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What Travelling Alone Teaches You

I know for sure that travelling alone has changed me, it has given me a new outlook on life. Travelling alone has taught me a lot. I’m not the person I was when I first left home and started to explore the world.

It’s bound to happen. It will change you as well, mentally, physically and emotionally. This is, if you’re a real traveller, not if you go to Mexico or the Bahamas for a week and never leave the hotel and the pool.

Real travellers are special, full of knowledge and ideas, they are great to be with.

Didn’t it happen to some of us, that we came back to our hometown after a couple of years abroad and met up with friends? Somehow, we just don’t seem to have anything in common anymore. We don’t seem to fit in anymore. Or we meet people and soon find them boring.

How travelling alone changes you

Mount Robson Waterfall
Enjoy the outdoors

More adventurous – Once the travel bug kicks in, you will be willing to try almost anything. You will push yourself out of your comfort zone and do things you never thought you could do. Once you realize that you can, there will be nothing to stop you. Like jumping out of an airplane at 16,000 ft (like I did), it will be stamped in your logbook and your memory and you will talk about it in years to come.

More adaptable – You don’t have a choice, you will learn that itineraries are only guidelines and nothing is written in stone. You will deal with missed flights, late buses, delayed trains, bad food, annoying people and lots more. You won’t get angry or stressed over it, you just adapt your plans to the situation, smile, and go on.

More confident – The fact that travelling alone builds confidence is quite obvious. You’re out there on your own. You travel to new places, find your way around big cities and talk to strangers. Meeting new people and getting tons of new impressions, will make you feel like a travel pro. You soon realize that you can achieve anything in life if you put your mind to it.

Less materialistic – On the road, you start to realize how little you need to be happy. You start to notice all the waste going on around you. People buy things they don’t need. You might become more interested in the environment. Looking back, this was my biggest impact in my early travel years.

When travelling alone in third world countries it hits you even harder. You see the poor who have nothing and try to survive.

Calmer – travelling alone can be very stressful if you let it. There will be times when you feel like crying out loud and you feel the anger cowl up inside you. It won’t last. You will be able to put a grip to it and relax. These situations will help you become a calmer, and so much more easygoing person. You will learn how to think and make decisions under pressure, without freaking out. Travelling alone will teach you that there is no need for stress in any situation.

Travelling alone makes calmer
Look for the beauty

Appreciation – When you are travelling alone for a while, you start looking at things differently. You learn how to appreciate little things, plants, animals, and the kindness of people around you.

Smarter – That’s no surprise. As you experience different lifestyles, and learn about people, history, culture and facts about foreign places you will become smarter than your school buddy who never made it out of the province. You will be more interesting to talk to and show lots more common sense. You will learn to deal with any situation, maybe understand or speak new languages, and know how to navigate and multitask.

Happy with yourself – Travelling alone just makes you a happier person. You’re happy when you finally decide to hit the road. You’re happy planning the trip and deciding on the route to take, you’re happy just thinking about it. Once you’re on the road, you’re happy to live your dream.

When you travel you see the world as a brighter place. It teaches you to be happy with yourself and the life around you.

More social – It’s easy to make new friends when you travel alone. When you travel you are never alone unless you choose to be alone. You learn how to talk to strangers without feeling uncomfortable and make friends. Once you have practice in it, you will always do it.

It doesn’t matter where I am or whom I meet, I usually start talking to people around me. If you do this, you learn how to ask questions and you find out all sorts of things about the people you meet.

Healthier – Once you catch the adventure travel bug, you will never be the same again. Maybe your adventure spirit will take you to the top of a mountain peak and what you experience will take your breath away. Once you start you want more, hiking kind of does this to you. And you are getting fit doing this. Fitness goes with adventure travel. You want to be active and not miss out on the beauty out there.

You still dream about travelling alone – what are you waiting for?

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Yrene Dee

Yrene lives in the Okanagan, British Columbia, Canada, and is the founder of BackcountryCanadaTravel.com. She was born in Switzerland, lived and worked on different continents and has travelled the world. Yes, that's me, an Entrepreneur, wilderness nut and animal lover who prefers off-the-beaten-track places. I write about things I love. Mostely.


  1. Gerry miles

    I live in wpg.manitoba work in the steel industry I need to get away from it all and take a road trip to tuktoyuktuc this summer. Any advice is more than welcomed. 55 year old man’s dream adventure.

    • Yrene Dee

      Hi Gerry, if you need a change, taking a road trip and exploring new places is a great idea. You find lots of information and suggestions about the big Canadian North on my website. I’ll be heading up there again in 2009. Might see you there

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