6 Things Solo Travel Teaches You

Whitney Kirkpatrick is a student at Berry College and an ISA Featured Blogger. She studied abroad with ISA in Dunedin, New Zealand.

The idea of solo traveling may seem scary to some, but taking that chance can be one of the greatest things you ever do for yourself. Here are 6 things I learned from my solo trip to Singapore.

Singapore, Kirkpatrick, Photo 1
Colorful street art in Singapore
  1. There is always going to be someone climbing a higher mountain, but never underestimate the value in what you are doing

It is okay to find and aspire to people who live inspiring lives, but do not let them keep you from appreciating what you have. Sometimes it can feel almost like a competition of who has been to the most places and who has the most adventurous looking Instagram pictures, but try not to compare yourself to what everyone else is doing. A man named Steve Furtick once said, “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” You’re doing just fine.

Singapore Flyer, Singapore, Kirkpatrick, Photo 2
Singapore Flyer
  1. Don’t be ashamed to do the touristy things

I used to get caught up in the idea of being a traveler and not a tourist, but sometimes it is okay to do the touristy things. Embrace that selfie stick you don’t want to admit that you own and enjoy the things for which a place is known. Maybe the reason everyone is going to see something is because it is worth seeing.

Willing Hearts Soup Kitchen, Singapore, Kirkpatrick, Photo 3
Volunteering at the Willing Hearts Soup Kitchen
  1. Volunteering is a great way to immerse yourself into a culture

If you are tired of following the rest of the tourist crowd and want to make an impact while traveling, spending a couple hours volunteering can be a great way to experience life with the locals while making a difference.

Little India, Singapore, Kirkpatrick, Photo 4
Exploring the street markets of Little India
  1. People are people no matter where you go

There are people out there who speak different languages and enjoy different foods, but you quickly realize that people are still people no matter where you go. We can learn a lot when we break down these man-made barriers and gain a deeper understanding for each other.

Super Trees, Singapore, Kirkpatrick, Photo 5
Super Trees at the Gardens by the Bay
  1. Know where you are going, but try to not go into it with expectations

When planning a solo trip, you will want to do some pre-departure research to ensure you know what you are getting yourself into, but try avoid setting high expectations. It is good to know some of the general highlights of things you would like to do, but try not to lock yourself into a strict itinerary. You can never fully know what to expect or what you may stumble upon, so just take it day by day and figure it out when you get there.

Merlion, Singapore, Kirkpatrick, Photo 6
Singapore Merlion
  1. Experiences and happiness are better when they are shared

Not having to live on anybody else’s watch except for your own can be quite exciting, but in the end life is more fun when you have somebody alongside you with whom share the experiences. Sometimes it can be hard to feel the excitement of a moment when there is not someone else there to experience it with you. Everyone should solo travel at least once because it is truly is a beautiful and unique experience, but in the end you find yourself hoping you do not have to travel solo forever.

The World Awaits…Discover it.

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