Preparing for a solo trip can be daunting, especially if it’s your first. Every solo traveler will have that moment of doubt, questioning whether the decision to travel alone was the right one. However, the great news is that once you’ve bitten the bullet and committed to your trip, you’ll find there are so many benefits to traveling solo, you’ll wonder why you were worried in the first place.
Embrace the Freedom
One of the main advantages of traveling solo is how liberating it can be to find yourself in total control of your itinerary. When working in travel healthcare, your free time can be used for literally whatever you want, as you have nobody else to answer to and no need for compromise. If you want to spend your time off exploring the tourist attractions on offer, you can. If you’d rather chill out and watch movies, you can. Use this time to find the best areas for nightlife, food, exercise, shopping or whatever it is that interests you personally. Ultimately, each contract you move on to, you’ll be free to start the adventure again and put together a plan that suits you.
Be Open to Change
Unlike most jobs, which offer little to no opportunities for flexibility, travel healthcare will open your horizons in the most exciting way. You’ll have the chance to make your own decisions on where you want to live and experience next. Not loving the city you’re in right now? No worries; as most contracts finish after 13 weeks, you’ll only have to stick it out for the short-term, before moving on. Loving it more than you expected? Great, then why not look into extending the contract? Your work can take you anywhere in the country, so be open to the unknown and embrace the possibilities of moving around, as you never know which city or state you may unexpectedly fall in love with.
Challenge Your Limits
Solo travel is amazing, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. You will have bad days, where your new job or home isn’t everything you thought it would be; maybe you feel homesick, or like you made a bad choice. In these moments, remember that you are learning an invaluable life lesson by pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone. The bad days are temporary, and you know that you can move on to other, better opportunities.
Create New Friendships
One of the biggest fears surrounding solo travel is loneliness. The truth is, you’ll only ever be as lonely as you choose to be. These days it’s incredibly easy to make friends, especially in the age of social media, where apps and meet-up groups for your new city allow you to connect with like-minded locals and travelers alike. Whether it’s with a new colleague or roommate, you’ll soon find yourself building connections and growing a network, perfect for when you’re looking for vacation spots for in between contracts!
If the thought of approaching strangers fills you with dread, then remember that they probably feel the same way too. The solo travel community is incredibly welcoming and after a few times, you’ll feel at ease slipping into natural conversations, finding common ground such as what’s brought you to the city, or where you’ve been before. It’s a great way of gathering travel tips, plus you’ll befriend companions who can take that perfect candid photo for your Insta feed; all the important things you might have thought traveling solo would lead you to miss out on.
Finally, know that it’s also okay if you want to take an antisocial day to yourself. The joy of solo travel is that you can prioritize your own wellbeing, so if you aren’t feeling like making conversation, it’s totally fine to hole up in your room after a long day at work for a Netflix binge. No one’s going to judge you!
Treasure the Flexibility
As solo travelers, you are lucky to have a lifestyle that allows for constant exploration of new locations and the chance to meet new people. Enjoy the flexibility of deciding whether you want to move around a little or a lot; if you want to stay close to home or go thousands of miles away; if you want to book back-to-back contracts or take a vacation in between. Once you get a taste for the freedom that comes with travel nursing, you’ll realize that taking the leap into the solo traveling lifestyle was the best decision you could’ve made.