During my final year in college, I spent five months backpacking China. During this time, I learned about traveling alone, but one of the important ones was that I learned how to make friends while traveling. I met many friends I am still friends with during my five months of traveling alone.
To travel alone and make friends, you must first learn how to be alone and enjoy yourself. Smiling at other people can help to break the ice. Go up to talk to new people and get to know them. Be a good listener and get to know others. Don’t be afraid to try a new language. And finally, when you travel alone and start to make friends around the world, you quickly learn that there are many good people in this big wide world of ours.
Table of Contents
- Advantages Of Traveling Alone Vs. Traveling With Others
- 6 Reasons Why You Should Travel Alone (Or Even With Others)
- When Traveling Alone Smile At People
- Related Questions:
Advantages Of Traveling Alone Vs. Traveling With Others
When I realized that there was an excellent chance I could spend my life alone and not married, I also learned that If I wanted to do a lot of the things I wanted to do and experience the things I wanted to share in life, that I would need to learn how to travel and experience life on my own.
Since this time, I have learned there are a lot of advantages to traveling alone vs. even with friends and family.
When You Travel Alone, You Meet New Friends
As I have traveled alone throughout the world, it has allowed me to be able to meet a lot of new friends. Many times when we travel with family or friends, we will only stick to those family and friends, but if we are alone, we find that we are more open to meeting new people and having new experiences.
Traveling Alone, You Are In Charge
When you are traveling alone, you are in charge of your itinerary. You can decide if you will start early or sleep in each day.
You can also decide if you where you will see when. Traveling alone lets you completely take charge of your travel and touring schedule.
Traveling Alone Gets You Out Of Your Comfort Zone
For most people, traveling alone will get you out of your comfort zone; it can be a good thing and teach you that it can be healthy sometimes to be alone and even to travel alone.
6 Reasons Why You Should Travel Alone (Or Even With Others)
When you are traveling alone (and even if you are traveling with others), there are things you can do along the way to make your travel experience more meaningful. We have grouped six reasons why traveling alone or with others is good.
Traveling Alone Can Teach You To Enjoy Yourself
They say that practice makes us perfect, so if you travel alone, you must first learn to enjoy being on your own. This may seem like a strange thing to ask someone to do or even to practice, but the truth is if you do not enjoy being on your own, then others may not enjoy being around you.
I love this quote by Steve Aitchison about learning to be alone and how empowering it can be:
If this is all new to you, and you are used to always being with other people and are afraid to go out on your own, then before you go out to travel on your own, you can practice by starting to doing some of these things on your own as:
- Go to a movie by yourself.
- Go shopping on your own.
- Go out to eat by yourself.
- Go to a museum on your own.
- Go to a concert by yourself.
- Go to some events by yourself.
This is something you can start to practice. You can begin to purposefully going out by yourself and doing things you never thought you would do before. If you are like me, you may find it all very liberating as you can set your schedule and decide what you will do and when.
I do not selfishly mean this in that you do not care about others, as this has nothing to do with that, but instead, this is about you becoming the best you can be in life and living life to the fullest. Living life to the fullest will never happen if you are sitting at home, wishing you had someone to do something with or were in a relationship.
If you do not have someone to do something with or are not in a meaningful relationship, get out the door and not be afraid to meet others. Grab life with both hands, go out to meet others, and experience new things you will never experience by sitting home alone.
When Traveling Alone Smile At People
There is something very compelling about a smile. When you smile, it tells the other person that you are friendly and are open and want to meet them and talk to them. Most people are drawn to a smile.
This is an experiment you can do. Go to a public place and find a spot where you can sit down to people-watch. I have done this a lot on my international travels as I love to sit and watch people; you can learn much from them. Watch who smiles and how others will naturally smile back at them.
Take this a step further, and you can start to smile at everyone with a big friendly smile, look them in the eyes, and then see all those that smile back at you. Most people will naturally smile back at you in response to your smile.
As I have traveled worldwide, I have found that a simple smile transcends all language barriers. You can always give them a bright smile even if you cannot speak another person’s language. That smile will tell them you are friendly and ready to be their friend. As Christie Brinkley said about a smile:
Travel Alone Teaches You to Not Be Shy
I am unsure if I was ever shy, but I was very self-conscience and not very self-assured. I worried about what people thought about me or if they would make fun of me or talk badly about me.
But as I have traveled around the world, I have had people talk about me or even make some very rude or hurtful comments right to my face. But at the same time, I have learned that no matter what, I can go up and talk to another person. Usually, when I do this, I find far more good than bad people.
To get the most out of traveling alone, this is one thing you need to learn to overcome – to be able to talk to people you do not know.
I love this quote by Bill Chapata since when you travel, you can meet new people, find new energy in your life, and embrace new surroundings.
When I travel alone, I find it forces me to get out and get to know other people. To talk to someone, I just met on a bus or train, or even an airplane. Being in a restaurant, and maybe I see someone else sitting alone or a very friendly couple, I start talking to them and finding out more about them.
Traveling alone has taught me to get out of my self-conscience shell, talk to others, and know about others and their lives. This, in turn, has deeply blessed and enriched my life. This will also improve your life as you learn to travel alone and meet new and wonderful friends.
Traveling Alone Allows You to Listen More To Others
One of the best secrets to meeting new people is to ask them about themselves and their lives. When you ask people about their lives and feel like you are interested in them, they will usually be willing to talk to you.
So when you talk to people, learn to listen more. Here are some straightforward ways that you can try to be not only a better listener but also to show interest in other people and their lives:
- Keep eye contact and show them you are interested in their words.
- Listen not just to comment back but listen to understand. Sometimes when I interview people, I find if I just let them talk, I can learn a lot.
- Keep your smartphone and other devices away. Having the phone out and looking at it every minute can be tempting, but this shows that you are not interested.
- Summarize what people say to you to show you are listening. If you summarize a bit of what people are saying, then they know you are listening.
- Ask relevant questions. If someone is speaking on a subject, ask pertinent questions about what they are talking about to help keep the conversation flowing and interesting.
- Share when appropriate – When appropriate, share some of your own experiences or your own advice.
I love this quote by Bryant H. McGill about how being a good listener is a sign of respect.
Traveling Alone Helps You Learn A New Language
If you want to learn to master a new language, one of the best ways you can do it is to travel alone. Traveling to a foreign country alone can force you to try out your language skills.
Traveling internationally will help you make new friends, especially some local people, if you can speak a few words of their language. Yes, some people may laugh at your pronunciation, but many others will be pleased to see and know that you are trying to speak to them in their language.
At the very least, you can learn to say “Hello” or “good morning” or “Thank you” in the language of where you are traveling. I have found that those words are usually beneficial and help endear people to you as someone trying to respect them and their language and culture.
I love this quote by Nelson Mandela:
When Traveling Alone, You Realize The World Is Filed with Good People
You quickly learn that when traveling around the world or even in your own country, there are many good people. People will hold the door open for you and smile at you while doing it. Someone who comes up and hands you something you have dropped. Another who gives up their seat so that you can have one.
As I have traveled around the world, this is one truth that I have learned. That the world is filled with so many excellent and just good people, I love this quote by Nishan Panwar that sums it all up:
So when you are traveling, if you feel no one is nice or that everyone is mean or pushing or shoving, you can make a difference by choosing to be one of the nicest people around.
If you choose to travel by yourself, it can be a fantastic experience if you learn to smile, get to know other people, be a good listener who cares, and try to learn a few words of the language of the country you are traveling to. You will find that the world will be open to you, and along the way, you will build some amazing memories and meet a lot of excellent people who will enrich your life for good.
I agree wholeheartedly with this quote by Edith Wharton that when you travel, you discover that there are so many outstanding and kind people in the world.
Is It Strange To Travel Alone Or Solo Traveling?
Traveling alone to explore a new destination is not strange and can be a fantastic experience. But before you travel, there are things you should do, such as doing your homework to know about your destination. You must also check out all the legal and visa requirements to be sure you have no issues with your travel plans. And finally, have at least the first few days of your travel planned out.
You can learn more by reading Is It Strange To Travel Alone Or Solo Traveling? by clicking here.
Do I Need a Rabies Shot To Travel Southeast Asia?
I have lived in Asia for many years (Thailand, Vietnam, China, and Hong Kong). And I have traveled throughout most of Asia at one time or another. I have learned that it can be expected for some dogs to wander the streets. Many of these same dogs could come up and bite and infect you with rabies.
Travelers to Asia, and especially Southeast Asia, should be sure to get or ensure their rabies shots are up-to-date before they travel anywhere in southeast Asia. The reason is that rabies is still a common problem in many of these areas, and getting a shot may be difficult or almost impossible to obtain if you travel out in the countryside.
You can read our blog, Why You Need a Rabies Shot to Travel Southeast Asia. By clicking here.