Top 5 lessons from my first solo trip
When I decided to do a solo trip, the first question a lot of my friends asked me was “Why”?! Some thought I didn’t have anyone to go with, others even offered to come along just so I’m not all by myself in another country, and a few seemed to get it instantely when I told them that “I just want to challenge myself and do something different”.
I came back from my trip to Slovenia yesterday and looking back at the 4 days I spent travelling around by myself, I just wish I had done this earlier. A lot of people talk about the importance of being sociable and how crucial it is to surround ourselves with people who lift us up, motivate us to reach higher and support us on the way there. All of this really is super important but very few people talk about how equally important being on our own is. I only spent 4 day away by myself but having never spent that kinda time on my own before, they were sufficient to teach me a few things that I’ll always be coming back to from now on and I really think you should do too.
Lesson #1 Give yourself time
With no doubt this is the key lesson I got out of my trip. Life goes on way too quickly and at least for me it’s extremely difficult, almost impossible, to find the time and place to simply be by myself even for a few hours to just think about my own thing. You know what I mean?! All of those kinda hard to answer questions that you almost don’t wanna think about in a normal day because they’re too big to solve when you’re tired. Yeah I’m talking about all the scary ones like What do I actually want (out of my job/ relationship/ life)? Where do I wanna be? Who with? Why am I doing what I’m doing? – All of these big questions we never seriously think about because we’re too busy, tired, frustrated, etc. etc. And truth is unless we give ourselves the time to proper think about these things and really figure out what it is that we want, the wheel will turn around again and it will be a new year … again, and we’ll be right back where we left off … back in the same job, city, relationship, routine and that’s absolutely fine if we’re 100% happy with it all but chances are there is something we’re not thoroughly happy to go back to! And that one thing is what I’m talking about 🙂 Doing a solo trip really gave me that kinda time to just clear my head out of everything else and just think about me and what I want! I truly believe everyone must take time off at least once a year to reflect on where he’s headed and where he wants to get because life’s too busy to have that kinda time to think about this on the way to work/ when picking up the kids/ cleaning the house, and so on. So give yourself the time if you truly want to make a change!
Lesson #2 Stand by what YOU want
A lot of the times, when on a holiday or in life more general, we compromise probably every day, especially if we’re in a job or in a relationship. We go on a much needed break and we start compromising about where to go, what to eat, what to see and this can be a bit frustrating, right?! Doing a solo trip really helped me realise how much more different my holidays would look like if I didn’t have to compromise with other people – I wouldn’t go out for dinner every night, I wouldn’t stay in the same town the whole time if I get bored, I would walk for miles and miles until my feet hurt, I would spend A LOT less $$$ because I wouldn’t care if I have a private bathroom or be in the middle of the center, etc. etc. I did so many kinda crazy things when I went to Slovenia – I got a bit bored from Ljubljana so I jumped on a last minute bus to a place I had never heard of before (Skofja Loka) which literally wow’ed me, I walked for miles I got blisters on my feet 😀 I got myself a bike and went for a 6am morning swim in lake Bled(an experience I’ll always remember), I spent literally £110 for the whole trip which is probably a personal record 😀 So YES! Doing only I wanted over those 4 days literally made my trip one of the best (if not the best) I’ve ever done and I’ll 100% be doing it again. It’s just so liberating, relaxing and fun because YOU shape and make it!
Lesson #3 Give your mind a break
I don’t remember a holiday that had ever managed to get me so well rested (mentally) than this short trip. We live in such a crazy active world that we always seem to talk to someone, be it in person, over the phone or more common these days over messenger and goodness me!!! We seem to never shut up 😀 Not in the way that we literally talk a lot but our mind seems to talk way too much. You know what I mean .. we constantly think some thoughts through our head, engage in internal dialogue, formulate messages, communicate in the old fashioned face-to-face kinda way and our brain never seems to take a break from communicating! I can’t stress enough how much clearer my mind was after only 4 days! There were times I actually stopped only to acknowledge the fact that actually! I wasn’t thinking about anything, nothing at all … as if my mind was blank. Doing yoga a lot does help me clear my head but to have a completely empty rested mind?! I don’t think that had ever happened to me before and certainly not in 4 consecutive days. Trust me … you need this, for your personal mental health! You need to take a break from always having to talk to someone in one shape or form 🙂
Lesson #4 Do what you never thought you could do
So often we refrain from doing something new because of what others might say or because of fear. What if they find it crazy? What if they think we’ve gone crazy? All of these thoughts inevitably put a break on any sort of urges for something different, something that’ll spice up the day and give us a bit of a kick, an adrenaline surge. Doing this trip helped me realise once again how important it is to do that thing you know deep down that you madly wanna do. I would have never even thought I could rent a bike at 5:30am and cycle 30min just to get into the lake for a little swim before my 11am flight, and wait for it … in my underwear because you see, I had no swimsuit 😀 But I knew if I had just let it go because people would think I’m crazy to swim at this hour and with no swimsuit, I would have left Slovenia thinking “I should have done it”. Anytime you think you might be left with “I should have done it”, JUST DO IT because there isn’t anything worse that going through life not doing what you want to do. There is no one to explain to, no one to justify yourself to apart from your 50 years older self asking you “Why the hell did you not do it then?”
Lesson #5 Save up a little
I’m a minimalist and I’ve grown up appreciating money quite a lot… maybe because I had to work my b** off to earn every single $ I was spending, maybe! I wanted again to challenge myself with this trip and see if I can squeeze myself in just €100 without knowing at all how expensive the country really is so I only had with me €150 with €50 to have as a buffer if things went downhill 😀 But really I wanted to see if I can have an amazing time and still spend very little (I appreciate that you might think that €25 a day is not cheap but that’s what I thought was reasonable, you determine what works for you and your budget). So I ended up spending €110 because I had to spend a bit more than I thought on transport but I was still pretty happy because I literally had a blast without neither eating just a slice of pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner nor going out to restaurants … and I’m talking about food here because that’s what we tend to spend quite a bit on when we’re away. So you find what really works for you, what would really make you unhappy NOT to do or have on your holiday and set yourself a little challenge to save up a little and still have a great time. And trust me you’ll love yourself when you see your success because that would mean a bit more $$$ saved up for the next trip and who wouldn’t like that 🙂
That’s it from me for now. I had an amazing first solo trip and you can have that too. You can come back rested, clearer on what you want, bigger on your savings and happier at heart. So if there’s some doubt whether to do it or not, just message me 😛
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