When it comes to travel, there’s no soul in the world who doesn’t benefit from it. You get to expand your horizons and see different cultures and interesting people, and that kind of growing awareness of the world around you can really shift your perspective and make you more open-minded. However, while most of us do travel at least occasionally, we rarely allow ourselves to become completely immersed in the experience. It’s a real shame because grabbing your car and hitting the road can be truly transformative. Are you eager to take a road trip and want to know all the ways it can benefit you? Then read on to find out how traveling can help you grow your independence.
You’ll have to let go of shyness
If you aren’t very skilled at handling social situations, then taking a road trip can be a surprisingly good way to help you break out of your shell and learn how to speak up. For one, you’ll be surrounded by strangers wherever you go, and you’ll have to learn how to approach people and hold basic conversation so you could at the very least ask them for directions. But it’s not just that—being in a different place means that you can feel more liberated when talking to others. After all, it’s very unlikely you’ll ever see them again unless you really want to, so the consequences of making a social blunder are practically non-existent. Put yourself in a situation where you have no choice but to approach others, and you’ll soon learn how to handle social situations and learn a few interpersonal skills.
You’ll feel a lot more competent
If you want to become more independent, then plan a trip. Going through all the steps to ensure you have a pleasant experience teaches you a million different things, from how to keep your IDs and documentation in order, to how to maintain your car properly. Book your accommodation, get maps and learn how to navigate, and double-check your vehicle to see whether it can handle the trip. You should also consider getting car insurance if you want to feel safe and make sure you’re covered in case of theft or any other unforeseen circumstances. These little things are valuable life skills that teach you how to take care of yourself and get things done quickly and efficiently.
Traveling alone grows your confidence
Traveling with friends can definitely be great, but going solo is downright liberating. There’s no one to tell you what to do or where to go, and you’re the only one making all the decisions. To travel somewhere without company means to grow your own confidence and start having faith in your own skills. It means dedicating time to your own wellbeing and relying on everything you’ve learned to get you through the experience safely.
Taking risks and stepping out of your comfort zone
At home, we’re used to a certain routine. Most days look kind of the same, and we’re comfortable with the repetition until it becomes too boring to bear. But traveling always pushes us out of our comfort zone because it introduces us to situations we don’t know, people we’ve never met before, and adventures we’ve yet to take. When you’re away, you can no longer make any excuses—you have to put yourself out there and manage life in unexpected circumstances, and this kind of freedom can be very fun. You finally get to take risks and do something new, so it’s always completely worthwhile.
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Becoming an explorer
Once you get over the initial anxiety of breaking your routine, travel becomes all about exploration. One large part of it is related to the study of cultures, customs, languages, and all those things that make a nation, but another part is related to self-discovery. When you’re away from the rut you’ve fallen into, you can actually figure out who you are and what you want from life. You get to be an adventurer and you never have to stop exploring.
Take the plunge—if you’ve never gone on a road trip, now’s the perfect chance. The trip is bound to be amazing regardless of whether you go somewhere alone or with company, but do try to take charge of your own life and organize things in a way that suits you. There’s nothing to lose by taking more risks except maybe that fear that has been holding you back.
Stella van Lane is a Sydney based mom and a passionate writer in love with coffee, chocolate, music, books and good vibes. Her top interests are health, yoga, meditation and interior design.
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