Being alone doesn’t have to be lonely. Legend has it that Sir Isaac Newton discovered gravity while sitting alone under a tree in his garden. Solitude is necessary for great discovery and deep personal exploration. That pause between the inhale and the exhale is where the magic happens. What have some of history’s greatest thinkers written about solitude? We’re pretty sure they came up with these nuggets of wisdom on their own (and maybe also under a tree)…
1. “The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.” – Michel de Montaigne
2. “But your solitude will be a support and a home for you, even in the midst of very unfamiliar circumstances, and from it you will find all your paths.” – Rainer Maria Rilke
3. “The roaring of the wind is my wife and the stars through the window pane are my children.” – John Keats
4. “The secret of a good old age is simply an honorable pact with solitude.” – Gabriel García Márquez
5. “I need solitude. I need space. I need air. I need the empty fields round me; and my legs pounding along roads; and sleep; and animal existence.” – Virginia Woolf
6. “Solitude is a silent storm that breaks down all our dead branches; yet it sends our living roots deeper into the living heart of the earth.” – Kahlil Gibran
7. “Solitude is for me a fount of healing which makes my life worth living.” – Carl Jung
8. “But the conquest of the physical world is not man’s only duty. He is also enjoined to conquer the great wilderness of himself.” – James Baldwin
9. “I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.” – Albert Einstein
10. “Ordinary men hate solitude. But the Master makes use of it, embracing his aloneness, realizing he is one with the whole universe.” – Lao Tzu
What are some of your favorite words of wisdom about solitude?
How might solo travel benefit you? Next time you consider a trip, consider the benefits of having both a solo adventure and a community of solo travelers to come back to. They might be looking for the same thing.