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Vaishali Patel: Solo Travel – A Pathway to Heal, Grow and Thrive

Vaishali Patel: Solo Travel – A Pathway to Heal, Grow and Thrive
15th May 2024 Simona Listvanaite

This is the second article written by our wonderful Tour Guiding Academy Alumna and Author – Vaishali Patel

In the series of Blog posts, Vaishali is exploring and sharing the unique power of solo travels – to transform, empower, inspire and grow. Insights are gathered from writing her book ‘Solo Explorers’, packed with expert advice, actionable insights and tips. It features tips and advice from women of all ages, backgrounds and life stages who have travelled solo. You’ll be ready to book that trip and make positive changes in your own life after reading the book!

Vaishali Patel: Solo Travel – A Pathway to Heal, Grow and Thrive

In the realm of self-discovery and personal development, few avenues offer as transformative an experience as solo travel.

It’s not merely about ticking destinations off a bucket list or snapping Instagram-worthy photos; it’s a profound journey inward, a chance to confront ourselves, embrace change, and emerge stronger, wiser, and more empowered.

At its core, solo travel is an invitation to embark on a journey of self-reflection. Away from the familiar comforts of home and the expectations of others, we are compelled to turn inward and confront the truths that lie beneath the surface. Through moments of solitude and introspection, we gain invaluable insights into who we are, what we value, and what we aspire to become.

Twinkle Patel’s story symbolises this journey of self-discovery. Typically a shy person who avoids confrontation, she finds herself confronted with a harrowing situation while travelling solo. In the face of harassment and compromised safety, she found the courage to speak up and defend herself, discovering a reservoir of strength and resilience within herself that she never knew existed. Through this trial by fire, she was empowered to speak up and assert her boundaries in a way she had never before thought possible.

But solo travel is not just about confronting our inner demons; it’s also about embracing new experiences, pushing our boundaries, and rewiring our brains. By stepping outside our comfort zones and trying new things, we not only expand our horizons but also challenge the very fabric of our being. Each new experience leaves a lasting impression on our psyche, reshaping our perceptions, and altering our brain patterns in profound ways.

During my solo travels, I took up a challenge I never thought I’d conquer: surfing. Despite doubts about my balance and swimming skills, an invitation from my AirBnB host to join a class changed everything. Surprisingly, I found my balance on the board and rode a few small waves. It’s a memory that reminds me: that even when I doubt myself, I can rise to the occasion.

Moreover, solo travel nurtures the development of self-trust and belief. As we navigate unfamiliar territories and overcome unforeseen obstacles, we learn to rely on our instincts and intuition, building deep self-assurance that serves us long after the journey has ended.

For many, solo travel is a catalyst for reinvention. In the wake of life-altering moments, such as divorce, retirement or health challenges, it offers a blank canvas upon which to paint a new life. Dawn Ritter-Fischer, embraced early retirement, after her divorce, and chose to travel the globe. Each moment of stepping outside her comfort zone and making big decisions such as selling her home to embrace a nomadic lifestyle, led her to reinvent herself as a writer.

Similarly, Daeyoung Kim’s post-retirement depression led her to Vietnam, where she discovered self-compassion – something unknown in Korean culture. This led to a newfound passion to advocate for self-compassion in Korea, reshaping her identity and purpose in the process.

And then there are those like Jennifer Lin, who seize the opportunity to redefine themselves on their terms. By embracing a mantra of forever daring, exploring and curious after a trip to Europe from Taiwan, Jennifer forged a new path in London, carving out a niche in the property business and embracing a life of endless possibility.

In the world of solo travel, each journey is a thread, weaving together moments of introspection, growth, and empowerment. It’s a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, a reminder that within each of us lies the power to transcend our limitations and embrace the fullness of our potential. 

So, the next time you feel the call of the open road, heed it with courage and conviction, for within its embrace lies the promise of a journey not just to distant lands, but to the very depths of your soul!


By Vaishali Patel

Author of Solo Explorers


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