By, Natasha of The Boho Chica
What’s All The Fuss About?
ou need to take a solo trip at least once in your life.” If you’ve heard this line before and rolled your eyes wondering what on earth is this big life secret that you’re missing out on by never having traveled solo, I’m not surprised. The popularity of Facebook and Instagram celebrities has glamorized solo travel to the point that it looks like endless days of bright sunshine and sparkly rainbows. Bare bronzed backs against whitewashed, blue-roofed Santorini. Perfectly manicured hands picking tulips in Holland. How could anyone be blamed for thinking it’s all overrated? But is it? The reality of solo travel is miles away from the ideas we consume on pretty social media feeds but it’s this very difference that makes it so rewarding. Missed flights, getting lost, language barriers, culture shock, traveler’s diarrhea, being stuck in a freak storm, and hating the local food are as much a part of solo travel as running through tulip fields with the wind in your hair and taking selfies on white sand beaches. On the road, away from the people, places, and situations that define your comfort zone, not only do you get to befriend the world but you also learn what you are really all about. It’s no surprise that most people return from a solo trip with a grounded sense of confidence and a better understanding of themselves. Meet Humility, Your New Best Friend // Halfway across the world, when you’re on your own teaching 22 English in Korea, hiking in Nepal, bungee-jumping off a cliff in New
Zealand, trying to get directions in Sofia, or learning how to make Thai curry in Chiang Mai, the baggage of your past won’t matter and you’ll no longer be able to rest on past laurels. You’ll find your sense of self-importance slowly fading away and you’ll realize that the journey isn’t about you, it’s about the things that it brings you to. You’ll learn to observe and understand foreign cultures; to fold your hands in greeting instead of reaching out for a handshake, to drink tea five times a day, and to put away your camera at a religious ceremony. You’ll find that covering up is not so much about oppression as it is about embracing a culture that’s so different from your own but one that deserves just as much respect. More than once, you’ll have your mind blown by the kindness of strangers and the sublimity of vistas. You’ll truly value and cherish it because you’ll go through a long journey that demands courage and perseverance. Through all of it, you’ll realize that the world is a warm, welcoming place that wasn’t meant to be your playground or anyone else’s. Learn to Accept Yourself // We’re constantly burdened by expectations and this affects how we perceive ourselves and evaluate the things that are essential for our happiness. Solitary journeys take away as much of that pressure as we let them, allowing a rare opportunity for introspection away from the distractions of comfortable lives. Planning, organizing and living your own adventures forces you to spend time with that one person you may have not realized you’ve been