Don’t get me wrong, traveling with my wonderful husband and/or 4 kids is always a delight for me. But, there is much to be said of the benefits of traveling alone. Whether it be a business trip or chosen vacation, traveling solo has many rewards.
There are many well respected leaders who have enjoyed traveling alone to find inspiration including Michael Hyatt, Bill Gate, J.K. Rowling, and J.R.R. Tolkien.
Often I find myself traveling alone and have changed these times into opportunities of personal growth and de-stress from the apprehension I felt in the past. I meet many people who do not like traveling alone and view these trips with fear, apprehension, and in return exhausted. Today we are going to talk about the perks of traveling alone and why you should book your ticket today.
4 Benefits Of Traveling Alone
1. Quiet and healthy boredom
Sometimes uncomfortable but necessary for emotional intelligence. We’ve read enough these days to know that we all need to find more quiet and boredom to allow our minds to be healthy. I choose to believe and embrace this time even when I don’t like it. It’s like taking on a challenge that I can be confident will benefit me for the future. Interestingly, some of my best writing, ideas for work, and plans for my family will pop during these times.
The advantages to hotel rooms is that you control the air temperature, the place with a bed that brings you comfort, and a bath to rest weary bodies. Being alone can increase this rest. If sleep while traveling is a problem for you, you are not alone. I recommend picking up this book:
Some main points Arianna Huffington makes that can help the travel are:
“We are in the midst of a sleep deprivation culture and crisis.” Realizing this fact in itself can help in that we need more sleep and the idea that this is lazy needs to change. “Yet the myth persists that we can do our jobs just as well on four or five hours of sleep as we can on seven or eight,” she stresses, calling it a modern delusion. Traveling alone can give one flexibility in their schedule. Making plans later in the morning or cutting evening events short allows much needed rest.
Embrace middle of the night awakenings as your mind desires quiet conversation with God, yourself, or silence that you need. Don’t get angry when you wake at night but calmly sit quietly focusing on the positives of your day. We’ve busied ourselves so much with devices that our brains are begging for the quiet awake time we need.
Why does the Huffington Post have nap rooms around their office? Arianna explains what a 30 minute nap after lunch can do for emotional intelligence and creativity. At times, an hour or 2 is needed for the deep sleep our bodies crave. Napping increases productivity. Traveling gives opportunity for naps including airplane rides and in between meetings in hotel rooms. Basically, find your love with sleep. Find routines that you enjoy. Take away the dread by embracing it and make it a priority when you travel.
We often joke about “me time!” But isn’t it true? Taking time to travel and sightsee alone means that you get to pick the activities or non activities of the day. I find this is hard for many travelers as sometimes the spouse or a friend is the one who chooses the restaurant or activity for the day. Be intentional so that the trip revives you mentally. There are several apps that can take the work out of your hands including Yelp, Urbanspoon, and Google will give options near you.
4. Hitting the Restart Button!
There are times in our life when we need a restart. Times of depression, looking for change but don’t know how, in between jobs, grief, or breaks in relationships are common reasons why people choose to travel solo. To give personal reflection and spiritual renewal. If you are considering hitting the beach on your own, check out these blogs as they will help you choose the best locations, safest places, and preparation.
Caution on traveling solo.
Caution should be considered spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. Let’s mention the elephant in the room. Many good marriages ruined and other mistakes happen during times of solo travel and there are reasons for this such as loneliness and obscurity that makes one vulnerable. I protect myself by focusing my out time during the day and wrapping things up before the nightlife begins. I choose to stay in parts of a city that are not known for an active nightlife.
One question I keep in mind every time I travel alone is “What are my weaknesses?” I know that I am not that organized and I tend to rush. I have to be extra careful to keep track of money, passports, credit cards, and other valuables right next to my body and not in my hand. This has saved me many times. Please don’t not travel out of fear. Is it risky? Yes, but so are the best things in life!
Prepare Yourself For The Mental Break.
Do you have a trip coming up and want it to be impactful on you physically, spiritually, mentally? 2 rules: keep it simple and be flexible.
Here are the things you will find in my bag: Uplifting Book, music, and Bible. Keeping it simple.
Change in your mindset is everything! Your next business trip may be the 20th one you’ve had this year and you may be dreading it. My advice to you is to OWN IT! Take charge of your time, slow things down so the trip is not a rush, plan several things that you will look forward to. Enjoy, rest, discover the world, discover yourself!
Traveling soon? Check the best prices for hotels here: Price Check
Hurt People, hurt people.
Healed People, heal people.
I knew I needed to heal so that I could rid the darkness in my mind, thoughts, and heart from me and not be prickly like a porcupine to others. I prayed this day would come and honestly wasn’t sure it would. In the midst of pain, I couldn’t imagine ever being able to say that I was grateful for the pain. I knew I needed to heal but felt helpless in doing anything about my condition.
I lived in a jungle, mostly isolated from others except from my family, and distant from modern healthcare systems that so many depend on these days for these issues. The first question you may wonder is how did I heal? To answer that, read Part 1 of this blog: Hi! I’m A Christian and I Suffered From Depression.
I use to want to go back in history and change the events that hurt me but now I wouldn’t change it for anything. I like the new me. It stripped me bare of my ugly hidden side like a diamond polished by a jeweler. I discovered who I was, the good and the bad. But most importantly, I have gained wisdom that comes from perseverance. I want to share this wisdom with you today.
What I learned through depression and anxiety and encouragement for those still in their dark tunnel.
For some humor on this topic don’t miss the previous blog: What Not To Say To A Person Suffering From Depression.
Lets have some fun and maybe learn a bit in the mean time. I’ve been writing so serious lately and I’m too much fun to keep it up too long. We should always be able to laugh at ourselves. How do we find healing if we can’t break a smile? Join me for a bit of a laugh and comments will be closed just in case I offend anyone:) Here it is!
What Advice Not To Give To A Depressed Person
I hope you found the humor in this. To be real, depression is hard for one to understand. Often the person experiencing it can’t explain it to you because they don’t understand it either. It’s not sadness, laziness, or having a pity party. It’s an exhausting emotional battle that the sufferer wants to turn off if at all possible. I do hope the above laughs help wash us from “foot in the mouth response” that people don’t need to hear!
Now, to end this well.
3 Ways To Help A Person Who Is Suffering From Depression!
Prayer for your friend and sharing encouraging verses does wonders. But never let that take place of time together with them.
If you’d like to hear what wisdom was gained from my experience with depression than click here: 46 Ways Depression Made Me A Better Person
If you missed my real story of struggles with depression, than click here:
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I once believed my faith in God would keep me free from depression and all mental illness. I found out that this is a commonly believed myth. Depression has no common denominator except that one be human. No matter what you might think, depression affects all people no matter what race, economic class, religion, gender, age, and nationality. It is now the leading cause for illness and disability worldwide announced by the WHO this week.
The year was 2014 and I was experiencing the best year of my life. My family was happy. My children were healthy and my 18 years of marriage seemed to be better than ever. I was fulfilling my purpose in life helping the sick and poor in Cambodia as I had for years. But now I was excited to see incredible results from my work. Lives changed, the curse of poverty lifted, those hopeless filled with hope again. Being a Christian, it filled my heart with great joy. I was up before 5 AM spending time in mediation and prayer, taking care of my family, and busily leading the many others in the work we began. That is why my depression came as such shock to me. Within a few months, I began to realize that things were not as good as they had seemed. There was fighting, gossiping, and hate going on around me. Maybe I just wanted to remain in the bliss of the goodness I saw or maybe I choose to ignore it because I didn’t want the fun to end. Either way, the problems actually began hurting me physically. I lost my appetite, couldn’t sleep, my hair was falling out, and I began losing weight quickly. I went to get a full health check thinking it must be physical. They even did an endoscopy to check my stomach. I think the doctor gave me some diagnosis of gastritis or something else but I knew better. I had to accept that I was physically okay but mentally I was not. I didn’t like that answer. I couldn’t seem to change it as much as I fought and tried, I seemed to get worse and worse. Guilt came over me as I saw how blessed my life was and I couldn’t understand why “I couldn’t pull myself up by the boot straps” as I had done so many times in my life. Is God mad at me? I searched and allowed Him to search me but all was quiet. No answers to be found. Then the panic attacks started and I went through 6 months trying to figure out how to relax with little success. My work that I loved went on hold. I didn’t even want to think about it. My family was carried mostly by my husband, and I spent a lot of time alone.
This is when the advice started coming in. Read the Bible more. This is spiritual warfare. God is pruning you. They were friends and they were trying to help. But it only worsened the guilt that I felt. I picked up the Bible but every word I read turned into guilt and shame. My perception of myself and God was off. I couldn’t stop it. I had loved the Bible before and felt comfort from its words more times than I can tell you but it seemed every word read brought shame. I closed it feeling more helpless than before. Everything I thought I knew would heal me did not. Looking back, I was trying to put a spiritual bandage over physical and emotional problems. I traveled to escape but found no relief. I had little to no sleep and began living a panic attack nonstop. I was alone in a country without my closest family and friends. I reached out to counselors but was told 2 things. Christians don’t need antidepressants (not true by the way). Second: “go and try to make a panic attack happen and you will see that you can’t and then you will be fine. Call me next week and lets talk again.” What?!! Needless to say. His phone never rang from me. This is when I learned how lonely depression was and how misunderstood it was by those I thought would be the experts at healing.
About that time, 2 life saving events happened to me. First, I was given a clear vision from God. He gave me an image of His strong and mighty hand reaching down from heaven into a dark hole. I was lying in that dark hole and He was grabbing my wrist and pulling me out slowly. The key point He showed me was that I was not holding onto his hand but He was grabbing me. As if to say, “you’re not going to screw this up, I am pulling you out no matter what.” That seemed to ease me from some of the guilt. I felt chosen by Him and fear and loneliness began to leave gradually. This image comforted me many times over the next year. I could be patient knowing that He would rescue me.
The second life line was friends. We had 4 friends from the other side of the world who bought their airline tickets to come and be with us. To love us and to help us fulfill our purpose. I had stepped back from helping the poor because of my condition. But, my friends being dentists and medical fortunately encouraged us to go out to an area in need. We spent 3 days helping pull teeth from many suffering from rotting decay in their mouths. As we relieved the pain of others, I felt my pain lift bit by bit but the greatest blessing was the night before they left. We have a piano in our house that is rarely used. ( You know when you buy something hoping that kids would pick it up by osmosis.) Our friends and I sat around the piano while they played old hymns and songs of worship. My heart gripped me as for the first time I shared the 8 months of pain with friends who actually listened, didn’t judge me, and refused to leave me alone! It actually hurt worse to share but I knew I was on the right path.
I’d like to say that depression left me that day never to be suffered again but the process is gradual. He did pull me out. I am free from it today. The hard part is knowing that it could creep up on me again. But, I must accept 3 things. First, He will be faithful to save me again. Second, I have learned a lot through this process and I know how to endure well. Third, I have gone to what I like to call the “school of depression and anxiety” and am a teacher for all people around me.
Every time I share my story with others, healing comes more and more. We were made to do this journey of life together!
Do you want to know how to heal from depression or how to help a friend in depression? Remember that depression is physical, spiritual, and emotional. Healing must occur in all areas because we are complicated beings!
One of the ways that I was able to overcome depression, anxiety, and finally come off prescription medicines was through all natural Plexus. If you would like to know more about that, email or message me.
To read more about how this experience changed me for the better, click here: 46 Ways Depression Made Me A Better Person
To enjoy a laugh about depression, don’t miss this article! What Not To Say To A Person Experiencing Depression!
Lastly, I would love to talk to you if you are experiencing depression now. I have nothing to sell and any advice is free! I won’t judge you and will listen quietly. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need a friend.