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8 Things You Learn When You Travel By Yourself

Learn about the world; learn about yourself!

1. You can steal hats and no one will say anything

From the bazaars in Addis Ababa to the Kensington High Street boutiques in London, security staff won’t say anything if they see a lone traveler swiping a hat or two and popping it into their backpack!

2. You have a knack for safely landing planes after both pilots fall unconscious

When you fly by yourself, you’re not distracted by talking to your friend, so when a flight attendant gets on the intercom and asks if there’s anyone who can land the plane, you start volunteering. Twelve saves in, you realize you’re quite skilled at it. Solo power!

3. You have an incredibly high tolerance for people pointing at you and saying, “Hey, look, there’s the Leaf Toddler!”

Doesn’t matter if you’re in Bangalore or Bogota—when you travel alone, people stop in their tracks, point at you, and say, “Hey, look, there’s the Leaf Toddler. I am blessed to have seen the Leaf Toddler,” in perfect English. Some will call you the “Leafy Tiniest Human,” but either way you’ll have a thick skin for it, and it’s one of the bigger perks of traveling alone. You barely even notice it anymore!

4. You finally solve your father’s murder

When you travel alone, you are completely on your own schedule, which means you are free to do what you want to do—like follow a series of clues and piece together your father’s murder, which transpired 15 years ago. When you finally track the killer down in Zagreb, it will be your decision whether or not you want to give him mercy—not your travel buddy’s!

5. Hotels give you a complimentary “pathetic omelet” wherever you go

Even when the hotel clearly states that breakfast is not included, you find that an attendant brings up a free omelet, looks you straight in the eyes, and says, “Hang in there, bud,” no matter if you request it or not. Yum! Score one for the solo adventurer!

6. Rats follow you everywhere

You can be in the heart of Hong Kong or the middle of the Serengeti, but either way, there is always a large horde of rats steps behind you at all hours of the day. Try getting that when traveling with a friend!

7. You realize that solving your father’s murder does not bring you the closure you thought it would

Sure, you cornered the killer in Zagreb and got your revenge, but it’s not going to bring back your father. And you realize that the act of killing is only committed by people who are, deep down in their core selves, consumed by fear. Dealing with him did not bring you closure; it just made you much sadder than before. A profound, deep sadness. You never would have come to this cool conclusion if you’d been traveling with someone!

8. You hate being alone

God, why the fuck did you decide to travel by yourself? Literally everything on your trip would be way better if you had someone to share it with. For the rest of your life, you will have these memories of amazing places and incredible sights, but no one who truly understands what you were feeling in those moments. What the fuck were you thinking?