11 Reasons to Not Fear Solitude
Written by: Lindsay Sibson
“I totally wish I had the guts to do what you are doing!”
I received this exclamation recently on a comment I had posted in social media about me traveling the world alone and living out of a small backpack. It wasn’t the first time I’ve had someone express something along the lines of, “You are crazy to travel alone! I wish I could do that! I’m not brave enough. Aren’t you afraid to be alone?”
To be honest, I prefer to travel alone.
However, let me start by saying that I am a people lover, a total extrovert. I’m that girl who will talk to the person next to me while waiting for coffee. I have to stop myself from talking to everyone in the airport because I want to know their story and where they are going. I’m sure you get the picture – I LOVE PEOPLE.
One of my curiosities about this beautiful world is what makes people unique, happy and excited about their life. A perk of traveling is that I have the opportunity to immerse myself in different places and cultures and meet so many interesting people from all around the world and from all walks of life. I could sit for hours talking to someone I just met and have a fantastic conversation – it’s the best.
I have come to learn that life (or my life at least) is about connecting with PEOPLE and learning as much as I can. The relationships I have formed are priceless to me. But, I have also come to learn that the most important relationship in my life is not with a romantic partner, a family member, or a friend. Above all, the most important relationship I have is with MYSELF.
Hence my adoration of having quality alone time.
Being alone gives me time to just BE. To think. To relax. To create. To work on being who I truly am at my core. To do WHATEVER I want to do! We’ve all been in that scenario when someone asks you, “what do you want to eat?” to which you respond “I don’t know. What do YOU want to eat?” And then it becomes this massive battle of making a decision that is best for everyone… and it takes F.O.R.E.V.E.R.
When you are alone…. You simply EAT! No waiting. No back and forth. You just do it.
Time alone is a great thing.
Here are 11 benefits of spending time solo:
1. You get to do WHAT you want, WHERE you want, WHEN you want – Making decisions based on what will make you happy is nourishing to your soul and spirit. It validates that you love and respect your unique thoughts, ambitions and desires. When your day can often be filled with other people’s expectations (your boss, your partner, your children, etc.), it is important to take some time away to focus on you. When you are alone, you only have to consider YOU and what you want.
2. Gives you the chance to express your creativity – Throw it back to your childhood days of doodling and coloring. Tap into your inner artist and express yourself, whether that be through writing, art, music, or cooking. Time alone permits you to open your mind and heart to things that bring you pleasure and happiness.
3. Improves your concentration and productivity – Pings. Beeps. Chirps. Buzzes. The modern day symphony of your technology-infused daily life. Each beep entices you by saying “PAY attention to me! Check me out!” All that noise is a surefire way to distract you from your goals and life vision. Spending time alone gives you the opportunity to turn down the volume and tune out the NOISE.
4. Opens opportunities to meet more people – An observation I have made in my past year of traveling alone is that when you are solo, you become far less intimidating and easier to approach by people. I’ve been in many cafes and restaurants by myself and have had friendly people strike up a conversation. You may just meet your new best friend or partner.
5. Solitude gives you time to think deeply – This goes hand in hand with calming the chaos and noise that inundates us on a daily basis. Separate yourself from the racket and let your mind THINK. What do you truly want? What goals do you have? What makes you feel alive? Happy? Loved?
6. Alone time enhances the quality of your relationships with others – Time away from others allows you to gain a better understanding of what you want in life and WHO you are. As a result, you are more apt to make better choices about who you want to spend your time with. The saying goes that “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” A little time apart from your loved ones gives you time to reflect and appreciate the special contributions they make in your life.
7. You maintain a more accurate perception – I’ve heard one too many times people brag or compare how many “likes” they received on a certain photo in social media. I can’t help but think, WHY does that even matter? Shouldn’t life be based on how much you “like” yourself and the life you have created? Our perceptions are flexible and constantly changing based on our interactions and environment. It can be easy to get caught up in all the racket of modern day society. When you remove yourself from all the buzz and chatter, you have time to explore the reality you have created and reacquaint yourself with how you perceive the world. In other words… you think for YOURSELF!
8. Encourages you to be more self-reliant – I’ve always been a do-it-yourself kinda gal. I like to be independent – it gives me confidence! When you are alone and have only yourself to rely on, it helps build your ability to make decisions and “get stuff done.”
9. Relieves anxiety – Once again, time alone quiets the chaos and chatter of the world around us (if we choose to put down the iPhone and log-out of Facebook). So many people have major FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and staying connected via social media is like the antidote to staying informed and artificially connected. Alone time gives you the chance to step away from it all and BREATHE. Yes BREATHE. Deeply. In… and out. Relax a bit and let your worries slip away.
10. Allows you to set your priorities straight – Time alone provides a buffer in regards to what other people say, do and suggest. Only YOU decide what is important to you and your vision for your life. Spending some quality time solo can give you great perspective about what YOU are all about and what you want in your life.
11. Encourages you to slow down and ENJOY your life – AMEN to that! Go lay in the warm sunshine. Frolic through a field of flowers. Pet a kitten. Do whatever it is that makes your heart sing and your soul smile.
Lindsay Sibson turned her lifelong dream of traveling the world into a reality when she first stepped on a plan in April of 2014. With the simple intention of learning more about this beautiful world, she stepped away from corporate America to explore an alternative lifestyle of long term international travel, volunteering, blogging and pursuing a blissfully happy and fulfilling way of life.
Lindsay documents her journey in hopes of empowering others to find their passion, reignite their spark and freshen their outlook on life. Connect with her on her website and follow her travels on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/_traveloholic_).
Through her blog, Lindsay documents her journey in hopes of empowering others to find their passion, reignite their spark and freshen their outlook on life.
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