ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: Dec 6, 2022
Wow, can you believe it? I'm already three months into my solo travel adventure and the support from all of you has blown me away! I've received so many words of encouragement, but what really caught me off guard was the admiration for my courage to travel alone for such a long time. The truth is, my decision to embark on this journey was spontaneous and fueled by intuition. My heart and soul were yearning for this experience, so I decided to throw caution to the wind and just go for it! Whether you call it faith, temporary insanity, or a mid-life crisis, I simply knew I had to do it.
The most common question you all have asked is whether I've traveled alone before. Well, sort of. I've had a few solo work trips here and there, and recently I spent six days alone in Palermo. But this is a whole new level for me. It was only when your messages started pouring in a couple of weeks in that I realized just how monumental this adventure truly is. Let's just say there was a very public "WTF AM I DOING" freak out moment (I'll share the full story in a later post!). Despite the tears, fears, and occasional freak out moments I've experienced so far (and trust me, there have been a few), I can honestly say that this journey has been incredibly rewarding and beneficial. It's hands down the best way to kick off my 40s.
So, if the idea of traveling solo intimidates you, don't rule it out just yet! Let me share with you my top five reasons why you should seriously consider embarking on a solo adventure.
1. More Flexibility & Freedom
This one is especially for my fellow moms and people pleasers. Let's talk about something amazing - total freedom! Now, I know it might feel a bit strange at first, considering we're used to juggling countless responsibilities. But guess what? When you travel alone, all those worries melt away. No more coordinating schedules or compromising on activities - it's all about YOU!
Picture this - you can go at your own pace, without someone else dictating how fast or slow you should go. If something catches your eye, you can stay for as long as you want, without feeling rushed or obliged to move on. And if a restaurant is a disappointment, just wave it goodbye without any hassle or worry and choose another.
Speaking of dining alone, let's talk about the joy of being served and waited on for a change. Sure, it might feel a little awkward at first, you might even worry about what others think. The trick is to shift your mindset to embrace the luxury of having your very own VIP table. Trust me, the embarrassment melts away once you grant yourself permission to receive the royal treatment your definitely deserve.
So, my friend, if you embrace the freedom, solo travel is where you call the shots!
2. Discovering New Experiences & Meeting Amazing People!
In the past few months, I've had the pleasure of crossing paths with some truly fascinating and authentic individuals. When you travel alone, the opportunities to connect with people from all walks of life are endless – from the locals who call the destination home, to fellow adventurers like yourself who are craving new experiences. You'll be amazed at how many solo travellers are out there, eagerly seeking new friendships just like you!
During my time in Palermo, I had the privilege of meeting an incredible woman named Rebecca. She, too, was embarking on a solo journey for two whole months and happened to be celebrating her 40th birthday just a few days after mine. We instantly bonded over our shared love for food and Sicily, and it turned out that we had both signed up for several of the same activities that week. Before we knew it, we were spending the most fantastic days together, making memories to last a lifetime.
I'll forever cherish that serendipitous encounter with Rebecca, as her story became a major source of inspiration for me to embark on this incredible four-month adventure.
3. Personal Growth & Self-Discovery
Let me just start off by saying, no matter how grounded and self-assured you think you are, I promise you that solo travel will push those limits and provide ample opportunities for personal growth and self-discovery. Being in new situations and different cultures - sometimes with a language barrier too - can provide unique chances to really get to know yourself and figure out who you are without any external pressures or influences. Are you still that bubbly person or do you recluse in tough situations? Are you open minded to new experiences or do you fall back on the comfort of the familiar? Each situation is an opportunity to see what you are really made of!
On a personal note, I’m going to share my big AH HA moment with you. Despite being halfway across the world, my desperate need for approval and people-pleasing tendencies were my Achilles' heel. Crazy, right? But here's the kicker: once I uncovered this truth, I delved deep into the why behind it all. It wasn't a walk in the park, my friends. It took time and effort to analyze and process everything. But you know what? I finally realized that the root cause of my frustrating experiences in past relationships, both personal and professional, was my failure to stand up for myself. Mind-blowing, I know! And guess what? The moment I decided to become my own advocate, the whole trip transformed into something incredible.
Trust me, if I had been traveling with others, I probably wouldn't have come face-to-face with... well, myself, haha! Solo travel is the key to unlocking the dormant parts of you, helping you discover and embrace what makes you uniquely YOU!
4. Learning How To Rely On Yourself
When you're on a solo adventure, it's all up to you. There's no relying on someone else to make decisions or shoulder the responsibility (literally!). Sure, it can feel a tad uncomfortable at first, especially if you're used to leaning on others for support and guidance. But let me tell you, learning how to rely on yourself is like discovering a superpower that will transform your life, long after the trip is over. Trust me, I've been there.
By taking the plunge into self-reliance, you'll discover a whole new level of trust in yourself. Those gut instincts that have been whispering in your ear? You'll learn to listen and embrace them! Plus, by stepping out of your cozy comfort zone, you'll start living life with a fearless gusto that'll leave others in awe.
So, whether you're wandering through the streets of a foreign city or back in the comfort of your hometown, the lessons of self-reliance will stay with you for a lifetime.
5. Do Things That Make You Happy
This is the best time to prioritize your own happiness! There's no one to compromise with, it's all about doing what brings YOU joy. Feel like devouring a mountain of gelato? Go for it! Wanna explore the city by hopping on and off a bus? You got it! Fancy sitting at a café and people-watching for hours? Absolutely! The possibilities are endless when you embrace being yourself. But here's a friendly tip: don't overplan your trip. Now, I know you want to make every moment count, and sure its a good idea to research and have some ideas in mind, but leave room for spontaneity and unexpected thrills. Believe me, some of the best moments of my travels happened when I let go and let life surprise me!
Taking a trip alone has so many benefits, from personal growth to self-discovery. The freedom and flexibility are unbeatable. Whether you're planning a short getaway or a months-long journey, I can't recommend solo travel enough. It's truly life-changing. Just remember to do your research and stay safe, especially if you're a female traveler. Trust your instincts and embrace the unknown!
I can't wait to share all the details of my trip with you. From Spain to Portugal, Morocco to Italy, I'll be dishing out my favorite recipes, recommending top-notch restaurants, and highlighting must-do activities.
If reading this has sparked your wanderlust or if you have any questions about solo travel, let me know in the comments below.