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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Lara

Prepping my mindset for solo travel

The obvious parts about travel preparation include packing, buying tickets, cleaning out your fridge, and triple checking your bank account. Something else I do when preparing to solo travel is check in with my current self: how am I feeling, what am I nervous for, what is going on in my life? What am I mentally packing with me as I embark on this journey?

On the return from my first solo trip to Mexico, I remember being on the plane just completely in tears. I had changed so much and I had all these hours without any distractions to sit with that. My mindset had changed, my perception on myself changed, my heart had changed. I hadn't expected this part of solo travel.

Sometimes people travel to get away-- whether that be from a frustrating job, a mound of responsibilities, a bleak day to day routine. Other times, people travel for purpose-- a funeral, a wedding, a work trip. Lately I have been traveling to explore pieces of myself. I found on that first solo trip that sitting with myself really opened the corners of my mind up. I had time to think about why I was thinking about something, as meta as that sounds (insert eye roll emoji here). I had time to really take in the place I was in instead of making a mad Disney dash from one place to another. Even if we try and leave things behind, we mentally pack things with us, so it is good to know where those things are coming from. Maybe this vacation is what you need to reevaluate just why you hate your job so much that you don't want to go back. Whatever it is, it's important to remember our mindset is just as important to your trip as your plane ticket.

I believe travel is good for you whether you need a break, a recalibration, or just for the freaking heck of it. I don't feel like I need to run away, in fact, I am already planning things for when I return. I no longer dread the trip home, I embrace it. I get excited to share my treasures with my loved ones and also to unpack everything I learned about myself. I am at a place in my life where I am content to be, excited for what is next, and have really no regrets about where I have been. "Peace", I think this is called "peace".

As you set out on your solo trip, check in with yourself. Who are you in this moment? What do you value? What do you wonder about? Checking in with yourself really helps you see the changes you will experience after your trip. Also, you can reevaluate what worked or didn't work when you get back. How was your itinerary? Too packed, too unstructured? How was your comfort level? What could you do differently next time?

Mindset is really important in all aspects of life, be in professionally, academically, financially, or physical health. Part of solo travel is getting really comfortable with the voice in your head, the feeling in your gut, the wonder in your heart. Take time to evaluate your mindset before and after your trip!

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