4 reasons to embrace your inner badass and take that solo trip

Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.

-Henry David Thoreau

I believe everyone should take a trip alone and here’s 4 main reasons why.

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  1. the freedom: Nothing is more exhilarating than the thrill of knowing the world is yours to conquer. You are free from the lifestyle you chose to leave behind, free from being chained down to an apartment lease and free from the thoughts of feeling like you’re missing out on all that life has to offer.

 2. friends: when you travel alone it is easier to meet people, and having contacts all across the globe is the best type of network one can dream of. Of course you have trust your gut when it comes down to judging a person’s character and there’s nothing wrong with being skeptical at first, but I have made some good friends along the way who I still keep in contact with.

3. experience: Sometimes, pictures just don’t do a destination justice, and the feeling of actually climbing that mountain in Japan or swimming in the crystal clear blue waters of the gulf coast cannot be replaced. Nobody, not a single person, can take away the memories you have made, and no two stories are the same.

4.personal growth: My favorite reason of them all. Going out and seeing other cultures and participating in social norms besides the ones you know as your own, develop a person into a more rounded individual with more perspectives on lifestyle then they may have had before. I believe solo travel makes you more self efficient and confident. You learn to cope with feeling homesick, you become an expert at feeling comfortable when lost, you learn that if you speed that power walk up to a light jog you will make that flight. You learn that it’s damn good to be alive.

People who travel alone have the hearts of lions and I never fail to admire them for their adventurous spirits.

 

The clothes on your back

Why I chose to only bring a backpack


 

You won’t need as much gear as you think you do.  Especially when it comes to clothes. Even as a female, I will say, when you start to pack all the shit from your closet, it’s just going to sit balled up in your bag. 

Migrating from place to place is easier with a lighter load. Sometimes you get caught in the rain. You could have to walk uphill or through sand on the beach. Whatever it is, rolling a huge suitcase will make your life a lot harder than it has to be, which is why I am a fan of the backpack.

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So this is the one I use. It was very affordable and reliable. 65l is more than enough space and it comes with a rain cover which is a must (believe me) . The cushions make it comfortable on your back and you can adjust it according to your hight and what feels best for you. The waist strap comes with most bags but I usually don’t use it, some people do though. It has tons of pockets so you can reach the small things you have without having to dig around. And lastly, when you pull all the straps on the front and make them a bit tighter, it shrinks the bag down, making it fit really well into the overhead compartment of the plane. 

(I once thought it was a good idea to check my shit. When I had a layover and had to switch flights, my bag never switched with me. I went without luggage for 3 days and finally getting it back was a pain in the ass. Needless to say, I now always carry my stuff with me.) 

It’s easier to pack when the temperatures of your destinations are all within a close range. This will help you not have to take up more space carrying bathing suits and jackets at the same time.

Laundry. There are indeed places all over to wash clothes. Hostels often times offer laundry services for a few bucks or you can go to a laundromat. Do everyone around you a favor, take advantage of the washing machines. 

Getting what you need is not hard. Every place I’ve been to so far has had easy to get to convenient stores. So when you do run out of toiletries and shit, have no fear.

I usually make a list of things I want to bring, and then I cross stuff off as I go because I know I can do without. Everyone has different needs so there is no “one size fits all” but this is just the method behind my own madness. 

-Erin