6 Ways Travelling Solo Has Changed My Life

There are certain decisions you make that influence the course of your life. Maybe not a 180% directional change, but it might’ve become significant turning points.

Travelling solo was one of them for me.

I took my first solo trip back in 2016. I was SO scared y’all. But I wanted to step out of my comfort zone so backing out of the idea wasn’t an option. I decided to strike a balance between being so scared that I’d pee my pants but also uncomfortable enough that I’d experience something new. Eventually I’ve settled on Vancouver. It is right beside Toronto, and I have relatives there. If anything goes south, it wouldn’t be the end of the world (…I think).

And oh my. What a decision. I’ve never expected to enjoy it as much as I did, let alone having it change my perspectives on things. Now I’m addicted.

Ever since, I tried to go on a solo trip once every year. I first went back to Vancouver a few times (cause I loved it so much!); then in the last 2 years, I’ve “levelled up” and went to Peru and Taiwan alone.

*All photos in this blog are from my Peru trip. I’ll be writing about my trips in the future. Keep an eye out!*

Here’s how travelling solo has changed me:

1. How I See Myself

I’ve always thought I know myself pretty well…until I went on a solo trip. You don’t truly know who you are or what you are capable of until you allow yourself the opportunity to do so. Sometimes you think you are this way, but that might only be half the picture. You may know how you act during your day-to-day, but do you know how different you may be when you are in a different environment? Here’s how I see myself now:

  • Dependent Independent
  • A scaredy cat Courageous (ish)
  • Anxious Calm
  • Not street-smart Resourceful
  • Don’t like travelling Open-minded

I “was” dependent and more of a book-smart kinda gal than street-smart. But I was only all these because I’ve been living with my family and have gotten used to relying on others. But that doesn’t mean I’m not capable, it just means I need to give myself the chance to reach my full potential.

2. How I Approach Self-Growth

I had a limited view of self-growth. Back then, I focused a lot on knowledge and skills development through taking classes, reading articles, doing side projects, and talking to people. I still do all these. But I forgot about my growth in beliefs and characteristics. When you travel alone, it grooms you 3x faster.

Now I make more time for new experiences. As typical as it sounds, stepping outside of your comfort zone is one of the keys to huge self-growth.

3. How I Spend My Time

I have a new appreciation for alone time. When I’m by myself, I can reflect and relax without distractions. It’s calming. I also see more little nuggets of greatness when I’m alone. Like the time when I was in Vancouver, I noticed everyone would literally scream “thank you!!!” to the driver from the back of the bus when they get off. That’s pretty awesome if you ask me. That got me smiling for a good 5 mins on the bus (quite creepy, but you can’t fight the happiness).

FOMO (fear of missing out) isn’t much of an issue for me anymore, because I know I can still have a good time by myself.

4. How I See the World Around Me

Everything seems so much smaller as you see the world more, especially after visiting countries that are different from the city life I’m used to. I used to think having bad days at work is the end of the world (I’m silly I know), but when I reflect on how diverse the world is, and all the different things people in the world are dealing with, my problems feel minuscule.

I now worry less and enjoy the little things more. My problems in the grand scheme of things happening in the world, are often not as big of a deal as I perceive.

5. How I Travel

I always thought travelling with others and visiting popular landmarks are what make vacations fun. Yes that could be parts of it. But I realize I have the most fun when I do whatever I feel like doing at the moment. I’d have a great time spontaneously exploring a nearby neighbourhood instead of going to a place on Expedia’s “must visit” list. I’d feel awesome when I end up eating random street foods for dinner instead of dining in at a well-known restaurant.

Travelling solo gave me the flexibility to do that. I don’t have to compromise or stick to the plan if I don’t feel like to. I don’t have to talk to keep people company if I want to stay quiet. And if I want to take a nap, then I sure will be taking that sweet nap.

Everyone has a different travel style. Knowing what it is, helps me prevent conflicts when travelling with friends. My friends and I now share how we travel ahead of time so there won’t be unpleasant surprises.

6. How I View Challenges

Bring it on baby! …Really though, this sums it up.

Knowing that I am more capable and courageous than I thought, I’m now less scared to take on challenges. I believe I can overcome them as long as I try my best. Things will work itself out. And if it doesn’t…then oh well it is what it is LOL.

My Final Thoughts

I highly encourage everyone to travel alone at least once in their life. It may not impact you the same way it did for me, but that’s the beauty of it. You don’t know what you will get out of it, until you go for that solo trip. Everyone’s experience will be unique and will grow you in ways you might not have expected.

Have you travelled alone before? Or have considered doing it? I’d love to know what your thoughts are on solo travelling in the comments below!

60 thoughts on “6 Ways Travelling Solo Has Changed My Life

  1. Enlightening points and beautiful conclusion! Iโ€™m just 17 but recently Iโ€™ve started doing things like going for longer drives to visit destination sites in my state, so that is enough for me right now to understand the benefits of traveling alone. Also sometimes itโ€™s cool to have a story only you can tell!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah!! There are so many funny and interesting stories that can come out of travelling alone (and some scary ones as well…๐Ÿ˜…)

      That’s awesome! Visiting sites in your own state is such a good idea. I think exploring locally is underrated and more people should do it. Good for you!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw thank you ๐Ÿ’•! It was terrifying the first time, so I try to plan as much as possible to limit uncertainties. If you ever want to give it a try, choosing a place that’s less “exotic” and more safe can ease the scariness ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a great + relatable post! I have never travelled solo – I was going to in February/March this year and then the world had something else prepared for all of us with the pandemic. However, the point about always feeling book-smart and not street smart? Gosh, that’s exactly what I think of myself as well! With this solo trip that I had planned, I kind of wanted to show myself that as a 23-year-old adult I am perfectly capable to survive on my own. It’s really reassuring reading about your experiences! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup…the world was like ‘nice plans but NOPE none of you are going anywhere’ ๐Ÿ˜“ Glad this post reassured you! It’s so easy to give ourselves less credits for what we can do when we never saw ourselves in all the different situations. Yessss you’re gonna have so much fun! I’m excited for you!! Where were you planning to go originally?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. To play it safe somewhere close to home – Goa! I want to sit by the sea all day and write poetry and drink beer and not be afraid of the sun. Seems like a pipe dream with the current circumstances but soon! I’d love to read about your misadventures when travelling because those make for the best stories in retrospect.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh my goodness, that sounds amazing!! It’ll be such a calming yet enjoyable getaway. I did something similar last year at Taiwan. I went to a village at the of a mountain and drank tea all day. It was the best!

        Wuu that’s a great idea. That’d be such a fun blog to write hahaha. I definitely had a few ‘mental breakdown’ moments ๐Ÿ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I once traveled solo but only to go home to my home country and to come back here. Even with just that, I felt so much different in a good way and I learned more about myself by how I deal with things along the way. It made me think, what more if I went on a solo trip to a different country alone? Thank you so much for sharing your experiences! It makes me want to really go for it! ๐Ÿ’–

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yesss totally!! It can be a very empowering process. I think it’s great that you have tried it through going home before, so you kind of know what to expect. It’s a good experience to have before going solo to a completely different country because it can be terrifying at first. No problem at all! So glad this post encouraged you ๐Ÿ’–!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Can’t wait to be able to solo travel ๐Ÿ™‚ My own company is where I feel comfortable, but I would love to make friends in hostels. The photographs are stunning too โค What a picturesque view! x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I’m excited for you! Have you solo travelled before?

      Yesss making friends from around the world is exciting! I find it much easier to meet people when you’re alone. And thank you!! There are gorgeous postcard scenarios everywhere in Peru ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ’•

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      1. Never solo-travelled before! Always keep in the company of friends or family. But I really want to try it ๐Ÿ™‚ Peru reminds me of Paddington every time I hear it so I’d love to explore there! Glad you enjoyed your trip ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ohhhh I see. I think you’ll love solo travelling! Terrifying at first, but amazing after ๐Ÿ˜„ Yesss I recommend Peru. I think it’s fairly safe and has lots of beautiful places to visit. People there are also very friendly! Thanks Erin ๐Ÿ˜ƒ!!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve always wanted to take a solo-trip but I never did! I’m sure I’d learn so much and your post makes me want to do it even more! What kept me from doing it is that I’m luckily surrounded by people with whom I love to spend time with so I always end up traveling with them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yayy I’m glad the post motivated you ๐Ÿ’› And oh yes that’s tough, travelling with fam and friends is awesome hahah. It works out for me that there are places I wanna go to but not so much for people around me, so I just pick those to visit alone! If you have a place like that, it could be a good solo trip option ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey Kae, thanks for the follow – I’m glad I get to meet another like minded traveler through WP! I’ve also had some solo travel experiences and would say it’s probably been the most important chapters on my journey of self-discovery so far! Your story about thanking the bus driver in Vancouver reminded me of Seattle, where people do the same. This became part of me and I must say I’ve been enjoying the strange looks I get when I do it in other cities like London or Dublin ๐Ÿ˜€ I look forward to reading about your upcoming adventures

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Nadia! Solo travelling is such a great way to self-discovery, definitely one of my most important chapters too! And hahahah that’s awesome! I try to do it more in Toronto (where I live) but am too scared to do it in other countries ๐Ÿ˜‚ You’re brave. Thanks for checking out my post and glad to have connected with you ๐Ÿ’› Can’t wait to read more of your stories as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. My goal in life is to solo travel at least once- but my anxious mind does not agree haha
    Excited to read through your other posts! ๐Ÿ’›

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Absolutely love this post! I took the plunge in travelling solo at just 20 years old (utterly terrified) and have learnt so much about myself. I would never have guessed just how much solo travel can change you as a person! Completely relate to everything you wrote ๐Ÿ˜Œ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you ๐Ÿ’› Oh wow 20 years old that’s pretty early for solo travelling, you’re so brave! I know! I think it’s even better that we weren’t expecting these changes to happen, so they came as a nice surprise ๐Ÿ˜ƒ Where did you go on your first solo trip??

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ahh thank you! I never wanted to go solo but I didnโ€™t want to wait around for someone to decide to come with me ๐Ÿ™ˆ youโ€™re absolutely right! My first โ€˜realโ€™ solo trip was a month volunteer project in Namibia, Africa โ˜บ๏ธ where was yours?!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh my gosh I know what you mean!! One reason I started travelling alone more was also cause I couldn’t find ppl to go and do what I wanted ๐Ÿ˜ข My first solo trip was Vancouver, but the first “scary” one was Cusco Peru, also a volunteer project!! Hahah we are alike ๐Ÿ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Exactly, me too!! My first solo was around Europe but because itโ€™s so close to home it wasnโ€™t as scary as Africa ๐Ÿ™ˆ so nice to have someone relate with over that! ๐Ÿ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw thank you ๐Ÿ’› Agreed! If I stay complacent then life will be pretty mundane (which has been like that for a while). So gotta let myself try more things and be more open to challenges ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ™Œ And if I fail then oh well hahah

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  9. I’ve traveled alone many times (for a few months), and it’s because I have this experience I totally agree with you. Traveling on your own teaches you so much… about the world and yourself. It definitely gives you more confidence and helps you see things in a new light. How long were you gone ? Have you ever traveled for a whole year ? If not, would that be something you’d consider ? anyways, thanks for sharing your experience ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow that’s amazing! I haven’t gone as long as you have. My solo trips range from 5 days to 2 weeks only. Would love to try longer trips though but has been hard cause of work ๐Ÿ˜ž I am however considering study abroad for maybe 3-4 months in the next 2 years, so that would be exciting if it happens!!

      I did wonder about travelling for a whole year…but I don’t think that’s for me. I actually enjoy taking breaks in between trips, especially I get home sick easily hahaha ๐Ÿ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 5 days are enough to learn quite a bit already. Especially when you’re on your own somewhere you’ve never been ^_^ Traveling for a whole year is scary, I’ll give you that. I was homesick last time I left, but I believe leaving for a year doesn’t mean you need to be away for the whole year. i think I’d have to come back a week or two at least. Family is too important ๐Ÿ™‚ Can I ask where you’d go study if you get to choose ?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeahh, I started off with less days, and eventually worked my way up to 2 weeks hahah, baby steps! Will you consider travelling for a whole year? Was there a reason why you chose to travel for a few months each time? Yeah agreed! I think the most I can do without seeing my family is 3 months (which aligns with my study abroad plan perfectly hahah ๐Ÿ˜‚) Ideally I want to go to Taiwan. But it’ll also depend on what programs are available in the different countries. It’ll be for my Masters in Psychology so options are more limited ๐Ÿ˜•

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      3. We can’t all move at the same speed, it’s all about making this scary first step in the end ^_^ To answer your question, I’m actually considering going away for a year (or longer) at the moment. I’m not sure I’ll do it because it’s not just scary. There’s a time to begin a career and at 22 I figured it might be time for me. I dunno yet, I’ve given myself the entire summer to decide. But if I leave, I’ll be gone in September. Then I’ll come back home from time to time I assume. Taiwan seems so far away to me (a European)… Btw, the only reason I chose to leave for a month for my first solo trip was that the CELTA course lasted a month. Best trip ever. If anyone reads this : do the CELTA, you’ll learn a lot and won’t regret it ๐Ÿ˜‰ Where can you go for your masters ?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Ohhhh I see you’re a recent grad! Not sure if it’ll help with your decision but I’ve been working for several years…and I have to say once you start your career, it’s very hard to find time to go on vacation, especially for a year ๐Ÿ˜“ This is how Toronto is at least, where you are might be different though. But either way whether you start your career or travel for a year, both sound very exciting (and scary hahahha). Lots of fun times ahead of you!

        CELTA, is that the English teaching course? Ohhh I didn’t realize you need to do the CELTA abroad ๐Ÿ˜ฎ For the stream I want to do for my masters, I can do Pennsylvania, London, Paris, Spain, or Melbourne. Most of them actually offer online option though. So I might even consider doing it online, but travel to different cities every few months. This way I still get to “study abroad”, but will be able to visit different cities and not limited to one!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I am, graduated in April. That’s just as you say, lots of fun times ahead. A bit scary cause I dunno where I’d headed but I still have time to figure this out, thankfully! ^_^

        Yes, CELTA is the English teaching course. I flew to England to do it (by choice) and it’s one of the best decisions in my life. Though I haven’t used my certificate to get a job yet xD

        You have quite a few options for your masters. All of them sound amazing. I’m not sure which one I’d pick… The online variant sounds great too! A tad more adventurous perhaps ? Studying online can be tough. It’s great but does take a lot of discipline (which isn’t the most fun word in the book)….

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Doing CELTA abroad is such a great idea!! Will definitely recommend this to friends who are considering teaching English! Hahahh, it’s okay you have time! Is that what you’d like to do for ur career?

        Yeahh, got a few options to choose from! Right now I’m leaning towards the online version, because it’s much cheaper…but like u said, my biggest concern is the discipline aspect of online studying. I think it’ll be a lot harder for masters online ๐Ÿ˜ต Either way I’m excited for the study abroad idea though so I’ll manage through ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

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      7. I think I’d enjoy being an English teacher abroad. It’d allow me to travel a lot. But I don’t know if I’d make it a career. I’m kinda struggling with the idea of career. I like doing new things all the time so I don’t get bored. So I don’t know. It’d be a good career though, and probably the one which interests me the most, along with writing. Would you be a teacher if you could ?
        It wouldn’t be easy for sure but as long as you’re in the right mindset, you can do it, right?! Plus, if it’s cheaper you get to travel even more thanks to all the money you won’t have spent ^_^

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Ohhhh, teaching English in different cities would be fun!! I definitely will not be a teacher even if I can hahahh, I don’t enjoy prepping course materials or teaching in front of a bunch of people ๐Ÿ˜‚

        Yeahh that’s what I’m thinking too. The savings from the cheaper tuition can go to more travelling. So we shall see! I still got some time to think about my options ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

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