By Contikivacations | October 9, 2012
Ever worried about traveling solo? Perhaps your friends can't travel with you and you're going to embark on a journey alone.
Contiki's own Brooke Scheer has some anecdotes and advice to share with you about the benefits of traveling solo - and she discovered this on her very first Contiki. Check it!
Guest Blog Post by Brooke Scheer, Contiki Marketing Intern
At the age of 19, I scored a job with Contiki working in the reservations department. About one year in, they offered me the opportunity of a lifetime to travel on their 18-day European Encounter to experience Contiki for myself. Getting paid to travel – amazing right!? The only “issue” was I had to do this as a solo traveler. Initially, the idea of traveling alone was a bit nerve-racking to say the least; however, my fears quickly took a back seat. There was no way I was about to pass this up – and so I went!
When I arrived in London and settled into my hotel room, I plopped myself onto the bed, laid there and thought to myself, “Now what!?” At first, I was too scared to leave the room. So, I watched BBC on the TV, and thought to myself, “You’re in London. Watching TV.” – A sad reality, I know. I immediately got up and decided to go to the pub next door to grab a brew. Sitting there stimulated a sense of vulnerability that was overwhelming in the best possible way. A curiosity awakened within me to embrace my surroundings, go with it, and have the courage to be this person I never thought I could be – a traveler. The next morning, I sat in a café with my latte and people watched while listening to my favorite song. In this moment, I relished the fact that I was traveling, by myself and felt completely liberated. Looking back, this is where I began the journey of finding myself – by myself.
Traveling solo can be intimidating and scary for most people. However, in my experience there are so many benefits to exploring the world on your own. Let’s scope out the different factors here:
- Selfishness Factor: What more opportune time to be as selfish as you want to be! Instead of appeasing your travel companion by going to that art museum you find completely boring you get to scope out that cool music festival – no worries! You’re by yourself so do yo thang!
- Social-ability Factor: We tend to cling to our travel companions instead of branching out and meeting new people. When traveling on your own you are naturally forced to put yourself out there, get engaged, and meet new people.
- Liberation Factor:Stepping outside of your comfort zone and forcing yourself to see and do things out of your realm of familiarity can be the most liberating experience for your mind, body, and soul.
- Enlightenment Factor: The beautiful people, the amazing sights, the delicious food, and the unforgettable experiences are enriching elements to your travel experience. No matter your interests, the inevitability of coming home and feeling enlightened is an amazing sentiment, not to mention life-changing.
My first solo travel experience fueled the passion that now defines me to my core. Since my first trip abroad, I continue to travel on my own. I now have five Contikis and three independent trips under my belt. I am 24 and have experienced so many amazing places, met the most beautiful people from all over the world, and ultimately created this identity for myself, a fearless traveler. Who would’ve thought?
Some opportunities only come once; don’t let the first day of the rest of your life pass you by – It’s time to live. #NOREGRETS