My recent solo trip to Barcelonaa reminded me why I miss travelling – especially alone! Don’t get me wrong, I do love the company and joy of my friends, family and partner when I am away, but there are some lessons that I feel only truly come from solo travel.
You learn to trust your Self more, especially through your intuition!
When you travel alone, you make all the decisions – you choose how to spend your time and money. You are also in charge of your own safety and health – and the bottom line is Self trust… even when difficult challenges come up.
Do you trust your Self to make these choices when you are in a new unfamiliar place alone? …Do you trust your Self to listen to your body and feelings when something feels right or wrong?
And the best part – Do you allow your Self to go with the flow and let your instincts guide the way?
Out of your comfort zone ad into the unknown!
I think many of us have been caught up in our daily routines at some point in our life – and it’s not all bad too! But sometimes, it is important to move right out of all the places/people/languages/etc that you are so familiar with – and throw your Self into a space where you are learning all over again!
When we are completely disconnected from most of the things we are familiar with, we learn to embrace the fear of the unknown by going right through it… Being OK with the unknown and exploring it alone. And being OK that not everything will always go to plan.
Many solo travellers will tell you that no matter how many times they have done it or planned their future solo trip to a new place, when it comes to the time of boarding that plane, stomach butterflies become fierce! The fear factor becomes entwined with the excitement… This is a valuable life lesson for exploring anything new in our lives and embracing it fully 🙂
You learn to really enjoy your own company…
If we are honest, there are many people who don’t like being alone… and on a personal level, there have been many periods of my life where I swayed from truly enjoying my own space and then loving the company of others (to avoid it).
In this day and age, are we ever truly alone? This is another question that I often reflect on… the reason being that just with a switch of a button, we can be connected to millions of people, friends and family online. Our energy ties/cords are connected and being tugged at every direction as we go through the day. So, what does it mean to enjoy being alone?
This was how a friend once explained the positive shift when I was going through a lonely stage in my life… You are not on your own, you are by your Self… By your Self, meaning you are standing by your Self, being your own best friend.
Solo travel will remind you of this at every stage of your journey… it will reinforce awareness of what makes you embrace being alone or what brings up the emotions of loneliness.
It is very grounding…
We become grounded in energy when we balance our higher and lower chakras, the Spiritual Self with the material Self. And many of us tend to be top-heavy with our chakras because we are always in our mind…
Being grounded is awareness and connecting to the world around us – being present right *NOW*, while you enjoy your thoughts and feelings connected to observing the world around you.
When you travel alone, you will become the outer observer. There is no one familiar who will distract you and you will need to embrace the world around you, seeing new things, people and experiencing new environments.
When difficulties do arise and plans change (flight cancelled etc), you will also be an inner-observer of how you react to challenges… Do you think first, then react? Do you focus on the positive or negative side more? How quickly do you bounce back with a plan? These are all popular questions that I have found my Self reflecting on during hard times out on the road in the past. And even if everything is going smoothly, you are still left with your own thoughts/feelings to process alone when there isn’t always someone to share them with.
There is something about solo travel that will ground your energy and allow you to explore new dimensions of this moment.
Meeting some inspiring people along the way!
This is one of the most popular answers from travellers about what they like regarding solo travel. But hold on, doesn’t this defeat the whole purpose of solo travel?!? 🙂
There is a natural flow in the Universe – what is left alone or has an unattached energy space will soon be filled with new things – and this includes people! Even if you’re like me and unlikely to first spark off conversations with random strangers, I have still found my Self connecting to some amazing people.
Meeting people while travelling has taught me to open my heart, trust what energy I am feeling (drained or inspired) and to listen more! I give thanks to many people who have taught me things and shared insights over the years… some have been life-changing 🙂
Taking yoga off the mat and into the world…
All the above points can be extended to your every day life! These points are generally the positive shifts in attitude that I am always reminded of when I am travelling alone.
And if you’re a yogi/ni, the practical challenge is also about keeping your own yoga practice on the road… taking those lessons of being flexible, adapting to your new environment in how you connect with your yoga and meditation practice.
Keeping your Self inspired and engaged in your yoga practice is not all about being on the mat… it’s about how you extend your lessons off it too 🙂