“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” – Rosalia de Castro
Before I had left to New Zealand, I’d had a conversation with my cousin who was asking me about my travel plans once I had reached this beautiful destination – and who also suggested I try take a solo trip of my own. The concept of it being a little – more than – unfamiliar made me uncertain. Yet once I landed in New Zealand, I thought well hey, I’ll consider it and see what happens.
Turns out I did two solo trips, and both were worth every experience. I was on my own around the South Island, and it was spectacular because frankly, everyone told me that traveling changes you and being alone changes you – and I found out that its actually true. *laughs* I never imagined that the amount of independence I would achieve through just traveling alone. And thats only the first of many reasons I believe that at least once you should experience a solo trip.
- This Trip Is Yours
When I say this, I actually mean it. You want to stop somewhere new for lunch? Go for it. You want to take the longer route – the choice is all yours. Suddenly not feeling like starting at 8am? No pressure. This solo adventure is for you to decide. And that’s not selfish! If you’re on your own, you’re entitled to complete what it what you want to achieve, and those experiences are so enhancing. Admittedly the first day could be a struggle if you’re more used to traveling with friends and family, hence it could take a while to build the momentum to the excitement of your adventure.
A little snippet: For me personally on my trip, I was delighted at the hikes and photography viewpoints that I went for – I didn’t have anyone rushing me, and it felt amazing to be able to do these things on my own. On my first hike up Queenstown Hill, I decided that I’d just stay up and take a little longer watching the sundown. Although I perhaps I didn’t plan for the darkness – and so following on..
- You Attain a Sense of Responsibility
Given that you’re going alone, in order to make sure you’re going to be – and stay – in good spirits; everything also has to be planned for accordingly. The extra SD card for the camera – of course 🙂 – all chargers, making sure you’re well stocked up on food and water, having a power bank being charged up, some extra cash in hand – these are all just little pieces that will build up your trip for your own well-being. Added to that; before you leave if you want to go driving, you inevitably grasp an awareness of the car itself; where is the spare tyre? How do you change it? And more. These are all relevant aspects because then when you’re stuck on the road with no signal you don’t have to panic.
Which brings me to my next point. 🙂
A little snippet: Being a vegetarian and a fussy food-eater I had to make sure I carried enough food, because oftentimes I’d never find something that I’d be able to eat! Therefore, bananas, bread and jam made up for a lot of my trip.
- You Travel Beyond Your Boundaries
Whether you choose to travel in a local sense or in an international sense, the first time you opt to travel alone its highly possible that you’ll be moving out of your comfort zone – particularly if you’re used to traveling with others (like I had been!). But this is such an essential experience because it can really give you a lot of confidence, because you have to do everything on your own. It also means that when a problem comes up, you’ll know how to handle it. And if its for your first time? – The experience will teach you so much. Yet even otherwise, there’s such a possibility where you can face a lot of moments of self-discovery about who you really are.
A little snippet: Given how I’m an introvert, I struggled for the first time with social conversation, that’s just small-talk and simple in itself. New Zealanders are so friendly in that manner, and I got over this shyness – if you can call it that – of mine, and I’m continuing to build on talking and interacting with locals, which is a little bit out of my comfort zone to be honest.
- Reflections and Self-Discovery
Traveling alone is the perfect time to really reflect back on your life and the choices you make. Sometimes you just need to figure out where your pathway of life is taking you – and in between the sounds of your friends and family sometimes it can be a little harder to listen to your inner soul speak. So get away, spend some time with yourself, and let the voices flow so that you can accordingly live your life.
A little snippet: I’m at the lake as I write this piece right now, and even if it’s going to come out later I’m considering my own insecurities, where it comes from, and how to overcome that. It’s so reprieving to be on my own and I realise that in this solitude I can really get a sense of myself.
And hence my dear reader, I hope that this post has only urged you to add the possibility of a solo trip on to your bucket list! Believe me, your encounters with different people, and the things that you will accomplish will add value to your life. Depending on where you go – stay safe though! And happy travels! 😀
P.s. If you’ve traveled alone before, what was your favourite experience? Do share your thoughts – would love to hear about them. 🙂