I started traveling solo because I couldn’t find people who wanted to travel where I wanted to or didn’t have the money to travel. But as time has gone on, traveling solo has been something I look forward to rather than do out of necessity. It is still not something that comes easily to me. That doesn’t mean I do not enjoy it. It is more that I have to push myself. It does get easier the more I travel solo, but there are still moments of insecurity and fear. I am outgoing and everyone assumes I am an extrovert, but I get my energy from being alone. But I rely heavily on others. I use people as security blankets. (That sounds bad, but I mean that I like familiarity and comfort.) I have a hard time putting myself out there, but when I do, I usually end up meeting amazing people and hearing their stories. It is still hard to eat alone and go on tours alone, but whenever I let fear or uneasiness stop me, I always regret it. Not once have I done something and then thought, “Hmm… this wasn’t a good idea.” I have to realize that my negative thoughts and fears can only hold me back. They are not the truth. Memories aren’t made staying in the hostel on the computer alone. They are made walking through streets, sitting on a bench people watching, trying a new food, or hanging out with some new friends.
That being said, I struggle deeply with self-confidence. I am overweight and I need to lose weight to be healthier, to be more comfortable and to be able to participate in certain activities. I want to be healthy and active. It is not about a number or being skinny. I want nothing to hold me back and I want to be able to do anything I put my mind to. But, I want to be happy with where I am. Yes, I am fat. So what? Size isn’t necessarily a measure of healthiness. There are a lot of skinny people who eat unhealthy foods and live sedentary lifestyles. I refuse to let my weight stop me. I can climb mountains, I can ride bikes, I can jump off cliffs, I can push myself past my own expectations.
Traveling solo helps me be more comfortable with myself and helps me connect better with the world around me. Being alone has forced me out of my comfort zone. It has given me time to connect with myself and to really understand who I am and what I am doing with my life. I think everyone should travel solo at least once in their life. It doesn’t have to be a long trip, but pushing past the loneliness and being comfortable with yourself is such an important skill.
I would love to hear your thoughts! Do you like traveling alone or with a group, or does it depend on the trip?