One of the most important decisions I made for myself was to strive towards continuous self- development. In other words, keep learning and discovering – Who I am? How can I better myself? How can I live my life’s purpose and stay true to myself in this noisy and chaotic world?
GUEST EDITOR: Yogita Ridgley
While the rest of the people are busy sitting on the sofa, distracting themselves with TV, social media, mind-numbing addictive routine. I pack my suitcase and allow the universe to take me where I need to go.
I have found Solo Traveling helps me grow … I go to places as me, come back as more of me. More connected to my inner self and more fulfilled with life.
Here are the 8 things I have leant.
1. Self Acceptance – Traveling has taught me to accept who I am – Don’t try to fit and hide in the big crowd. Acceptance is an amazing freedom that you can give yourself. This was a difficult one for me. I am not black. I am not white. I was bewildered. I grew up with a strong culture and speaking two languages, and I felt like I did not belong. I tried to fit in the western world, and I was too Indian for that. I tried to fit in the Indian world, I was not Indian enough for that…. once I started travelling, experiencing different cultures, languages, food, and people, I realised I just need to have my self-identity and self- acceptance. Everything else does not matter. Never forget where you came from no matter where you go in life. Always be proud of who you are.
2. Self Confidence – Traveling has taught me self confidence is a lot more complicated than people realise. People say, just go for it or just do it. From my observations over the years. There are two types of people – overconfident and not confident. Overconfident is at the dangerous end of the spectrum … The tunnel-like vision, I already know everything, I am always right, can get you in a lot of trouble when you are travelling, in fact not just when you are traveling but in life as well. To have the right balance, you need to learn and grow. You need to have an open mind and make decisions based on your life experience, your knowledge, common sense, and your gut feeling.
3. Self Reflection – Traveling is so much fun, and when you are alone, you have a lot of time to your self. This allows you to think about what you want, what you love doing, what you love eating, etc. You are more connected to your thoughts and aware of your thoughts. There is no chitter-chatter to clutter your mind with noise all day.
4. Self Honesty and Responsibility – Traveling alone means you have to stay true to yourself at all times. You have no one else to watch your back. When something looks too good to be true, walk away. I learned how to stop talking myself into doing things when my gut was saying don’t do that. I was once travelling with a woman who talked about self-improvement and self-development all the time. She carried self-help books around with her everywhere she went. She was all talk about I am going to be more “present” and “aware of my being.” The whole trip I watched her on her mobile either messaging or talking about how she is being more “present”?
5. Self Help – Traveling taught me to get yourself a mentor. Learn from other people. You can gain from the success of other people, and you can learn from their mistakes instead of making a lot of your own mistakes. This not only makes your life easier when you are travelling, but it also makes it safe. You are armed with tools, ideas, tips on how to travel safe, travel smart and travel solo through life and the world. Find people who push you or challenge you to be the best version of yourself — lose the ones who are toxic for your well being.
6. Self Intention – Traveling with intention. Don’t just go with the flow. Life is about taking control. Whatever you intend becomes your reality. Find your true intentions before you decide to settle for or do what someone else is doing, or it is an easier option. If what you want does not align with what you are doing you will find yourself miserable or making excuses and all sorts of situations to prevent your progress. My favourite one was when I spent three days with a partner who’s spent all day fishing, all night talking about fishing. After those three days, I asked myself WHY??? I did not enjoy a minute of those three days but it was not his fault, it was mine.
7. Self Awareness – When you are travelling solo, you need to know everything that is happening around you at all times. You need to be aware of what you are thinking, as your thoughts create your reality. You need to be mindful of the people you are attracting in life and why. You need to be aware of the fact that if you want love, honesty, safety …. you need to be all this first.
8. Self Love – When you wake up in a different country every other day, you very soon realise how big this world is and how small you are. Gratitude and Love are the only reality that indeed exists in this world. I have been fortunate enough to meet some fantastic, inspiring people and some ridiculously rude and arrogant people, both been blessings and lessons. Now, I know my strength comes from within, my happiness comes from within, outside cannot shake me or break me.
Travelling with Me, Myself and I
Yogita Ridgley is CEO & Founder of Traveling with Me, Myself and I, empowering women to Self Discovery through Solo Travel, Mindset and Retreats. Award-winning Speaker, Author, Solo Traveler and featured as a Change Maker in Australian Magazine. Passionate about helping you unleash the power of your “Authentic You”
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