Solo Travelling to get your groove back

How to Get Your Groove Back by Traveling Solo

Solo Travelling to get your groove back

Many people of all ages, races, and sexes struggle with big life changes. Folks fall into ruts and become unwilling (or simply uninspired) to try anything new. Divorcees often feel flat, losing confidence in themselves and their connections with others. Retirement leaves people feeling listless and aimless without their routines, in search of new challenges.

Luckily, if you’re one of those people wondering how to get your groove back, solo travel can inspire change in a positive direction. Traveling is a catalyst for looking at the world anew, and traveling by yourself is even more so.

Solo Travelling to get your groove back

Though some people fear traveling alone for the first time, many solo travelers describe it as a life-changing experience. Countless publications encourage people to do it at least once in their lives. For those who find themselves alone and struggling with apathy or pessimism, now might be the perfect time to step out of your comfort zone and expand your boundaries a bit.

Solo travel can really help with getting your mojo back. It puts you in a position to view yourself and your capabilities through a new lens. It puts you in a position to see others differently as well. Once that ball gets rolling, most people simply start having a ball. Here’s a look at how solo travel may be just the thing to help you reignite your passion for life:

Solo travel reinvigorates an appreciation for life’s little triumphs.

With big life changes, such as retirement and divorce, people tend to focus on the tragic end of an era. It’s easy to become disillusioned and, once that happens, a snowball of negativity starts picking up steam. But traveling keeps the minutiae of life in perspective. And, for a change, it’s the minutiae that counts.

Whether you’re snorkeling with animals in the Galapagos Islands or learning new dance moves in Cuba, traveling provides small victories that tend to resonate much more impactfully than those in our typical daily lives. It also gives us permission to persevere, such as when we try out a new language or learn to cook in a culinary style different from our own.

dancing in Cuba

Traveling alone deepens your appreciation of the little things because you’re allowed to focus on what you’ve accomplished when left to your own devices. Every victory further empowers you. Travel allows each day to feel significant, and that makes the things you do that day feel more significant.

Solo travel rebuilds confidence for making decisions and adapting.

Once our groove is out of whack, it’s easy to lose confidence. It’s easy to retreat into the safe spaces of our comfort zone, hiding within ourselves. We might stop trying to broaden our horizons or start avoiding anything out of the ordinary. Over time, this can feel downright depressing.

A solo vacation breaks the molds we sometimes lock ourselves into. We have to make decisions on where to go, what to eat, what to do, how to get there, where to stay, when to leave. We also learn to adapt, say, when the bus is late or the restaurant we wanted to try is closed. Sometimes, the simple act of having to act reminds us that we can.

The beauty of traveling alone is that you’re in charge. There’s no leaning on another person to make choices for you. You’re not constantly being guided by anyone else’s desires. And there’s no escaping the need to adapt when things swing awry. 

Summer Adventures Amazon Traveler

Solo travel puts us much more in tune with our own needs.

At home, it’s very easy to get distracted and ignore ourselves in the guise of looking out for others. We divert attention to the kids, the significant other, the latest political scandal… anything but what’s actually going on deep inside us. But when solo travel strips away these disruptions, we inevitably reacquaint ourselves with our own needs.

What’s amazing is that often those needs are entirely different than they were the last time we attended to them. Suddenly, we’re no longer struggling to get the attention of a distant spouse or to please a demanding boss. We realize that what we need to do is figure out what we need to do, for ourselves and our own happiness. Finally, there’s only ourselves to satisfy.

Solo travel is a fantastic recipe for losing yourself and discovering yourself anew. After a failed relationship or the end of a successful career, it can be difficult to get a grasp on who you are (and are not) now. The world, luckily, is there to help you figure that out.

Amazon village girl

Solo travel implores us to communicate and commune with others.

More and more young, single travelers love to take solo trips because they’re an easy way to meet people without much social pressure. Many hostels and hotels have communal spaces, and those who loiter there are often looking for company. It’s not so different for divorcees and retirees.

Traveling invites us to communicate with new people. We are inevitably sat on a bus or in a café with strangers, and someone asks a simple question such as “Where are you from?” There are opportunities to share rides, visit local hotspots together, and pick up tips on the best things to see and do in the area. There is generally daily contact with other travelers, and those people who are helping those travelers.

Traveling solo puts you in the driver’s seat of communication. Your interaction with fellow travelers often results in short-term friendships, and perhaps even life-long ones. In the process, you start to speak for yourself again.

Hike Machu Picchu Peru

Solo travel teaches us to live with less, contentedly.

A funny thing about traveling is that, though it’s often considered a luxury, we’re immediately okay with less than we normally have at home. We don’t have all our clothes. We don’t have our car, our house, our family, or our bearings. We don’t have all the little creature comforts that we surround ourselves with. And yet, somehow, that feels great.

Traveling teaches us how to live with less, and how to do so happily. We don’t stress over having 12 different outfit options to wear out for breakfast. We don’t scan 200 channels of TV in order to keep ourselves entertained. We don’t even need a toaster. In fact, a fresh baguette from the bakery we noticed two blocks over sounds awesome. 

Solo travel downsizes your list of requirements. It demonstrates that the bare bones of what you need to keep going can ultimately be squeezed into a suitcase. You start to realize that more joy comes from what you do than what you have.

Few things get you over how badly things may be going at home like not being at home. And, by helping you get your groove back, solo travel might just be the key to turning things around when you return. 

Jonathon Engels is a traveler, writer and vegan gardener. Born and raised in Louisiana, he has lived as an expat for over a decade, worked in nearly a dozen countries, and visited dozens of others in between. His interests include permaculture, cooking, and music. More of his work can be found at Jonathon Engels: A Life About.