“Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting – over and over announcing your place in the family of things.” This is how American poet Mary Oliver ends her beautiful poem “Wild Geese” and where your next great adventure can begin.
Even on our darkest days, even when life has thrown us an unexpected curveball causing us to fall on our knees, we are a still a part of something much greater than ourselves. These are the moments when the natural world calls upon us to dust off our clothes and reclaim our place in the family of things. When we feel completely taken (for granted, for a ride, for a loop, the list goes on…), the natural world is ripe for the taking. Life transitions open doors to new opportunities where we can choose to cave or choose to carpe diem. Here are a few ways solo travel can help you in your next life transition…
1. Get Focused
First, solo travel provides an unparalleled refocus on things that matter. Things are ending and beginning all of the time. I am reminded of the moment when my father told me, “not every day is going to be great.” When I was younger, I thought it was one of our jobs as human beings to make everyday awesome, for ourselves and for those around us. What a weight was lifted off my shoulders when my dad gave me permission to allow some days to just plain suck. It was then that I was able to brush off the bad days and see that something awesome is always happening around us if we only we are open to seeing it. Taking a trip solo will remind you that the bad days pass and help you refocus on what matters.
2. Reflect on Your Choices
Second, traveling during a time of great change allows you to see how much choice you have over where you will end up as you transition from one chapter to the next. Whether it is a sabbatical, a break up, a professional transition or any significant life chapter ending (and then beginning) we are often left feeling powerless because what we have experienced, or what we are feeling, is beyond our control. Solo travel during a transition presents you with hundreds of choices in front of you every day. Do you sleep in or wake up and put in some hard work? Do you exercise today or enjoy your new environment? Do you do or should you just be? Solo travel is a great reminder that we hold our own reins and are more powerful than we give ourselves credit for.
3. Reconnect with Yourself
Third, traveling on your own reminds you that life transitions are about following your curiosity from one page to the next. When you feel like you’re spinning in circles in your routine, like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, connecting to the bigger world outside yourself is essential. It can be very healing to be reminded that within the nature of everything that exists, we are all rather small. Ironically, when we feel small, we feel empowered to chase our curiosity, explore, and discover this grander world that we are a part of.