Adventure, Culture

Adventure: What I’ve Learned About Traveling Alone

It hasn’t even been twenty-four hours since I’ve returned from Chicago Comic Con repping Hero Within, and I’m already feeling the sentimental travel vibes.

Traveling solo has layers and levels that deserve some attention. Personally, I’ve been collecting my thoughts about my solo travel experiences and have realized that I rather enjoy them. It’s a completely different thought process and expression versus traveling with a companion, a friend or family. Of course, I often vie for my wife to be with me, but there are some aspects that I embrace when I travel by myself. After filtering observations with eyes wide open, I’ve packed some thoughts into my carry-on.

When traveling alone, I learn more about:

  1. The World – This sounds very vague and general, but my perspective begins to change about how people of the world want to see different people and different places. This is evident when you step foot into the airport, all the more when you look around the seats of your airplane. On my most recent plane ride home from Chicago, I saw an elderly Jewish man entertaining a young Indian boy. Everyone around, people of all cultures had smiles on their faces.
  2. People Around Me – When I travel alone I’m more prone to talk to strangers. It’s a way to express thoughts and excitement or curiosity. If my flight were not delayed in Chicago this past trip, I would’ve never swapped Nashville stories with three other strangers at the airport. All of us were traveling alone. One of us opened our mouths offering Chicago style popcorn to the rest of the group. The conversation was a pleasant and memorable distraction during a frustrating time.
  3. …Myself – If there’s any reason to travel alone, it’s for the personal journey within. The downtime, the collective thoughts, the liberty to free yourself from distractions. After working a long convention in Chicago, I rewarded myself with a walk and a whole pizza (didn’t finish) at a small pizza joint. I made nice with the staff, manager, and got some food on the house while swapping travel stories. I left the pizza place stuffed and satisfied that I had alone time while also getting to know some cool strangers.

Whether it’s for business or pleasure, traveling is always enjoyable. It’s always a learning experience like solving a quest to reach a destination while getting to know more about cultures beyond my country, my town, my level of comfort. It’s all within reach in the airport terminal or airplane seat right next to me. That’s if one of us solo travelers decides to open our mouths.

What are your thoughts on traveling alone? Enjoyable? Stressful? What are some things you do to get you through your trip?

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