7 things I learned from traveling alone

I’ve always read stories about how traveling alone will change your life forever, but I never really thought I’d actually do it myself. Being a 21-year-old Laguna-native, who’s spent all her life out here, traveling for us probinsyanos usually means traveling to the “big city” a.k.a. Manila, with friends and family. And that’s all the traveling I knew, until one day I dared to take a solo trip to Zambales. Yeah, it’s not the fancy trip out of the country, but to me it meant everything. 

Not to sound all Eat, Pray, Love, but I was in need of some soul searching. After finding out that I wouldn’t be graduating on time, I felt lost. I questioned everything: Do I still continue school? Is my course really for me?—the list goes on. So, I did what I thought was best and got lost to find myself. I took my first ever trip alone. And here’s what I learned:

It’s okay to be scared

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Traveling alone is scary. Let alone, traveling somewhere new where you’ve never been or know anyone. My tip? It’s okay to be scared. It’s only natural. But what’s important is that you get past that phase, in order for the whole trip to push through. Remember that in this trip, you have no one else to trust and count on but yourself. So, it’s the time to push yourself. 

For safety measures, however, you should find a travel agency with good reviews, get the itinerary beforehand, and check reviews.

The selfie stick isn’t your only best friend

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What else were selfie sticks made for anyways? But, aside from the selfie stick you can use the front camera, photo timer, and a tripod. They’ll be your best friends for the whole trip, honestly, so don’t forget them, unless you want your “memories” to all be selfies.

You don’t have to be completely alone

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It’s unavoidable that you’ll meet people along the way. If someone strikes a convo, welcome it! Just because you’re on your own, it doesn’t mean that you have to isolate yourself fully.

Also, a tip: The easiest thing to do when you’re traveling alone is to join group packages. You might think that’s not as adventurous, but really it helped me a lot knowing that I wouldn’t be completely alone. 

You are your own boss

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Traveling alone, means being on your own. Only you are in control of your own time. You’re basically your own boss. You get to do whatever you want whenever you want, and it’s best to cherish it because this doesn’t really happen IRL.

New me, who dis?

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Thought you’d never be able to ride a boat or overcome your fear of heights? Well, expect your trip to push your limits. You’ll realize things you never thought you could do, and by yourself.

It’s always going to be a thrill

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Traveling usually means seeing new places, trying new food, and exploring different cultures. Yes, you can experience all of this with someone else, but it’s different when you’re doing it all by yourself. Sure, there’ll be times you’ll wish you weren’t alone, but no biggie.

At the end of the day, you only have yourself to count on

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On a trip alone, you’ll realize you really only have yourself to count on. You have to hold your own hand along the way, and that’s okay. You’re going to get through it, and when you do it’s something to be proud of.

By Jessa Marie Barbosa
Photo from Moonrise Kingdom/Wes Anderson

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