Solo travel is a one of a kind experience! Traveling alone helps you discover the side of you that you never knew existed, it is a journey within…
And here’s how my perspective about solo traveling completely changed and reasons why traveling alone is absolutely amazing and you should totally do it too (especially if you are a mom/parent)…
1. You have to enjoy your own company (such a powerful feeling) in order to enjoy traveling alone – sure, that sounds simple enough, but in reality it is not that simple. You simply cannot afford to get bored when you travel solo. Once that is in order, you will have the time of your life.
2. Solo traveling is so good for the soul – spending time by yourself, with yourself does something to you that you can’t quite explain. It is not the same as being by yourself locked up in your home office for hours. No, this is different, and this is quite liberating.
3. Discover (or rediscover) yourself and your passions – you start to introspect more, you look at things from a different perspective, evaluate things that you have been putting off for far too long, and most of all, you chatter with yourself all day long, you connect with your inner/deeper thoughts, you start wondering about your life choices, etc, well, you get the gist.
4. Make zero plans, go with the flow, and enjoy every minute of doing nothing, or barely doing anything – which is so unlike my usual travel style. I am a planner and I always have an itinerary but not this time (which was mostly thanks to the hubs and his wise words of wisdom as he drove me to the airport).
5. Slow down and enjoy the quiet and calm moments – this rarely happens when we travel because there is so much to see and do in those new destinations, but thanks to making no plans it allowed me the freedom to take things slowly and just live in the moment (without thinking ‘oh I want to chase the sunset so I need to be at the beach by 5 pm, nope, not this time), and people watch.
6. Be spontaneous, change your plans as often as you like – while I didn’t plan much to begin with as I started out my day, I still constantly changed my plans by the hour… got on a random bus and went to the Bywater neighborhood while I initially set out to explore Garden district as I left the hotel (both in completely different directions). PS: Taking public commute is the best way to explore a city, but I realized NOLA’s public transportation isn’t the best (more about it to come soon).
7. Meeting locals and learning things about them and their city is such a joy – sure, Vinay and I connect with locals when we travel together too, but it is a completely different experience to chat up locals when you travel solo. And more often than not, it was interesting and priceless to see people’s reactions after I’d mention that I have a baby boy and I am here traveling solo. That in itself was an experience!
8. Get real ‘me time’ – sure, I might have an hour here and an hour there (so-called ‘me time’) to just do what I want by myself during a regular week, but this isn’t the same. When you travel solo, you have all of 24 hrs to yourself and ‘me time’ takes on a completely new and different meaning. There’s no thinking about regular routine, work, or chores that you need to tend to (unlike your ‘me time’ when you are home), it’s you and only you! A much-needed break if you will.
To summarize, solo traveling kind of brought me a sense of incredible achievement!
“The inner journey of travel is intensified by solitude.”