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18 Ways Traveling Alone Can Help You Heal and Love Yourself

“Will traveling solo help me heal? Will it help me love myself more?” This is an ever-burning question for many wanderlusters considering setting out on a solo adventure. 

The ultimate answer to this question is maybe yes and maybe no. Solo travel is what you make of it, and given its subjective nature, some adventurers are bound to love it, while others may find it exceedingly lonely. Undoubtedly, solo travel can help you heal and love yourself more if you set the right intentions and expectations.

Here are a few ways you may benefit from a solo travel expedition.

Gets You Out of Your Comfort Zone.

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If you have never embarked on a solo travel adventure before, you’re in for an awakening. You may believe you’re fully prepared to go off jet-setting by yourself, but you'll quickly realize, wow, this might be a little more of a surprise than you thought. 

Getting out of your comfort zone is not bad, though—it’s just a bit uncomfortable. But so is healing. Let the uneasiness flow, and you’ll soon be on your feet after you’ve given yourself time to adjust. 

Teaches You How to Spend Quality Time With Yourself

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You may believe you know yourself inside and out, but until you experience traveling alone, you don’t truly, authentically “know” yourself. As you explore new environments, languages, and cultures, you will uncover facets of yourself you may never have dreamed of. 

You may shock yourself by the ways in which you’ve found yourself being brave and confronting obstacles. Maybe you’ll also learn more about your interests, abilities, social skills, and, how to be more self-loving.

Allows You to Challenge Yourself

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Without a doubt, traveling alone will be a challenge. Whether it's a welcome challenge or a tough one, solo travel really forces you out of your shell and into mega problem-solving mode.

As you hop over the various obstacles and learn to navigate the more complex and bewildering parts of this unique lifestyle, you’ll gradually become better at conquering your fears. Once you are proficient in facing challenges, then you can calm your nerves and do the relaxing or fun things—oh, and the healing, too.

Gives You a Glimpse of How the Rest of the World Lives

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If you have never traveled before, you can never claim to know anything firsthand about the rest of the world. Whether it’s solo travel or companionable travel, learning about the world through your own lens is truly a privilege and a learning experience. Immersing yourself in new cultures, languages, native people, cuisines, traditions, and more is one of the most enjoyable parts of travel..

Get out there and embrace all the incredible features the world has to offer, and you’ll find that these new visions of life can help you ponder on your own.

Encourages You to Have New Experiences

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You may be a person who isn’t inclined to try new things, but when you jump into the realm of solo travel, you will inevitably become that kind of person. It doesn't even have to be in an “extreme” way. No matter where you go or what you do, solo travel embodies the entire notion of new experiences. It’s a brilliant way to get more out of your life. Solo travel is never boring. It’s likely you’ll do or see something new every day and, in turn, alter your thought patterns along the way.

Opens Your Mind to New Ways of Being

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Mark Twain once brilliantly said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” And he couldn’t be more correct.

Solo travel will unquestionably challenge your long-held views of the world and may even change those views for the better. Even if you don’t intend to use travel as a way to open your mind, it will happen anyway. It’s just a fact of the adventure. Soon, you'll see that your mind has expanded in all the best ways and maybe even in ways that promote your inner healing.

Builds Your Confidence and Independence

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As you gain experience and realize that solo travel is, in fact, something you really can do, you’ll slowly notice that you have more confidence in traveling alone.

You’ll notice yourself becoming more independent and able to do hard things as you traverse through this new adventure of traveling without someone else to guide you. You'll find yourself puzzling out the public transportation schedule or grappling with language barriers. You become your own guide, and it’s an awesome feeling to be able to trust yourself on your path to healing.

Convinces You That You Can Be Bold and Take Risks

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After you’ve discovered that you can, indeed, conquer the quest of solo travel, and after you’ve also realized how confident you are, you’ll move into the sphere of boldness.

Boldness can mean anything you want it to mean, but essentially, being bold means taking risks. It means going even further outside of your comfort zone to seek incredible experiences you would never have had before. One of the best parts of solo travel is simply basking in your boldness. Part of that boldness may include your path to healing and self-love as you become braver at addressing your issues.

Allows You to Leave Certain Stresses Behind You

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It’s easy to feel like you’ll never escape the stresses of daily life. After all, you’ll have to return to it all at some point. However, if you allow yourself to let go for some time, to just “be,” you may discover that traveling allows you to compartmentalize the stresses of home from the fun of travel. Furthermore, you may end up reflecting a lot on those familiar stresses while you travel, making it easier to face the obstacles face-first once you return.

Offers a Change of Scenery

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No matter what, solo travel always offers a new environment for you to traverse. While the change of scenery is a welcome one for discovering new places, it may also be beneficial to immersing your psyche into fresh surroundings.

Your brain functions differently when you are removed from the familiar routine of your home life, so let the thoughts and feelings flow naturally as you experience the new atmosphere of another country. A change of scenery may just inspire a change in you.

Forces You to Be More Social and (Hopefully) Less Lonely

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As mentioned before, solo travel is only what you make of it. This means that you must use the opportunities in front of you to your advantage. Loneliness doesn’t necessarily signify that you are physically alone—rather, that you are mentally alone.

No matter where you go in the world, you can bring that loneliness with you, or you can open your mind to meeting interesting people along the way. You may surprise yourself with your ability to connect with others who travel or enjoy similar activities as you. Listen to the stories and advice; they may ignite your healing process.

Helps You to Learn Who You Are and Who You Want to Be

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It’s likely that in the stuffiness of your closed-minded, same-old-story hometown, you were never afforded the opportunity to explore your identity and discover your purpose in much depth. With solo travel, you unlock a world that is abundant with new experiences, new belief systems, new interests, and new skill sets.

As you travel, you can take the time to truly think more about who you are and who you want to be. 

Helps You Reflect

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If there’s one aspect of solo travel that hits most people hard during their first time away, it’s the sudden flood of thoughts and emotions you feel as you set off to discover this wide, wonderful world. This trek, more often than not, comes with discovering many different aspects of your inner self, too. 

Reflection is a great way to start the journey to self-love and healing, so embrace the ebbs and flows as you enjoy your trip. You may even want to keep a journal.

Creates a Sense of Capability

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Before you conquer the battle of building confidence and taking risks, you’ll notice first that you’re simply capable. You took the leap, and you successfully set out on your solo adventure. You can do this. Which means you can also learn to love yourself and understand how to heal. It starts with a single step, and knowing you can accomplish even the basic challenge opens up a whole new universe of self-care.

Confronts Your Old Habits and Patterns

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Ah… the old comfort zone again. If you don’t tackle your long-held, toxic patterns, you’ll never move forward into self-love and healing. When you embark on solo travel, you automatically confront these old ways and for many people, it is taking this giant leap of faith that helps them realize how they are wasting their life back at home. You can use your solo travel experience to refresh and rebuild new, healthier habits that are conducive to self-improvement.

Gives You the Time to Run Away for a While

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Should you run away from your problems? Usually, no. But solo travel isn’t running away from problems as much as it is running full speed toward yourself. And yes, this includes your problems. Many inexperienced travelers like to daydream that their next adventure will help them solve every issue in their lives, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Running away to travel alone will help you evaluate certain problems in your life, but it takes a lot of inner work on your part. 

Inspires You to Dig Deeper

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So you’ve started reflecting, you’ve started the inner work, and your solo travel adventure has been one for the books. You can only accomplish so much healing in one trip, though. While traveling alone certainly presents you with plenty of time for introspection, it’s not going to give you all the “Aha!” moments at once. When you return from your travels and settle back in at home, this is where the work continues. Solo travel surely helps you dig deep, but contemplating all you learned on your trip will help you dig deeper.

Puts You in Your Place to Find Your Humanity

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One of the most valuable lessons of solo travel is not just about you—it’s about humanity as a whole and how you fit into this amazing world. Your solo travel expedition is so multidimensional that learning how to self-love and self-heal is only a small part of the journey. Your perspective is bound to change in about a thousand different ways, and part of your healing journey will most definitely include your relationship with not just yourself, but with the world. That’s when you truly evolve.

Here Are Some of the Best Destinations for Women Traveling Solo

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Ready to set out on an adventure?

Author: Jorie Logan

Title: Writer

Expertise: Travel, Wellness, Advocacy

Jorie Logan is a copywriter, brand strategist, and traveler with extensive solo travel experience. She's passionate about sharing stories that empower women to explore their world and discover their authentic joyful selves.