In ancient times, many cultures across the globe required a young man to venture out on his own into the wilderness. This was seen as a rite of passage for becoming a man and for learning his way in the natural world.
Today, we don’t have the same rigorous rituals to worry about at such a young age. But what the ancients understood was that by traveling the world on your own, you learned the art of self-reliance–and many other things.
In our modern times, solo road trips hold the same power as these rituals of old. And in many ways, traveling itself is beneficial for mental health.
But just what are the benefits of solo road travel? What’s really out there, waiting to be discovered?
Here, we’ll explore a few of the benefits of traveling on your own in modern times.
You Get to Know Yourself Better
One of the main problems that many people face across the country is the lack of self-knowledge. And after we grow out of childhood, learning who we truly are becomes a seemingly elusive chase marked with a pile of self-help books and a ton of missed opportunities.
But when you take to the open road, you stand a much better chance of learning who you truly are through the experiences that you face while you’re traveling alone.
For example, if you happen upon a pileup involving a truck, do you stop and help others, or do you keep on driving? Believe it or not, it’s situations such as this that give you clues to who you really are, and what your morals and motivations in life might be.
Further, if you become stranded on the roadside or lost, what do you do? It’s here where self-reliance comes into play. And your decisions in a time of trial and despair may be key identifiers of your true self.
You Learn About Other Cultures
Believe it or not, but even traveling an hour or so away from your driveway can bring you into an entirely new region where norms and the pace of life is much different from what you’re used to. And this is why traveling is essential for bridging cultural barriers.
Across the United States, each state has regions where micro-cultures are present. For example, the cuisine and lifestyles of the Deep South are much different than that of the western states. And the same can be said about the heartland region and the New England states.
Traveling teaches you about other people and other ways of life. And if you wish to become more open-minded and tolerant of others in society, traveling and experiencing these places is essential for new perspectives to form.
You’ll Get a Boost of Creative Energy
Going through the rinse-and-repeat action of daily life can be a soul-sucking experience. And after a while, the monotony of a routine can take the wind out of your sails.
When you don’t have any new stimulation in your life, your creative energy can suffer. And by allowing new experiences, seeing new sights, and meeting new people through traveling, your creative mind will begin to flow naturally.
Creativity is linked to neuroplasticity. And studies have shown that having new experiences like visiting a place you’ve never been before, eating foods you’ve never tried, or gazing upon never-before-seen landscapes and scenery, this invigorates the mind.
When you travel by yourself, you’re able to take in all of these experiences at your own pace, unbothered by anyone else. And when you tap into your creative mind you’ll begin to form new thoughts and ideas, and this is also a part of true self-discovery.
Traveling is essential if you ever hope to understand yourself or the world around you. And though you may love your little corner of existence, venturing out beyond those borders offers wonders that you’ll never find if you stay put.