07 Apr 5 Reasons to Travel Alone at Least Once
First time I’ve ever traveled alone was to New York City in May 2014 (best time to go because um cherry blossoms, duh!). Now, for someone coming from the west coast, this is a huge shift from the easy-going lifestyle to one that’s fast-paced. New York is pretty darn big, how the heck are you supposed to get around with all those subway routes and what not, huh?! What’s up with locals supposedly not being friendly– how could I approach one if I get lost? And how will I ever take pictures of myself in front of– jk… Despite all these thoughts rushing through my head, I pushed them aside and decided to book a ticket anyway the night before (working for an airline at the time made this possible)!
Okay guys I am telling you, traveling is such an empowering experience. New York is just a practice run, I’m definitely going to travel alone overseas next time!!! I want to share 5 things I’ve learned from this amazing experience because I want you to go out and try it for yourself.
So here it goes:
1. You might find yourself
Sometimes we are heavily influenced by our friends, family, co-workers, etc. when going through an important stage in our lives or when making tough decisions. While their opinions matter (sometimes), the best thing to do is to distance yourself from all the noise. When you do this, your inner voice becomes louder and you’ll realize what you truly want. In my case, I had just started working for a corporate company at the time, doing work I didn’t exactly like. While everyone was telling me how crazy it was to want to leave my job, my gut was telling me otherwise. If I hadn’t distanced myself, I wouldn’t have had the time to reflect and realize what my true passions are.
2. Get out of your comfort zone
Traveling alone forces you to get out of your comfort zone! You know what they say, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” It’s true ya know. Challenge yourself and do things you’ve never done before! You’d be surprised to learn what you’re capable of. During this trip, I learned the subway routes (woot!). I mean yeah, I was running kind of late for my flight back home and I ALMOST got on a completely wrong route, but whatever. Luckily, I turned my introverted-self off for a moment, and approached a local who was kind enough to help me get to the JFK airport in time (not everyone in New York is mean, whew!).
3. Learn independence
Independence is HUGE. We’re practically programmed to be dependent from the moment we are born. We have our parents (or legal guardians) when we’re young, then we have siblings, teachers, friends, significant other, etc. to count on. Being independent is so vital to living a healthy lifestyle. Independence is going to indicate that you are with someone out of love, not loneliness. The only person you can really rely on is yourself. If you’re dependent on someone, what will you do if you lose them? Your happiness and health should be in your hands –not anyone else’s. Being alone doesn’t mean that you’re lonely either. It just means you are comfortable with who you are, enjoying your own company, and not letting anyone else define you.
4. You make your own itinerary
You get to do whatever you want on your own time! Yes, that means you can indulge in a whole plate of steak and lobster without having to worry about what anyone else thinks (you shouldn’t care anyway). When I travel, I want to see everything! I’m sure I’d feel bad if I was slowing anyone down or if I was rushing them for that matter. As much as I love traveling with friends, traveling alone is so much more liberating. You have the freedom to mold your trip the way you want!!! (control freak much?)
5. See things from a different perspective
New York is the city of dreams for a reason –almost everyone out there is chasing a dream. This was such an eye opener for me. I was staying at an Airbnb apartment who belonged to a lady making a living off singing –a passion of hers she’s been chasing (mind you it is not cheap to live in a Williamsburg brownstone). Just being in this city made me realize it was all possible –that it isn’t crazy to leave everything to follow your calling in life. I knew at that moment I wanted to stop working to make someone else’s dreams come true. I wanted to follow mine and write my own life-story.
More pics from the rest of this trip (mostly iphone)
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