Traveling alone

32 Lessons You Learn Traveling Around The World Alone

In the past 6 months, I went traveling around the world to different cities & countries including Paris, France; Munich, Germany; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Cusco, Peru; NYC, USA; and more.

All of these trips have been with me, myself, and I.

People talk about how great travelling alone is, and why you need to try it. Finally, I mustered up the courage and set out to venture on my own.

Let me be upfront by telling you that travelling alone is not for everyone.

For those brave enough to take on the challenge, the lessons learnt can be life-changing.

They were for me so far, and the journey has only begun.

Here are 32 lessons you will learn traveling alone:

1. You hate being alone.

You step out of that airport and can’t help but feel nervous, lonely, and doubtful. This is how everyone feels at the beginning of their adventure, and only the beginning.

travelling alone


2. You love being alone.

Being alone becomes a way of living and you have complete freedom to do what you want, when you want.

dancing alone
Dancing alone

 

3. Experiences > Materials.

The transition from living with a car, home, TV, to a backpack makes you realize how much your posessions owned you. Experiences are life-lasting, materials give you nothing but a bill.

skydiving photo
Skydiving


4. Quality beats Quantity.

We live in a quantified world where the higher the number, the more it’s attributed to success. Followers, bank account, houses. This also applies to number of places. It’s far better to spend 3 months in a city, learning its culture, language, and creating lasting relationships than trying to hit 10 cities in 3 months.

discovering new cities
Discovering new cities

 

5. Have a project. 

You’ll be at the top of our creative mindset when you’re traveling alone.
Leverage the environment and put something out there for the world.

side project
Side Project

6. You learn to love yourself.

Travelling alone gets lonely, there’s no doubt about it. Facing your inner thoughts and being comfortable & happy with who you are as a person will be one of the most valuable lessons you’ll learn.

love yourself
love yourself

7. You Stop Giving A F@$%.

There’s a big difference between outer confidence and inner confidence. Outer confidence can be faked, and is hard to sustain. Inner confidence is being 100% comfortable in your own skin. Stop caring what other people think, and have the confidence to do what you want, when you want.

stop giving a fuck
Care Free

8. Own up to your success and mistakes.

When you’re travelling alone, there’s no one else that is there to help you make a decision.
However that decision turns out, you need to own up to it.

own up to your mistakes
Owning up

9. Trust your intuition.

Everyday you’re making a small or big decision. There will never be enough information to make the perfect decision, and the ability to trust your intuition is the key to survival.

trust your heart
Trust your heart


10. Home is where you are. 

Home starts to follow you wherever you go. With everything you own on your back.

Freedom

11. Blend into the city.

If you’ve come all this way to visit a city, then be in it 100%. Speak the language, hang out with the locals, eat the food.
Don’t be that person who clings around foreigners.

city culture
Blending into city culture

12. Who’s important in your life.

Being away for a period of time across the world makes you realize who the important people are in your life. We’re “burdened” by proximity throughout our lives, which makes it easy to develop artificial relationships solely from frequent interactions. Your real relationships are put to the test.

what matters in life
Who matters in life

 

13. What’s important in your life.

You hear the most fascinating life stories from people you meet. From rags to riches, near-death experiences, parents with cancer, the list goes on.

important things in life
What matters in life

 

14. Don’t allow your phone to bring you back.

There’s something magical about travelling, and being in a completely different city. You become more open-minded, your mindset shifts, and you can create the most meaningful relationships. Don’t allow your phone to take that away from you.
Put it away.

phone distraction
Phone distraction. Put it away!

15. Be Weird.

Life is way too short to live in the confined limits of how society expects you to act in public.
Embrace your natural weird side, because each of us has it. Take the risk.

jerome jarre
Embrace Your Weird.


16. Don’t delay your happiness.

There’s a difference between fulfillment and happiness. Fulfillment may be a life-long investment to master and earn. But you can choose to be happy here and now. Smile.

be happy now
Be happy now.


17. There’s so much to learn.

There’s so much we don’t know about the world and the people that live here. The truth is, most of us have been confined by the same part of the world, with the same mindset, for all our lives. As the saying goes, the more you know, the less you know.

Humans of New York
Humans of New York Photography


18. Execution beats all.

You can talk all day about doing something, but without taking any action, it’s just talk. There are people in the world working 10x harder than we are at our normal jobs getting paid 1/100th of our normal pay.
Most of us don’t know what hard work means.

working harder
Work Harder


19. There’s no such thing as strangers.

There’s something about meeting with a fellow traveller that immediately connects you with them.
If anyone has stayed at an hostel, then you can relate to this.

meeting new people
Meeting new people


20. Vulnerability is sexy.

This took me a while to realize, but vulnerability is the sexiest thing a human being can show. Last week I had a 3 hour non-stop conversation on my flight to Colombia, and the conversation got so intense she ended up tearing up. It was one of the most real moments I’ve experienced in a long time.

It takes a next level of confidence to put yourself on the line for rejection or failure. Embrace humility. 

be vulnerable
Being vulnerable


21. See people for who they are.

One of my favorite things about travelling is how people’s normal societic layers are uncovered physically and mentally. Everyone is dressed similarily, without the mask of a three-piece suit, and you’re judged solely on who you are as a person — nothing else.

mirror reflection
See people as they are.


22. Kill them with kindness.

It’s easier to react with frustration than respond with kindness. Choose the latter, you won’t regret it.

random acts of kindness
Kill them with kindness


23. Bring books.

Enhancing your already open mind with books will do wonders for your creativity. With the amount of layovers, flights, transporation, and unwinding time you’ll have — you can easily nail 1 book a week.

book library
Bring books.


24. Spontaneity becomes a way of living.

Unexpected moments will arise during your travels, and your spontaneity muscles get built.

spontaneity
Spontaneity

25. Bring books.

Did I mention bring books?

book library


26. Alone isn’t the answer.

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

teamwork

 

27. Live for Random Acts of Kindness.

It’s the easiest, yet most powerful way to make the world smile.

random acts of kindness
Random acts of kindness.


28. You cringe at #firstworldproblems.

It’s hard to empathize with people complaining about losing their restaurant reservations, or getting a middle seat on a plane, when you meet people making less than $5/day while supporting their families.

Third world problems
Third world problems

 

29. Invest in yourself.

Travelling alone is one of the few times in your life, where your number one goal is to take care of yourself.
Be OK with that because you won’t get this moment back.

running on the beach

 

30. Have a purpose

Have a purpose bigger than yourself, and your personal goals in life. It’s purpose that empowers us to get through the grind and the obstacles that come our way. The realization that you’re not doing this for yourself, there are others counting on you.

Mine is to inspire 1M people to live a life of freedom creating a business and lifestyle they love before I’m 25.
What’s yours?

 

31. Stand for something, or stand for nothing.

Be bold enough to stand up for what you believe in, but have the humility to know that you don’t have all the answers.

Stand out

 

32. We’re all human

The irony of traveling is that we set out to explore different cultures, different foods, different people, yet what we come back to realize is that we’re all just the same.

Poor, rich, famous, Asian, Black, White, Latino — we’re all playing the same game of life.
At the end of the day, we all want love, validation, respect, and security for our future. 

children multi-racial
We’re all the same

  • http://www.sanfranciscotoursf.com/ SuzanH

    People mostly ask me why I travel alone and I always answered because I love to travel alone and it makes me more confident women.

    • Sean Kim

      you’re a powerful soul Suzan. I admire you!