What Traveling Alone Has Taught Me
Fourteen days. I spent the last ten of those days traveling solo through Paris and London. This isn't my first trip traveling by myself but every time I do, I feel like I come back home a little different. There is something about traveling by yourself that really challenges you to step outside your comfort zone and do things you wouldn’t normally do. Like, say.. sit at a bar by yourself and spark conversation with someone next to you instead of looking at your phone. Or eating dinner by yourself, or even dancing in the streets of Paris during Fetê De La Musique until two in the morning. Isn’t it funny how intensely simple human interaction frightens us? I feel like I travel alone quite often lately and every time I finish those travels, I feel as if I have grown a little. I have met incredible people, and have had conversations with others that touch me in some way. Each person that comes into our life, even if it’s for a brief moment, teaches us and expands our knowledge for experience. We go our whole lives seeking comfort of routine and familiarity. But most often it is those times of discomfort that if we do the unexpected, it can change our lives. If you can become open to accepting the feeling of being uncomfortable, you can connect with people and experience this life in a way that is deeply rewarding.
I have had deep conversations over shared wine and have had Uber chats that could have remained silent if I had mindlessly scrolled through my phone. I never regret these experiences and the act of pure conversation is something I don’t think we do enough. I was sitting at a bar next to my hotel in London for a bite to eat and a drink, and sitting down next to someone I later sparked conversation with, she told me that as soon as I sat down before I said anything to her, I had this energy about me that she liked. This is something that touched me, I will always remember it.
Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if people always said the compliments they thought, would these words become empty or would it be something that makes us more likely to easily connect with each other? I can't tell you how many times I've acted on things out of the "what if?". Traveling alone has given me confidence to share moments with unfamiliar people and to observe my surroundings with peaceful ease. People are really magic if you give them the opportunity to open up, just say hello.