Why You Should Travel By Yourself

There’s something that’s vitally important about moving away from where you grew up.

For some, it’s the hardest decision of their lives, while for others, it is what they’ve been dreaming of ever since their mind could peace together thoughts. 

Either way, the results are totally worth it.

1. Learn who you are

If you’ve read any of Rene Girard’s work, you’ll know how much our environments shape us. When we are surrounded by our families and friends, we adopt their values, preferences, desires, and goals for ourselves. When you leave that circle, you discover who and what you really are. 

2. Become more mature

Being in an environment where you have no plan B and are forced to be accountable for all of your decisions is the best forcing function for you to mature. You have the ability to learn from your bad choices and optimize your life for maximum growth. 

3. Find your personality

When I moved to London for my first job, I knew nobody and had almost zero disposable income after my food and housing. But I soon was able to make friends and really enjoyed myself there. In the following months, I traveled Europe and was thrown into a variety of situations where I HAD to make friends navigate foreign countries effectively. Now I have dozens of new friends and acquaintances across Europe. 

4. Discover new cultures

I used to think this was highly overrated, but my decision has completely changed since I left the United States. Each time I’ve been fortunate enough to be exposed to different cultures and traditions, my perspective has grown dramatically. These experiences have taught me to be more understanding, empathetic, and generous while at the same time being far less judgemental and high-minded. 

5. Regret minimization

Most of my friends that stayed in their hometowns are “happy.” They’ve gotten jobs and are settling down and are even having kids. But below the surface, I think that many of them feel stuck in their station in life and wish that they’d done more before locking themselves into a single location. When deciding where to live and what to do, I lean heavily on Bezos’ Razor of regret minimization. Essentially, ask yourself what you as an 80-year-old would least regret and then go with that. Most people don’t realize that decisions aren’t binary. If you move to a new city and don’t like it, then you can just move back!

6. Don’t be scared of being lonely

I can guarantee that you’ll be lonely at times. Hell, everyone is, no matter who they’re living or what city they’re staying in. But, the only way of finding what you value and what makes you truly happy is by discovering what makes you lonely and miserable.