My last post about traveling alone focused on the self-indulgent aspect of doing exactly what you want to do and nothing more. But an additional benefit of traveling by yourself is that it forces you to figure out what you actually like to do, since there’s no one else to appease. This can be surprisingly hard.
When you travel with other people, it’s easy to just go along with the flow and do the things that other people suggest. Or perhaps you’re even the person suggesting activities, but you’re suggesting those things just because you think the other people you’re with will enjoy doing them or because you think that you’re “wasting” their time if you don’t do those things. But how often do you stop and think about what you really, truly want to do?
When you’re by yourself, you’re forced to think about what you actually want and like. There’s no one else to impose their will, so you have to listen to yourself. And there’s no one around to judge but yourself, so there’s no reason to pretend. This can be scary or troubling if at first you don’t find much there, or perhaps you find things that don’t mesh with your perception of yourself. But it’s important to spend some time to figure out what actually makes you happy if you ever want to maximize your happiness.