On my last day in Ireland, I sat quietly, feet dangling off the edge of a cliff in the Aran Islands and it was the first time in a long time I felt assured of myself. I don’t think sitting on cliffs admiring the ocean is necessarily the right way to achieve moments of awareness but sometimes you need to go somewhere, away from the bullshit that you think is too big to conquer to know that it is conquerable. In that moment, it was clear why traveling alone can be life changing.
When I had booked my trip to Ireland, I was at one of the lowest points in my life. I signed up as a solo traveler, meaning that I would essentially be placed in a group of strangers in a foreign country*. As daunting as that sounds, it was one of the most impactful decisions I have made. That decision is what shifted my life, solidified my love for traveling, and is the reason why I worked two jobs ever since so I can see the world. If life-altering, wanderlust worthy moments aren’t enough, then here are 5 more reasons why going somewhere where no one knows your name is simply amazing:
1. Strangers become best friends
There are times in your life when you just don’t know where you fit and I was there. If traveling hours in a small bus, sleeping in a cramped six person bedroom hostel room, and getting lost in a sea of people on St. Paddy’s day doesn’t bring a group of people together then I don’t know what does. Strangers become best friends and slowly but surely you realize that there are people that fit with you in this world.
2. Reaffirm the good in you
Going on a trip knowing no one, I came to appreciate the good qualities I possessed but had overlooked. No one had previous notions or ideas about me, giving me the opportunity to show up and bring forth all the best in me. I was able to be spontaneous, funny, and burst out into random dancing and people dug it. And in turn, even at a time I thought I was most unloveable, I dug myself a whole lot more.
Going into a group as a solo traveler gave me the freedom to choose. I had no attachments, allowing me the flexibility to be and do whatever I wanted. I could indulge in each moment of my travel without restraints.
4. Knowledge of your own Independence
Even in a group, there was a sense of independence when I began the journey alone. I became aware that I could trust myself and my judgement. I approached the unknown with increasing confidence and I did so completely on my own accord.
5. Find a different perspective
In a world completely detached from my own, I was able to reevaluate the person I was back at home. You realize just how insignificant things can be when you are reveling in happiness and the expansiveness of foreign beauty. I returned home having grown with the knowledge that it was achievable to be in pure uninhibited bliss.
So, go somewhere where no one knows your name. Book a trip as a solo traveler. Find yourself somewhere on the edge of the unknown.
*Note: I booked my trip with EF College Break, which is an amazing company if you are looking to book a trip solo. If want more information on their trips click here. If you are ready to book your next adventure email firstname.lastname@example.org. Trust me when I say that Louis is the best trip consultant ever!!