A common question I get asked by people is why I travel solo most the time. Do you not get lonely? Firstly, let me clear up the fact that spending time alone is not the same as loneliness. Loneliness is how you feel when you are alone. Loneliness is an uncomfortable feeling and a desire to be around people all the time. So, when was the last time you went to a café alone for a coffee and enjoyed it without constantly being on your phone? Or have you never done that?
The other day I put up a poll on Instagram, asking the same exact question. Trust me to be a proper geek and get statistics involved. Not to my surprise, the majority of people answered no to that question. Why is it that, it seems anti-social to take yourself out on a date? Maybe it’s because we think too much about what other people think of us.
A couple of years back when I was in New Zealand, I was struggling to sleep due to jetlag. So, I decided to take a walk down Queen Street in Auckland. At the time, Finding Dory had just been released. So I waited for the cinema to open at 8 am, bought a ticket and sat in an empty cinema with my popcorn waiting for the film to start. It was a strange experience at first. It felt awkward to go to the cinema alone, wondering what strangers are thinking, but I let it go.
Most likely you will never see those people again so does it really matter what they are thinking about you. The experience taught me that if I wanted to do something I could do it and not wait for anyone else. So, just do it, go out and do something on your own.
Spending some quality time alone with allow you to become comfortable in your own skin and learn about yourself. You’ll start to enjoy your own company and start to understand your own emotions. I think it’s important to find the foundations within yourself and accept who you are.
We are constantly influenced by other people, how do we know that what we are actually thinking, is our own thoughts and not someone else’s. From time to time you should block out this external noise and truly listen to yourself. It’s nice, you are not distracted and other people’s opinion doesn’t have an influence on you anymore. One of my favourite things to do when I’m alone is meditation. I started meditating early last year and I must admit it has changed my life.
Tell me I’m not the only one that gets their best ideas when I’m in the shower. Ever wonder why? When you spend time alone, you get to listen to your thoughts and actually understand what’s going on. Ideas start popping into your head and you become more creative. Not just that but people are distracting, I struggle to get things done when I’m around others. I do my best work when I’m alone in the library or in a cute little café in town.
There must have been a time when you wanted to go to a certain concert or event but your friends were busy or just weren’t interested. Most of the time when you want to do activities in a group, at least one compromise has to be made in order to find a solution.
I think my favourite thing about having this independence is that I can do what I want, when I want to. I don’t have to wait for anyone. If I waited for people to come travelling with me, I’m 100% sure most of the countries on my bucket list would not have been ticked off. If we wait, who knows if that opportunity will ever come again.
The more you learn about yourself, the better decisions you can make on who you want in your life. Spending time alone with make you appreciate other people’s company when you are with them. This will make your relationships stronger with the people you do interact with. I’m not one to give advice on romantic relationships, as I’ve never been in one myself. But to all my friends out there that are currently single or just broke up from a relationship, this is my opinion; Stay single for a while. What I’m trying to say is that, how can you be in a relationship with someone else if you’re not in a good relationship with yourself?
Be alone for a bit, figure out what you want, fully understand yourself and your thoughts. So when you do meet the right person. You’ll be sure of it.