When I was 21 I got the chance to travel from Arkansas to Los Angeles twice by myself.
I had been across the United States, across the Atlantic and to Cali before on an airplane but I had always traveled with other people.
The first opportunity came up in the summer of my 21st year. My brother lives out in LA and I wanted to make a trip. It wasn’t in the works for anyone else to be able to come with me.
I was a little scared (not going to lie the guy next to me from Little Rock to Dallas which is a 50 minute flight probably thought that I was going to pass out from hyper ventilating) to fly that first plane by myself. By the time I got on the plane from Dallas to LAX I was an old pro.
People thought I was crazy! A 21-year-old female hopping on a plane to LAX by myself! And then roaming around LA for a few days alone while my brother was at work.
But it was such an amazing experience and here is why:
1. You are forced to interact with other people. You have to ask questions and generally rely on other for answers. It puts you out there into the world without a safety net.
2. You actually get a lot of quite time and that is great. We are all so connected to our smartphones and Facebook accounts that sometimes we need to just disconnect. I spent a lot of the time roaming from Long Beach to downtown LA just thinking or just not thinking at all. It’s those moments when we lose ourselves in the world that we truly find ourselves again.
3. You notice the little things. When you are roaming around big cities by yourself you notice the people, the smells, the buildings differently than you would if you were with someone else.
4. You get a break. At 21 my life was basically every 21-year-olds life. School, work, parties, drama. And sometimes it’s nice to just remove yourself from that.
5. It’s pure freedom. You can go anywhere. You can see anything. You have no strings attached. It’s the most freeing thing in the world to be in the middle of a city of millions of people and not to know a single one. You get to find yourself among all of those people and that in itself is the greatest reward of the trip!
I think all young 20-somethings should travel at least once by themselves! Now almost 7 years later I am so thankful I got those two chances to travel alone. I appreciate traveling with those I love so much more!
Hope your having a great day wherever your little corner of the world is!