The Must Have Mindset For Solo Travel

Passport...boarding pass...and...oh yeah, mindset.


This time last year, my life looked a lot different. Well, maybe it did not look so different, but felt different. And I can honestly say the mind-altering, life-changing event that transformed my existence was the cliché 'solo travel.'  

As a travel lover, solo travel had seemed like a distant dream which a 22-year-old girl could not possibly do...that was for adults, right? But all I needed was a change of mindset and when that occurred, guess what? I was still shitting myself. In my experience, part of the mindset arrives before you travel; it allows you to undertake the first step of planning and booking your trip. The rest of your mindset develops along your travels, and it is a beautiful journey which I have been fortunate to experience.   

Driving to our surf lessons in Peniche, Portugal

So, how did I begin to shift my mindset? Like most ideas and feelings, it was a series of events which gave me the idea to undergo solo travel. I came out of a long-term relationship, finished my college course and moved home (a whirlwind of a week, I may add). I was as free as a bird, aside from my part-time job. My best friend had just undertaken a trip alone and I was impressed by her courage. However, I did not think I was ready. Not long after, I found myself on a girl's trip in London in which we stayed at a hostel and made friends with solo travelers. I remember being surprised by how chilled it seemed and thinking, 'if they can all do it, why can't I?'. I was inspired by their plans and thought again of how brave my friend had been to take the plunge. This was the beginning of my mindset shifting.   

 Sunset in Santa Cruz, Portugal

1. Be Inspired and Optimistic 

To start planning your trip, you must flow with optimism and excitement. Whether it be because you have seen places you think look amazing or want to experience unique adventures, you need to be inspired. For me, meeting solo travelers did the trick. Listening to their stories and adventures of where they had traveled, and their plans for the rest of their trip filled me with a longing to have those experiences. This feeling must be strong enough to push away the fear when it comes creeping in. I was scared, but I felt I was supposed to travel. So whenever I felt uncertain, I had to remember that feeling I had in that London hostel.  

While you are traveling, this part of your mindset will naturally grow. You then take that home with you, and it will patiently sit until it is ready to fuel your next trip.  

2. Believe in Yourself 

Once you are riled up, you need to start backing yourself. Don't let other people's opinions get in your head or in your way. For example, multiple people told me I should not travel by myself, and looking back, I'm impressed I kept my ground as those opinions did make me doubt myself. However, looking back after traveling, I can't believe I was scared and doubted myself as I am sitting in a perspective now where I believe in myself more than ever before. The experiences you encounter while traveling alone will increase your confidence immensely. The first trip is scary before you go, but you will thank yourself afterward and notice the growth you underwent in such a short time.  

Porto Timoni Hike in Corfu, Greece

3. Get Ready to Move out of Your Comfort Zone 

You will make the most of your trip by being prepared to move out of your comfort zone. I am very social; however, I am definitely more of an introvert than an extrovert. I psyched myself up before arriving at my first hostel and told myself I had to approach people. If you are like me, this is not a natural skill. However, this comes easier to some, and you might find yourself in that category. I was surprised by how a simple 'hey' in a hostel can lead to spending the next three days with that person. You need to remember most people are in the same boat as you and will be very friendly.  

This is now a skill to which I do not need to give much thought and has embedded into my everyday life. Yet, another mindset which, post solo travel, is hard to remember why I ever had. 

Sunset at the Pink Palace Hostel, Corfu, Greece

I hope this has inspired future travelers to take the leap. Traveling by myself truly did me wonders, and if it is floating in the back of your head, maybe you need a little attitude shake-up.