Originally published by CreateTrips.
When was the last time you took yourself out of your comfort zone? Threw yourself to the wolves? Being alone in a new environment is challenging. Uncomfortable. Frustrating. Terrifying. But if you approach it with an open mind… It’s thrilling. Inspiring. Wildly exciting.
I’m a strong advocate for solo trips. Everyone should do one at least once. When you are in a new country with nobody but yourself to answer to, you are free. The hardest part is releasing yourself from the fear and letting yourself experience the moment fully. And when you find your moment, where you are overcome by how alive you feel, capture it. Remember it. It will change you.
By a stroke of good luck, I found an insane seat sale (one my favourite travel motivators) to Beijing. With little planning and preparation, I was off on an adventure. Yes, I was nervous. The thing about China is… it’s not an easy place to be. I have been several times in the past for work, but never enjoyed it. Something different happened this trip though. I went alone, and I went with an open mind. It only took about 24 hours for me to realize I was in for one of the best trips of my life. Why? Because I was excited, open, and in charge of my own fate. Bring it on, Beijing!
Let me share my tips for lone wolfing it…
1. Go all in
Go to a country where the primary language isn’t English. Where the culture is unfamiliar. Where thinking about being there on your own scares you a bit. Isolate yourself from everything you know. Go big or go home! The more you challenge yourself, the more satisfaction you feel when you come out on top.
2. Throw caution to the wind
I mean…do a little research. Make sure you’re not traveling into a warzone or anything. Unless you’re into that kind of thing, in which case: go for it! For the less adventurous out there, don’t overplan. Book a flight, hostel for a couple nights, and pack light. Let your plans evolve once you get there. You never know what opportunity will present itself!
3. Meet randoms
The hostel experience is crucial to meeting interesting people and having random adventures. Sit in the communal area or bar and have conversations. Everybody is on an adventure and has a story to tell. Find out their story and share yours. Some of the most interesting people I’ve ever met have been in hostels.
4. Say yes
“We’re going to go check out this restaurant we heard about, want to come?” Yes.
“We’re going to climb that mountain over there, want to join us?” Yes.
“I’m going to a kung fu class in a village a few hours away, want to try it?” Yes!
“Want some cocaine?” Eh, maybe not that one. Exceptions can be made!
When you’re on your own with nothing but time, you have the flexibility to do all kinds of crazy things. Life-changing adventures seem to have a way of popping up. Don’t let yourself miss out on an incredible experience.
So there you are in some foreign country, wandering around on your own, and feeling alive. Enjoy that moment. Enjoy every moment.Remember it, and how you got there. If you can take any of this inspiration home and live every day of your life this way, you have accomplished something incredible.