After hesitating for awhile, I finally clicked the ‘confirm’ button and locked myself into spending over 30 hours in Dublin on my own. While I felt uneasy knowing that I would be a 20-year-old young female, traveling alone in a city that was foreign to me, I somehow knew it would be worth the anxiety. I had a strong intuition that traveling alone would be my favorite study abroad experience and I couldn’t have been more right. I spent my time blissfully getting lost, trying new foods, and going to museums/ concerts. I had the opportunity to get to know a music blogger, a barista, and a cab driver (who hands down was the kindest person I have ever met) – all people who can provide insight on life in a way that I cannot. Now that I am back at my home study abroad site safely, I want to encourage anyone who has the opportunity to take a trip alone (of course, always make sure you feel safe). While words and reasoning cannot come close to translating how spiritually uplifting this entire experience was…I hope that my reasons as to why I think everyone should travel alone in your twenties will inspire you to be courageous and to hit the ‘confirm’ button!
1. There is a comfort in knowing you can be happy alone:
And if you don’t, at least you will know this about yourself. Now you can work on becoming more self-sufficient.
2. You can recognize beauty more easily when you’re on your own:
Your senses will become heightened because the only distraction you will have is your mind. You will recognize that you will an immense amount of beauty in nature, people and in your experiences.
3. You’ll realize that being uncomfortable can be really good for you:
You’re going to feel uneasy and you’re going to get lost. Ask people for directions – you never know, you could make a friend. Don’t stay in your hotel room all day and night – go out, try new things!
4. You can finally travel and sight see exactly how you would like:
We all love traveling with friends or family, but lets get real sometimes you don’t want to stay at a museum for two hours or your travel mates aren’t down to attend a rock concert you’ve been dying to see. Whatever it is, you can now do it and on your schedule.
5. You will become a more positive person:
Spending time alone and relying on yourself for entertainment makes you realize how important it is to stay positive. You’ll notice that as long as your positive you will appreciate every experience you have.
6. You’ll come home with a better knowledge of yourself and of the world:
You’ll understand what you need from life and from the people you surround yourself with. Your perspective will be broader and you’ll be able to empathize with others more so than you ever thought was possible. Most importantly, you will come back a refreshed and a more improved version of yourself.