Just once, pack your bags and leave by yourself
By Tania Arora, Staff Writer
It all started with my first trip abroad at the age of 17. I went with a girl who I was never friends with before to a country I had never been to, with the purpose of meeting people I had never met or known before. I landed in Russia. I was there for two months and stayed in three different locations during the entirety my trip. Honestly, the experience changed my life. I was not the same person I was before my plane took off to Moscow. I saw the best and worst of situations and I got through them all—completely by myself.
Admittedly, I was over pampered and totally spoiled when I was a kid. But from carrying multiple heavy bags, to doing laundry, staying at a hostel, cooking, cleaning, and relying on my own knowledge and senses in a foreign country alone, I was able to learn many key life skills—and learn a lot about myself. There was no stopping after that. Depending on my budget and schedule, I would travel by myself whenever I got the chance.
Travelling alone will force you to become more independent. Once you have achieved this, it is the most satisfying experience. If you have someone by your side, good. If not, who cares?
It also gives you a chance to learn about the country you are in. The best part is that you don’t have to fix your schedule based on what the other person wants to do. You are out there exploring the place, learning about its history and culture, eating till your stomach is full, and trying multiple delicacies all on your own schedule. Plus, you don’t have to share food if you’re by yourself.
Going to another country alone also gives you confidence and strength. Achieving small milestones with a new country, language, and culture gives you the gusto to face and solve the biggest of messes in life. No—really.
You’ll learn how to manage money. Only you know how much money you are holding; it’s soley your decision to either spend it entirely on the first day in a split second or wisely save it and let it gradually flow out each day.
It is so liberating to be comfortable in your own skin, and I think traveling alone teaches you that. In our busy lives, we are always attempting to squeeze in everything we can. If it is possible for you, try squeezing in some alone travelling time. I won’t say that every trip you make must be solo for the rest of your lives, but as long as you are alive and have the opportunity—throw everything in your luggage, get your passport, and get out there.