Travel

Why Traveling Solo is so Good for The Soul


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San Francisco

As we open the doors to the second month of 2019, I encourage whoever is reading this to add one more thing to your list of resolutions: Go on a solo trip at least once this year.

Why, you ask? I used to ask myself the same thing. I used to think people were strange to want to go on a trip or vacation completely alone. No family, no friends, no colleagues. I swore I would never do it…until I actually did.

I first traveled solo in 2016, after an E! job took me to New York City. My plan was that after my work was finished, I would extend and take three weeks off for vacation while I was there. New York, Newmarket (New Hampshire), and San Francisco—three cities, three weeks. 

Those three weeks transformed me from an anti solo traveler, to a person who now recommends the solo traveling experience to EVERYONE. Turns out, traveling solo is actually (and honestly) one of the best things you can do for yourself. 

Here’s why it’s SO good for the soul:

IT FOSTERS SELF-CONFIDENCE

I discovered so many advantages and perks of traveling alone. I quickly learned that because I was companionless, I had to rely on myself for absolutely everything. Planning the itinerary, controlling the finances, organizing logistics like accommodation and transportation, etc. I had to learn how to navigate the NCY subway system by myself (yes, I took a couple wrong stops here and there but eventually got it in the end). Essentially, you’re in a foreign land trying to survive on your own. Once you successfully do this, it creates a real sense of independence and therefore builds huge self-confidence. 

YOU LEARN TO BE A LOT MORE PRESENT 

Another incredible thing I learned was how more present you become. When traveling solo, you have a chance to truly immerse yourself in the moment. The sights, the noises, the smells, everything. I find that my senses are ten times more heightened when I roam streets unaccompanied. I learned to love the many table for one’s and solo walks in Central Park. And for me, with no distraction of constantly “creating content” (the only photos of myself in New York are ones I asked strangers to take, which only happened a handful of times), it only further pushed me to create mental pictures, instead of Instagram ones. 

FREEDOM

The freedom you have when traveling alone is absolutely incredible. Zero company means that you get to do what you want, when you want, how you want. It’s one of the most liberating feelings on the planet! 

IT’S AN OPPORTUNITY TO KNOW YOURSELF BETTER

Lastly, I love how traveling solo allows you to know yourself better. They say the best way to do some soul searching is to buy a ticket and make zero plans. This I know, is very true. Traveling on your own is an opportunity to learn, to absorb, to feel, to change, to live, to grow. For all my female travelers out there: DON’T BE AFRAID. I know for most women, the thought of going to the movies alone is daunting, let alone to another city or country. I get that. But ladies, let me tell you this: You are stronger, smarter, and more capable than you know. Take a chance. Take that first step. Go on. I dare you. You don’t have to do something drastic and fly 22 hours to the other side of the world like I did. Travel to a nearby city a couple of hours away from where you live. Perhaps for a short weekend? You’re allowed to take baby steps.

As I sat on a hill overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, I took it all in. And in that moment I promised myself I would take on more solo adventures. Scary in the beginning? Yes. But more gratifying than I could have ever imagined.

-ER