Want to boost your confidence this year? Then travel solo. I did, and it changed my life. Traveling alone forced me to step out of my comfort zone, get to know myself better, and be self-reliant — ultimately increasing my confidence.
How it Started
One year I made a last-minute decision to visit Paris — solo. It was one of the best decisions in my life. I bought a ticket for the first train out of London St Pancras station to Paris. Hours later, I found myself meandering the streets of one of the world’s most romantic cities. I took advantage of the hop-on and hop-off bus, then floated along the River Seine, enjoying iconic landmarks and attractions. I connected with other tourists and chatted with street vendors. The energy was magnetic.
How it Ended
Train delays and cancellations kept me in Paris for hours. Paris at Gare du Nord station overflowed with travelers dealing with the unexpected. People crammed in café seating with luggage and electronics in hand; some sat on the floor, while others leaned on walls as the lines for the customer service desks spilled into the walkway. Pedestrian traffic was at a standstill, and security was everywhere. Eventually, I boarded a train back to London. Tired, restless, yet empowered. Something in me was different. And I knew then, Paris would not be my last solo travel.
Here are three ways traveling alone boosted my confidence and can help you increase yours too:
1. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone“By leaving your comfort zone behind and taking a leap of faith into something new, you find out who you are truly capable of becoming.” — Anonymous
When you travel alone, you are vulnerable and compelled to step out of your safety zone. You have to step out of your comfort zone to explore new places and meet new people. When you dare to do something new, something different, it changes how you view yourself and relate to others.
2. Get to Know Yourself“Self-discovery is the secret ingredient that fuels daring.” — Grace Lichtenstein
When you travel by yourself, you set your itinerary — determining how you want to spend your time. You get to focus on what you like and what you don’t like. And you discover things about yourself in the process. Traveling solo also allows you to spend time with yourself, offering space for reflection.
3. Self-Reliance“As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.”
When you travel alone, you have to rely on yourself. All of the decisions you make are up to you. By relying on yourself, you begin to trust your choices. And building trust allows you to have the confidence to make the best decisions on your trip and in the future.
So, what’s next? Take action. Admittedly, solo travel can be intimidating and even scary during a pandemic. But hotels and travel websites have done an excellent job providing guidelines and customer reviews that help you make the best decision for your solo trip. Trust me, traveling alone is worth it. Not only will you boost your confidence. You get to explore new cultures and adventures. These benefits outweigh the doubts that can prevent personal growth.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover”
— H. Jackson Brown Jr.