5 Things I Learned From My First Solo Adventure
I tend to think I’m invincible. That challenges shouldn’t phase me, that I can cruise through life full-speed ahead, and come out on the other side without a scratch. But the truth is I’m human. I make mistakes, I stumble, I fall. I find myself in moments that stop me in my tracks and make me second guess all that I know.
My first solo trip to Italy was less than ideal. A Mix of sleep deprivation, leaving my brother, record high temperatures, and nerves made it a complete mental game straight away. And although in the moment it was hard experiencing such a rough introduction to the path I’ve chosen, I couldn’t be more thankful for the lessons it brought me so early into this journey.
I’m excited to share what I’ve learned because these lessons are not only teaching me how to navigate new cultures, but how to navigate life:
1. Listen to Your Instincts
This is the most important, but can also be the most difficult to identify. Prior to going to Italy, I had a whisper in the back of my mind that I shouldn’t be going there. I didn’t listen and chalked it up to nerves associated with being my first solo destination.
I’m still learning what that voice sounds like or how loud it is, but if there is even the tiniest doubt in your mind about a situation dive deeper into that intuition, ask questions, and alter plans if need be. Turn up the volume and listen closely. That voice is there for a reason even if you don’t know what that reason is.
2. Establish a Routine
When life throws a couple curve balls your way or your environment changes constantly, having a routine can help you adapt, stay centered, and battle anxiety. I’ve learned that starting my day with some form of meditation, journaling, or devotional helps me get my mind right and sharpens my decision making skills.
Find a routine that works for you, that helps you disconnect from everything around you and takes check of your mental state. Difficult circumstances will come and go, but how you prepare yourself to roll with the changes will have a significant impact on your well being.
3. Put Your Best Interests First
When I got to Italy, I felt like I had to stick it out even though I wasn’t enjoying myself. I didn’t want to bail the moment it got hard and feel like I wasn’t strong enough to make it through an uncomfortable situation. But what I’ve learned is that true strength is knowing I don’t have anything to prove to myself or anyone else. You have the right to make plans, change plans, and cancel plans as much as you see fit to ensure your own well being.
Put yourself first because if you’re not enjoying the journey, what’s the point?
4. Slow Down and Take One Day at a Time
There is no need to rush through decisions or life for that matter. One of the many benefits of solo travel is being able to take my time when making a decision. Learning to take my time, however, is another story. We tend to rush through life as quickly as possible, always looking towards the future, seeing our journey as a whole, instead of focusing on the present moment.
Slow down and take one day at a time. Think through your options, weigh the pros and cons, focus on the here and now. Tomorrow will come with it’s own worries and there’s no stopping it, so enjoy the ride at your own pace and absorb the knowledge today will provide.
5. Never a Failure, Always a Lesson
If there is one thing that solo travel has taught me so far, it’s that being human is okay. It’s normal, it’s beautiful, it’s terrifying and it’s an essential element to building maturity and resiliency. At the end of every obstacle is a reward in the form of personal growth and lessons learned. Whatever environment you find yourself in, remember its a temporary situation and not your permanent reality. Focus on the outcome of your circumstances and what you will gain from it.
I wouldn't trade these experiences for the world. My faith is continually growing and becoming stronger as is my ability to control my emotions, take on a challenge and overcome it. So... here’s to the highs, the lows, and the moments in between. Here’s to the adventure and coming out on the other side stronger than ever.
This right here, this is the journey. :) #TheGloryDaze