The first time I got on an airplane by myself was the scariest day of my life. I remembered it perfectly well.
My heart beating out of my chest, my palms were a little clammy, and my eyes were darting back and forth searching for the dangers I was always told about.
But as I nervously walked to my terminal, I begin to notice that the danger that i was so worried about was nowhere to be found. I was perfectly fine and was on my way to New Jersey by myself. I know it may sound a little bit like an over exaggeration.
But, growing up in a Haitian household the number one thing we never do is anything by ourselves. It was the forbidden rule.We are a communal people and traveling alone was a not looked upon favorably. Nonetheless, I was going to do it and defy what my culture deemed unsafe and wrong.
So I threw caution to the wind and defied all I had learned so that I can travel solo.That trip was the first trip I took by myself and it was the begging of my love for airports (but that another post). I have to say that the trip taught me a great deal about life and myself. The things I learned I will pass down to my future children but for now, I will share them with you and inspire you To Live Freely.
1. Solo traveling is empowering
If you are looking for a way to jumpstart your independence and empower yourself to take a bold stance. Then you need to travel solo. The only other time I felt so empowered was when I chopped off all my hair and decided to go natural.
When I first started to travel solo I was scared, nervous, but there was a third feeling that I did not expect and that was empowered mixed with independence.
When you travel alone, you’re in charge of where you go, what you do, and are able to find your own rhythm. When you travel with friends, and family, you don’t get to really do what you want and are sometimes steered by a strong-willed individual who tends to highjack the trip.
But all that doesn’t matter when you travel solo. It’s your trip. You are in charge of the itinerary, the location, the food and everything else that you want to do. And I have to tell you when you do things on your own time and for yourself, it strengthens you. Giving you the confidence you need to take charge of your life.
2. It helps you conquer you fears
Most of us live out lives in fear. Replaying self-defeating prophesies of fears over and over again in our heads. Never stepping out of our comfort zones and waiting for the world to somehow liberate us form out mind prison.
But that is not what is going to happen. The best way to conquer our fears is to actually face them. [Disclaimer: if you afraid of rats I am not saying to go and touch them. This isn’t fear factors.]
But getting on a plan alone is a good way to start. It helps you step out of your comfort zone. Face the world for what it really is. A beautiful place that is full of mysteries.
Most importantly it provides you with a way to SHUT THAT STUPID FEARFUL VOICE UP. Fear only has one job and that is to keep you in unhappiness. To lock you up and not allow you to be free.
Therefore the best thing you can do for yourself is to go out there and conquer that fear. When I first got on that plane I was scared out of my mind. But as the plane took off I begin to see that there was no going back.
When I landed in New Jersey I was a little bit less scared. As I navigated my way out of the airport and to my destination fear had lost its power on me and I was filled with the sense of accomplishment ready to take on the world.
3. A path to Self-Discovery
The path to self-discovery is not easy. It’s scary and often times lonely. That is why traveling solo is so amazing. Yes, you are alone and yes you are scared but that is what it means to discover who you are. That is what it’s like learning what you love and where you stand. By doing it alone.
Solo travel guarantees you one thing, an opportunity to face who you are. Not only who you are but what you like, where you stand, and what you like to do. Traveling with others provide you with an opportunity to bond but traveling solo provides you with an opportunity to face yourself and who you are while discovering who you want to be.
Self-discovery is not something that is going to happen when you sit in your room feeling scared and sorry for yourself but is something you get through the experience.
Experience is the best teacher and the world is just waiting for you to experience it and in return, yourself.
So, grab a map, pick a place, plan the trip, and get on the plane and discovery what it’s like To Live Freely.