I’m a bit of an overthinker. Just kidding, I am the overthinker. I can lay awake for hours at night worrying about something I did or did not say in a conversation weeks ago. Or something someone else might say in a conversation years from now. It’s ridiculous, I know. But do you know the feeling? That something very small suddenly feels so huge, that it leaves you feeling a little less secure and a little more fragile than usual? Yeah, irrational worries are
a bitch frustrating. But I stumbled upon a cure:
It’s not like I jump on a plane whenever I overthink something. But I’ve noticed in the past that if I happened to travel in a period where I was worrying a lot about something rather insignificant, those worries had gone by the time I got back. Now, if you’ve been reading Kimkab for a while, you know that I am no fan of traveling to run away, because I believe that whatever problems you might be running away from, are probably still there when you get back. But in some cases, like when you’re dealing with self doubt or insecurity due to trivial thoughts that have grown irrationally important in your head, travel gives you an indispensable tool for fighting it:
The distance you gain through traveling allows you to see the bigger picture, giving you a new perspective on the thoughts that have been bothering you. I find it extremely liberating to realize that I am just a tiny dot in the big universe, that the world does not circle around what I do or how I do it. Take my example from the beginning of this text: nobody cares what I did or didn’t say weeks ago or what someone else might say years from now, because it’s not what their world circles around. To me, gaining that distance and perspective that let’s you think a little more rational about your worries, is already a pretty good reason to travel solo. But there’s more. Because while you’re out there realizing that, something else is happening, too:
You realize that even if someone would care, you don’t. Because you’re not fragile, you’re not insecure. Traveling by yourself and creatively solving the smaller and larger difficulties that may occur on your trip reminds you that you are strong and independent and that you can totally handle it. In fact, you’re rocking it. And that stupid little thought that has kept you awake for weeks? Really doesn’t look that dangerous from over here. Still not convinced of the powers of solo travel? Well then listen up, because here’s what wins me over again and again:
When you travel by yourself you meet new people, places and situations that will all inspire and motivate you in one way or another. You’ll see things and have conversations that spark crazy ideas in your head. Ideas, which you’ll ponder all the way home and evolve into something clearer and more realistic the closer your plane, train, bike or feet get back to where you came from. I basically have a whole new life plan every time I get home from a trip. Not only do I see things more clearly after having gained some distance, I also come back feeling empowered, energized and inspired.
That is why, I travel solo.
Now you: Do you travel solo? And why or why not? I'd love to hear about your experiences in the comments below. Also: Not sure whether you should go solo or travel with a buddy on your next trip? Maybe these pros and cons can help you decide.