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Life opens up when you try new things—see what solo travel can do for you.

Travelling alone can be intimidating because there is no one to rely on besides yourself. On the other hand, when you have to rely on just yourself, you’ll likely become truly independent, confident and unafraid of trying new things. Those are just a few things you’ll learn when you take for first solo holiday, but there are many others that you’ll start to notice during your travels. Here are six of the big things you’ll learn when you travel solo.

You are hardly ever actually alone

Perhaps the first complaint that people make when someone suggests they travel alone is that they will be lonely with just themselves. In reality, sometimes you will have to fight to have time alone when you travel solo because of all the new people you will meet. When you’re alone it is easy to approach you and in all likeliness you’ll force yourself to approach others, so it’s quite the opposite of common perceptions. If you are going to popular locations, this is especially true as you are sure to come across other solo travellers doing exactly what you are.

Solo travel is the best way to get to know yourself

When you are on your own you will have to depend on yourself. You’ll meet great people, but you will always come first, which means you will always get to do exactly what you want despite the opinions of others. The decisions you make and the way you respond to challenges (as there are sure to be a few) will show you and tell you a lot about your qualities, strengths, weaknesses and nature.

Travelling alone can be liberating and eye-opening

The first time you get from the airport to your hostel or hotel with purely hand signals and luck, you will realize just how important it is to travel alone. You can rely on yourself and you will see parts of the world in a way no one else will—through just your own eyes without bias or insights from others. It’s an eye-opening, liberating and truly inspiring experience.

You are more resourceful than you thought

There are a lot of worries that come along with travelling alone. What if you aren’t able to navigate a foreign country because you don’t speak the language? How will you wash your clothes or find a decent place to eat in a city you’ve never been to before? How can you avoid getting scammed while on holiday? The secret to finding all these answers and getting rid of the worries is to let go of the details. They will work themselves out once you figure out where it is you are going. Plus, you’ll be surprised at how willing strangers are to help you, even if you can’t speak the local language.

You can make your own important decisions

You may not realize just how many of the decisions you make in life are one form of compromise or another. We compromise on our career choices, on how we spend our time, and on who we spend our time with. One of the greatest aspects of traveling alone, is that you never have to compromise on any of the things you really want to do. It’s your life, your trip. You alone dictate what you want to get out of your adventure. Interested in art and culture? Find a list of all the best museums. Want to party until dawn and sleep in late? Do it. Traveling solo teaches us that life doesn’t have to be a compromise, and that we are all instilled with the freedom and flexibility to choose how we experience life.

You may actually enjoy doing social things alone

Not many people would think that sitting in a restaurant or bar by themselves is an idea of a good time, but you will be surprised at how easy it can be. As with most things in life, with practice it gets easier and less awkward. Practice going to dinner by yourself instead of ordering takeout to get a taste. Relax and know that no one is judging you or wondering why you are alone. As time goes on and you become comfortable with dining alone or doing other social things alone, the self-consciousness will ease off.

Feeling motivated to get on the road on your own? Stay safe and stay protected by travelling with a travel insurance plan in your back pocket. This way, unexpected inconveniences can be dealt with quickly and will get you back to your holiday as soon as possible. Check out the essentials travel insurance plan from Cover-More New Zealand and see if the cover matches your holiday.

Image courtesy of Unsplash user Stephen Lewis