaps do not bother me the way they used to earlier, traveling has made me a better problem solver and I tend to look more at the brighter side of things instead of focusing on the obstacles. After traveling a lot, you don’t get mad, you don’t get angry; you simply alter whatever you planned to do and move on. Traveling teaches you that the purpose of life is to break out of your comfort zone, after all that is where all the magic happens.
Makes you smarter
Unless you decide to sit at a fancy resort and drown your brain in frozen drinks, travel can teach you about the world. You will learn about history, people, culture and mysterious facts about some place others could only dream about. You will have a deeper understanding about how people behave and honestly some things cannot be learned from books; you only pick it up with on-the-road experience. Apart from getting smarter, traveling also plays a role in making you a lot sexier. Stress causes aging and those carefree relaxing days on the road are going to make you look younger and radiant.
Makes you less materialistic and happier
As they say, the more you own, the more it owns you! While traveling, you learn just how little stuff you really need. You will realize that all the crap sold at malls is pretty useless in order to live a truly happy life. Traveling extensively will make you a minimalist as you will realize what you need and what you don’t. Travel makes you happy, more relaxed, confident and helps see the world as a brighter place. I strongly believe that travel makes people better people. When you learn more about the world and the people in it, push your boundaries, and try new things, you become a more outgoing, open and awesome person. Honestly, all the people I have known who travelled a lot are better people because of it.