Things I've learnt from travelling by myself

Travelling has become one of my passions over the past 2 years. Since then I've seen many exciting places and made memories I wouldn't want to miss. I've learnt many things about different cultures and history but also about myself. Travelling gets you out of your everyday routine and pushes you to your boundaries, at least if you don't just stay in your resort tanning and eating all day.

1. Don't Judge
Let's start with a big one! From my experience, when I'm abroad I don't judge people as fast as I do at home. Normally I automatically put people into two kinds of boxes: "interesting/could become my friend" and "not interesting/no friend material". When in foreign countries and especially when traveling by myself, I don't care at all. I'm just happy to meet people, get to know them and make memories together. Something I'm trying to internalize and do when I'm home, too.

2. Nothing works, if you don't
When being on the road by yourself you will learn that nothing will happen if you don't go out and do it. Want to take a trip up the coast? YOU need to rent a car and drive. You want to climb that mountain? YOU have to put on your shoes and start hiking. Back home you'll see that you've become a lot more pro-active in general.

3. Face Your Fears
Think I've mentioned it once or twice. I'm a nervous flyer. Actually it was more than that. I was terrified. But the more often I got on planes the more it became routine and now I can even sit still through (light) turbulences. This shows me that it's important to look your fears in the eyes in order for them to go away eventually.

4. Plan But Leave Room for Magic
I'm quite the planner and I would definitely advice you to get informed before reaching your destinations including picking out some must sees and restaurants but I've learned to sometimes leave my inner to-do-list monster at the security check and just take in the experience. This also applies when I'm back home. I try to not pack my agenda too full and forget to enjoy life over it. I've learnt to not expect too much either. Just take things as they come!

5. I Need Other People
While I'm an introvert and really love spending time by myself, during travelling solo I've learnt that I need people. It is just way more fun to share memories, talk and laugh about things you experience. Sounds trivial but I need the reminder sometimes.

6. Try New Things
This is another very important one. Try new things even if they sounds stupid or lame or weird at first. If you get invited to some event just GO! You have nothing to loose and can end up having the time of your life. I've definitely learnt to say YES. This way I ended up playing bubble soccer, singing karaoke with 12 Chinese and going to a crazy speed dating.

7. I Like You
While travelling by yourself you really find out what you enjoy and what not. Suddenly all the peer pressure and opinions are non-existent so you, and only you, have to decide what you want to do with your day. There's no one you need to please or impress or who you may feel embarrassed in front of. This way I've learnt that for example I honestly enjoy markets of all kinds, art exhibitions, views from whatever high buildings, high teas, cool bars and DON'T need entire days at the beach or pool, any type of sports, malls or adventurous fun rides.

8. Trust Your Gut
Germany is not a very dangerous place (at least when you stay on regular tracks) but when travelling in certain countries you can maneuver yourself into strange situations. I've learnt that I can trust my gut and so far I believe it has led me in the right directions. When something seems weird and I'm not with a local I get out of the situation. 

9. I Can Do Anything
Travelling taught me some confidence. I've been independent early in the sense that I've been taking care of my shit from a younger age than many people do, I believe, but travelling has grown my confidence even more. I feel like I can handle most situations and will never get lost no matter where I go. Of course modern technologies help immensely but I've still seen friends struggle with metro systems, shipping a package from Asia or talking to authorities.

10. There's No Place Like Home
I'm sure almost all of you will know the feeling when you come home from a very long or just annoying trip. Priceless! After all the new impressions and experiences I enjoy that some things are simply familiar and, well, in order, clean and working. That feeling doesn't last very long though and I'm already planning my next trip!

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