The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Traveling alone gave me confidence, self-sufficiency

The Channels Opinion Pages | STAFF COLUMN
Lucy Marx
Editorial Cartoon

In a time when social media and television dominates our society, it’s nice to get out and adventure sometimes, even if it means doing some things alone.

It’s important that everyone gets comfortable with their own company while traveling.

Traveling alone as a young woman can seem daunting, but it is possible to stay safe and have a good time as long as you take extra precautions and stay aware of your surroundings.

Over the winter break I took a solo weekend trip to Disneyland, one of my favorite places.

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It was one of the best trips I’ve gone on. Sure, it’s not that far and it was just a few days, but it was my first time going on an overnight trip out of town by myself.

Most people I told questioned my choice of going alone. All of my friends were busy or otherwise couldn’t go on a trip at the time so I decided to do my own thing.

I drove about three hours down to Anaheim with a playlist full of my favorite songs, booked a hotel, and hopped on a bus to Disneyland each morning that weekend. Not even the infamous Los Angeles traffic could ruin my excitement.

For months prior to this trip I had been having a rough time and was falling back into some bad mental health habits.

I wanted to go somewhere for a few days before Spring semester started again.

The trip ended up being very refreshing in a way I don’t think it would have been if I didn’t go alone, I ended up learning a lot about myself over that weekend.

It was liberating to do whatever I pleased, like riding Matterhorn six times within two and a half days.

While I was having fun, I still remembered to stay cautious of my environment. I shared my location on my phone with family and a couple friends and checked in with them whenever I had a free chance. If you’re not familiar with the area you are traveling to, it’s a smart idea to research your destination. While there are tons of tips to stay safe while traveling, I think the most important thing to remember while traveling, especially alone, is to be aware of what’s going on around you.

Traveling on your own gives you the chance to experience new things and meet new interesting people. I know many people worry about what others will think if they do things by themselves but trust me, nobody is going to think it’s weird that you’re walking down the street or eating alone. Spending that much time with yourself also allows you to really reflect on your experiences and thoughts. You can really learn a lot about yourself and what you value in this time.

I learned that I don’t necessarily need to rely on anyone else and I can be self-sufficient. It also showed me that I can face my fears, specifically of talking to new people, which can be hard for those who also struggle with anxiety.

Not only can you build a stronger sense of self but you can also focus more on the world outside of yourself and view everything in a new perspective. Traveling on my own made me realize that I want to focus more on experiences and give back to the community and world around me in some way.

My solo trip gave me a chance to do whatever I wanted to do when I wanted to do it without worrying about what anyone else wanted. I noticed myself feeling more confident and comfortable with myself because, for that weekend, it was just me and I wasn’t obligated to do anything I didn’t want to. I’ve carried that into my everyday life and, if anything, it’s reassuring to know that I can be on my own. That alone can feel completely freeing.

Whether it’s a weekend at a theme park or a longer trip backpacking through Europe, I think everyone should travel alone at least once in their life if they are able.

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