I was stuck in a rut. My life was routine and comfortable. I was in a job that I loved in a field that I had gotten my college degree in. I was happily married and we had just bought a house. I had a good group of friends. I was eating healthy and working out. But I was seriously lacking passion in my life.
I didn’t have anything that got me excited or challenged me. I had reached a point where all my weeks were starting to look the same and I was pretty sure they would be the same until I died.
I had started to travel with friends and family so I knew it was something that I enjoyed a lot. I knew I wanted to do more but planning trips with others was complicated (and often disappointing), the idea of going alone was terrifying to me but I was also tired of waiting on others.
I don’t remember exactly what happened that made me take the leap. I know that I needed to do something to shake up my life and I remember thinking what was the one most challenging thing I could think of doing and I came up with – being in a foriegn country by myself.
I saw a deal on tickets to Europe and booked a trip that would take me through Luxembourg, France, and Switzerland. This trip, quite literally, changed my life.
Here is exactly what it did for me and what I’m positive solo travel can do for you too!
Everything was based on my needs/wants/desires
I’m married and I love my husband dearly. My day-to-day is based on the partnership that I have with him so that means we consult each other on what we are going to eat, what we are going to watch on TV, what we are going to spend our money on and basically everything else. When I was planning my solo trip I remember a lightbulb going off; I didn’t have to ask anyone if they wanted to do something – I could just effing do it! And I know this makes it sound like I don’t have a lot of independence in my marriage – but obviously I do because I skip town quite a bit and my husband supports and encourages me to do so.
Think about every family trip, every girls trip, every non-solo trip and you know that everyone is consulted, everyone wants to give input and sometimes the group isn’t going to vote on what you want to do. Solo travel eliminates all of that! Whatever your heart desires you get to do and you can change your mind without ever having to answer to anyone and damn, that’s liberating!
I discovered solo ≠ alone
The scariest part of solo travel for me was the idea of being alone. Would I be mute my entire trip? Would I get to talk to anyone? Would I be sad? What happened is that I talked to everyone. I talked to people I would have never had an opportunity to talk to had I been on this trip with other people. I stuck up conversations with the waiter, the table next to me, the hotel staff, other people on a walking tour I booked, the couple waiting for the same train as me. I made connections and had great conversations everywhere I went and with people I would have probably ignored if I wasn’t by myself.
I created memories that will always be mine
On my solo trips, I really enjoy just being. Taking everything in without any distractions, not having to worry about others and just enjoy making memories for myself. I remember sitting alone on top of a mountain in Switzerland watching the sunrise thinking about how beautiful everything was. I thought about everything that led me to this moment and how no one in the world would ever understand this feeling, this time in my life, and that it would always be mine to cherish forever.
I’ve never felt more accomplished
When I got back from my trip I felt like I could take on the world – BECAUSE I JUST DID. My confidence level was through the roof. Even my husband remarked on how I carried myself differently. I think it’s because I had lost touch with just how strong, smart, and independent I could be and solo travel had awakened all of that. I came back more in touch with myself. On my trip, I was the only person I could rely on and that confidence in my own decision making and problem solving trickled over into my everyday life after my trip. Crazy how getting out into the world put me in better touch with what was already inside of me.
Traveling solo was transformative and continues to be every trip I take. I honestly cannot recommend it enough. If you have any questions or want help taking the plunge into solo traveling my inbox is always open: firstname.lastname@example.org