Get to know yourself

Who are you really? Most of us are comfortable in our own bubble. Our identity is formed and we don’t have any intention of changing this. I have learned that solo traveling confronts you to answer that question.

Discover yourself

Our work, friends and family, and hobbies play a big role in this bubble. They determine who we are. When someone asks us “Who are you?” We mostly respond with our job title or the connection to our family (a mom, a father, a sister, a brother). But is that all we are? The untethered soul by Micheal A. Singer goes deeper into this question (and might even be too spiritual for some).

I find that when stepping out of your bubble, you get confronted with yourself. If you for example traveling or working/studying abroad for a while, you have to depend solely on yourself. But you also make new friends and discover if they really are part of your “tribe” or not. Being in a place where nobody knows you, opens up a chance to be something else. You get to do whatever you want whenever you want. And on the contrary, you might be too overwhelmed with all this freedom of choice.

Benefits: friendships for life

Now next to soul searching, you also have to create some new experiences. Get out there, meet locals try things. for example, take a class. book a co-working space, go to a concert, or sit in a coffee shop (without your mobile or earphones). However, if you choose to solo travel you still need to stay safe. Because you are here for a good time and a long time (at least until you get home).

The benefits of living like a local are connecting with people on a deeper level. If you commit to that friendship when you’re back home, it can last lifelong. You can even visit each other or plan a trip to a place you both never have been to, so you have an excuse to travel more.

Convinced already?

Here are 5 tips from Jo Franco. She has been traveling solo for a decade now and she also has been documenting her travels on her channel.

Image: Unsplash, by William Navarro

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Be a Newb: Grow in new situations

What is a newb?

According to the urban dictionary, a newb is an inexperienced player in a game and he/she will eventually develop better skills. This can be anything from learning a new language to saying hi to someone randomly on the streets.

When was the last time you did something for the first time

We stay comfortable in our warm environments and don’t want to change. We have a routine and a group of people we hang out with. Especially when we grow older and maybe have the same job over the years. It can get difficult to be a newb.

But it doesn’t always have to be something new. It could also be something you haven’t done in a long time. I like to rollerskate. When I am going thru something, I like to take my skates and just skate in a park. Now I can’t skate that well so it looks silly for an adult to hold their balance sometimes. But that makes it fun. Laughing at my awkwardness. And if I fall, so what? I can get back up.

Beginner’s mind

This term comes from Buddism and it means that you look at a situation you’re placed in as if you are seeing it for the first time. This could be the first time you’re in that situation. Contrary, it could also be a situation you have been in before but you would like to change your view or your behavior toward it. The benefits of seeing something for the first are:

  • Not having any fear of failing
  • Not having an image formed (created by the ego)
  • Having curiosity and being excited to learn something new
  • Being open to new possibilities and ideas
  • It helps develop deeper gratitude

If you want to learn 5 ways to cultivate a beginner’s mind, read this post from BetterUp

After failure comes growth

So when you have decided what your new first time is, make a timeline that works best for you. Follow through on your plan. After a while, you’ll see changes. For example, you are happier, more outgoing, better at a skill, more confident you name it. When you see results you’ll want to improve more. But even if you don’t want to stick with that activity after a while. Congratulate yourself on trying something for the first time (or in a long time).

Image: Unsplash , by Quiton Coetzee

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