Editor’s note: Haylee, our resident wanderer is back to tell us all the reasons we must travel solo. Her experiences as a globetrotting pioneer have opened up her world to so many amazing opportunities. Although it may seem frightening at first thought, there is truly something so magical that takes place when you allow yourself to venture out alone and explore. 

We all have that one friend who’s feed screams wanderlust so loudly, and we definitely have to admit we are jealous. They appear to be the most confident of folks. These wander warriors take on foreign cultures without a fear.

The truth is, as a solo traveler, there are times when I’m petrified. But, there’s just something so freeing about taking on the world all by yourself.

I’ve honestly never felt more confident, braver and even more beautiful than I do when traveling alone.

“I want to travel more” is a goal many people have year after year, yet still haven’t made it happen. Here is why you MUST TRAVEL solo at least once in your life and why right NOW is the perfect time to do it.

Why Everyone Needs To Travel Solo At least Once In Their Life:

Endless Learning

“To know is to know nothing, that is the meaning of true knowledge.” – Socrates

Much to my surprise, the biggest thing I learned traveling the globe is simple – I know nothing.

Traveling is one of the greatest ways to broaden your knowledge more than you ever imagined.

When traveling alone, all connection to what home is becomes intangible. This forces you to focus on a different perspective, viewing the world through the eyes of those you encounter.

Trust me, you can learn a lot from those who view this life differently than you, and what they teach you can open you up to an entirely new world. Adventuring into this new world induces a realization of how little you really know, all the while igniting a curiosity and desire for knowledge you’ve never known.

You Become More Adaptable

My first big trip kicked off with two weeks of travel with my University class. Yes, that means my coordinators booked my hotels, planned my day, got me from city to city and of course, fed me gelato!

When I left them to pursue the rest of my trip solo, it was precisely that word that hit me like a ton of bricks. How in the world was I going to do all these things by myself in an unfamiliar country?

There are days where #adulting becomes all too relevant. Some days everything that could possibly go wrong, goes wrong. However, you come to accept it. You dismiss the pre-conceived notion that everything needs to go to plan. There’s always another answer, and you become boss at finding it. Being able to adapt to unexpected situations helps in self-development in more ways than you can imagine.

To Welcome Your True Self

Embarking on a trip solo allows you to leave behind every part of your life that defines you.

The self-confidence I’ve gained, and the ability to be true to myself has contributed to me becoming a stark contrast to who I was when I left home.

Experiencing diversity will provide a whole new outlook on life.

While many of the opinions, restrictions, and expectations of home disappear, you discover hidden parts of yourself that were ignored previously. This inspires new hobbies, interests, and for me – a new career.

Travel Opens Your Mind

One thing you become increasingly aware of once returning home is how our home countries do things differently than our neighbors.

Who would have thought I could learn more about my own country, Australia, by leaving it? It becomes apparent what you’re lucky to have at home, though also what your own culture could improve on.

Before leaving home, I was under the impression that I came from a very tolerant country. However, travel opened my mind to what tolerance really is, and how my community has a long way to go in opening their minds to a diverse world.

While riding solo, being exposed to cultural differences allows you to break off from an identity derived from a lifetime of one way of life and limited experiences.

You Only Have One Person to Please, YOURSELF

It’s you that gets to hold the reigns on your itinerary!

What to eat? When to get out of bed, and even how long you want to stare at a piece of artwork. There’s nothing dictating your next move, it’s all on you – what a dream!

Have I convinced you yet? My travels have been the most rewarding gift I’ve given myself. I hope you choose to invest in them too. See you on the trails!

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Haylee Forbes is an Australian small town girl who leapt to the other side of the globe to catch a broader view on life. She’s writing her way around the world, to understand and share the lessons of diversity that cross her path.