If you have read my post here you will know that I never planned to do a solo trip – it just happened. Only after I went there did I realize that there is nothing like going on a trip where the only company you have, is yourself. Now I know many of you would want to take some time off for yourselves by escaping to an awe-inspiring destination. It could be something you’ve been planning for a really long time but haven’t been successful in executing it. Do not worry. You are at the right place. In this post, I will convince you to take that solo trip and explain to you why it is important.
- It is the best way to discover yourself – To be honest, I am someone who has never gone on trips with friends before because I wouldn’t get permission at home – thanks to my overprotective dad (whom I love to death) and welcome to Indian families! Given the fact that I am a young woman made it all the more difficult for me to convince my parents to accept my decision. But do you know what beats all of it? The fact that when I was on my trip, I spent sufficient time with MYSELF to understand what I really want in my life, what I like and dislike and what I can change about myself. I took a major decision in my life (I rejected a University admit to stay back in India and pursue my passion), I overcame my fears of sleeping alone at night (I have only stayed alone at home thrice), I realized that I love sharing my travel experiences with people and started my travel blog and my YouTube channel, I understood who are the people who actually care about me and my wellbeing and finally, I made up my mind that I will travel the world before I close my eyes. Self-discovery is essential because it will help you make wiser decisions in life and brings you one step closer to listen to your heart’s desires.
- “Selfish” is not the same as “Self-love” – If someone calls you selfish for doing a solo trip, just ask them to open the dictionary and look for the meaning of the words “selfish” and “self-love”. “Selfish” is used to describe someone who only thinks about oneself and lacks consideration for others while “Self-love” is used to describe someone who has regard for one’s own happiness and well-being. Self-love is essential, it is not a bad thing. If schools had entrenched the thought of self-love in the minds of children, I am sure we could’ve avoided depression and saved many lives. I am an advocate of self-love because I believe that you can love somebody else for who they are only if you love yourself for who you are. Taking a solo trip reinforces self-love. When you are out there all alone, deciding what you want to eat, where you want to go and when you want to sleep, you are actually making decisions for yourself in your favour which implies you are treating yourself the way you want to be treated. There is nobody around to influence your decisions and this is the best way to discover your true likes and dislikes. Loving yourself is not being selfish; it is understanding your strengths and weaknesses and accepting yourself for the way you are which will let you accept others for the way they are – something that will come handy when you are dealing with relationship problems! Also, every time I binged on vegan ice-creams all by myself in New York, I was so glad that I didn’t have to share it with anybody. See, another strong reason to do a solo trip – you don’t have to share your food with anyone!
- Solo trips are extremely fun and I mean it! – When I remember strolling through the National Air and Space Museum at Washington, D.C., I can’t help but smile at the way I was taking my own sweet time, walking at my own convenient pace and discovering facts about the universe – it was such a good feeling. I had so much fun! There was another instance where I was at Queens in New York and I had to buy a SIM card there. When I went to a shop, the owner told me to leave Queens as soon as possible because it was not a safe neighbourhood. I still remember how frightened I was about being mugged and stayed inside the store until my cab arrived! My most cherished moment was when I was on top of the Empire State Building – it was Christmas Eve, it was snowing (it was the first time I had experienced snowfall), the temperature had dropped down to negative degrees Celsius and I was wearing a beautiful red dress, black stockings and black boots (only to regret later because I was extremely underdressed for the weather and the cold winds made my body numb). I still remember, while I was there, I was listening to the song “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys on my phone and staring at the New York City skyline. That view and that moment is something I just cannot explain. It can only be experienced. It put me in a mode of introspection and inspired me to not just live life, but also make it large! I wasn’t bored at all, not even for a second. If I could do a solo trip to New York again, I would just close my eyes and do it. In fact now, when my friends tell me they want to accompany me on a trip, on the inside I will be thinking “Oh man, I love you but I want to do it solo.” Haha! Now, you can call me selfish.
As I am writing this blog post, I am reliving all those wonderful memories and I want you to experience the same. If I can do it, so can you and believe me, it will be so amazing that you will never regret it. And yes, it is difficult if you have to convince your loved ones but if you have the conviction, you can do it. And if you are a parent, please do not feel guilty about leaving your family behind because like I said self-love is not the same as being selfish.
Finally, love yourself, treat yourself and take yourself everywhere. This is your only chance in this lifetime and boy if you don’t love your own company, who else will?