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The Solo Traveler Blog

You Need You as Your Best Friend

Noemie in the distance

Noemie celebrating the thrill of hiking Patagonia.

Let’s face it, your longest relationship in life won’t be with a sister or brother, partner or friend. It will be with yourself.

From birth to death, you are with you. You will keep your many confidences, your dreams of the night and your dreams of daylight. Perhaps your missteps (you alone can really complete any forgiveness needed) and your victories (the ones that are huge to you but too small to share).

Your relationship with yourself is crucial to your happiness. It is fundamental to successful relationships with others. Your relationship with yourself is just one of the reasons I suggest you travel solo.

Travel solo and get to know yourself.

As I travel solo, I get to know myself better, to like myself more, to be happier in my own skin and with my own company. And as my relationship with me improves, I become more confident. I am better able to cope with the small and large challenges of life. I am also more comfortable with the fact that I’m not perfect.

So how does this happen in practice?

Traveling solo I have time to gain perspective. I see how I operate when no one is looking. I have more time to look at the intentions behind my thoughts, words and deeds. Because I am out of my normal life, I can see them, assess them and tweak them to be a better me. Traveling solo supports continual growth.

You’d like examples?

Traveling solo, I discovered physical capabilities I never thought I had. In Torres del Paine I hiked with Noemie who is 20 years my junior. She had grown up hiking the Alps in France. Clearly, she was the superior hiker. When we were climbing to the towers, she was way ahead of me – out of sight. But I continued, slowly making my way to the top. I doubted my ability at times but I made it.  My self-concept changed.

Traveling solo I have had more opportunities to see myself as the caring person I hope to be. I seem to have more occasions to help complete strangers than I do in my family/friend bubble at home. I have adopted people on my travels. With a more leisurely schedule I’ve been able to help – sometimes for an hour sometimes for many days. At home, helping can be like water to a fish – invisible. Traveling solo, it is more evident.

Traveling solo I meet more locals than I do traveling with others. I have time to sit with them and listen. I learn about their priorities of life and, often, as a I learn from people who don’t have the luxuries I enjoy, my priorities shift slightly too. This was my experience in India. I had the opportunity to reassess what is important and what isn’t.

So, as always, I encourage you to travel solo. To take the time to yourself to discover who you are now because you are not the person you were in your teens, a decade ago or even last year. I also encourage you to take the time to explore and practice who you want to be.

Enjoy.

 

 

 

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  • Carol Barison

    hey Janice. I’ve been enjoying your blog for some time now, I thought I should drop a line, to let you know I think you’re awesome. Like the girl, Elizabeth, said: To be with yourself, rather than by yourself. There’s something really enchanting about a person who is her best friend. Life treats you like you treat yourself, right?

  • Angela

    Thank you to ALL for the positive accolades of your “SELF” discovery and for validating that I am NOT “NUTZ” for wanting to plan my 50th b-day and maybe spending it alone in my world (but with strangers in their’s.) Costa Rica may be my destiantion.. I’m open for suggestions.

  • Lilybay

    Thank you, I am just setting out on my first solo journey. Your posts are inspiring and affirming.

  • Daniela

    Wonderful post, very inspiring…. Thank you!

  • http://solotravelerblog.com Janice Waugh

    Yes, it’s the unexpected that can make solo travel so great.

  • Elizabeth Avery

    Janice,

    I so much agree that solo travel can make for a great “Group of One”. I view it that I am “with myself” not “by myself”.
    Elizabeth Avery

  • Kelly

    I love this post. I am just setting out so it reminds me of the wonderful intangibles that could result from the journey.

  • blaise

    I am a solo traveler
    ….most of the time
    Though I travel alone
    …I’m lonely none of the time
    I meet many people
    …for short periods of time
    Some are good for sound advice
    …with them I spend some time
    Others are very shallow
    …for them I find no time

    Alone with nature and solitude
    …such a lovely time
    Keeping my own counsel
    …a very rewarding time
    Two loyal & faithful companions
    …most of the time
    No matter where I travel
    ….no matter the time

    I have a center of gravity
    …she can be found at any time
    Personally or electronically
    …making the most of time
    Always there with sound advice
    …every single time
    I think of her not often
    …rather all the time
    For without her love & counsel
    …I’d give life no more time

  • http://twitter.com/TasteTheWorld Joanne Gardner

    Totally agree. Over the years of traveling solo my confidence has grown and my ability to connect with strangers ( friends not yet met) has gotten way better and easier. Many people don’t understand it but don’t let that stop you. It enriches your life and teaches you about you.

  • Hotel le president

    What a lovely blog it is! Its really a fun, reading your post. Thanks for sharing :-)

  • http://twitter.com/ThisAmericaGirl This American Girl

    Love, love, love this post. I travel solo often and people usually think I’m crazy for doing so. I too have learned about myself, met incredible people, and pushed myself beyond my comfort zone when traveling alone. I’ve written some blog posts about being happy being alone and also how to travel the world alone as a woman. This post definitely resonated with me, thanks for sharing!

About Janice Waugh and Tracey Nesbitt

I'm an author, blogger, speaker and traveler. I became a widow and empty-nester at about the same time. And then, I became Solo Traveler... Here's the full story. >>

Tracey Nesbitt I’m a writer, editor, food and wine fanatic, and traveler. On my very first trip abroad I learned that solo travel was for me. Here's the full story. >>

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The content of Solo Traveler and any resources published by Solo Traveler are meant for entertainment and inspiration only. Every person and every travel situation is different. Your safety, satisfaction and fun traveling solo are your responsibility alone and not that of Solo Traveler, its publisher, editor and/or writers.
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